I have patchy chest hair, it’s true. I know why, but only because of the stories I’ve heard.
I don’t remember much about my earliest years, traveling and living in foreign countries with my family. I can’t recall the actual event in Spain where I pulled a pot of boiling water off of the stove and burned my chest, but I grew up with the scars, which have diminished and left the aforementioned patchy pattern. It’s kind of a triumph, really. I know, it sounds weird, but as a kid, I really identified with my scars, all of them, whether physical, mental or emotional. Now, the scars are almost imperceptible, all of them.
I used to get melancholy around the holidays, but not anymore. You know why? I have decided to look for the diamonds against the dark backdrop.
Our family, on both sides, that welcomed back our ragtag little band of wayfarers from over-seas, and took us in, and loved us.
Safe places, where we were able to hide, literally and figuratively, like the Salvation Army, that was a shelter to my siblings and I, very briefly, when we needed a place. My grandparents, Ricardo and Rosenda, my aunts and uncles, Roy and Gracie (at the time), Fernando and Yolanda, Oscar and Diane (at the time), George and Marcy (at the time), who opened up their homes and put a plate at the table for each of us, and gave us shelter and affection. Mary, who was like an older (sometimes bossy) sister. Tom and Beverly Ingram, from Ft. Stockton, Texas, who, also briefly, provided a foster home for my older brother and I during a confusing time. My grandparents, Angel and “Lita” Fina, and all of our Gonzales family who were always there, loving us.
My father, Armando, who loved us, with his crazy rainbow suspenders on a warm West Texas Easter Sunday, and his great work ethic, working endless hours in the oilfields of Texas. And Martha, who gave of herself, unconditionally.
Friends, that through the years have come an gone, and stayed. From Texas to Kentucky, then to Illinois and Arizona, with some Louisiana, Tennessee. and Georgia sprinkled in there. Beautiful, lasting friendships, deep and meaningful, brilliant like jewels.
And most of all, a beautiful wife, Tinakay and three awesome sons, Jonathan, Benjamin and Nathaniel, and the recent addition of a wonderful daughter in law, Anique. This, is a mine of diamonds, because it just keeps producing beauty.
I thought of this in a moment, like a sparkle, yesterday morning, when I was getting ready for the day, because I didn’t notice the scars, just the triumph.
Merry Christmas and I pray your New Year is awesome, like mine.