When you look at a musician when they’re doing what they love, you’re getting a little glimpse of heaven. It’s a beautiful thing, see someone go beyond this world into a place where not many go. I have a bias when I say things about daddy, because he was my father, and I love him so much, despite all of his flaws. Music has been there since I realized that silence does nothing for me. Each piece I play or sing is a note from my daddy, the man who’d buy us candy secretly, who had a big sweet tooth, who loved his cheesecake, Coca Cola, and Pop-Tarts. My daddy was the man who called me a guacamaya, a bird that sings constantly, because I would do just that. My daddy made me into the young woman I am today. He helped me see that most of us are made of invisible steel, but all the same, that steel is wrapped in satin. By making me ground myself in God, he made me into a warrior. And today, that is what I’m thankful for.
I remember when I was younger, I told my daddy that I wanted to wear flowers in my hair like Linda Ronstadt on the cover of her album “Canciones de mi Padre”. Daddy told me that I’d have to grow my hair out (at the time, my hair was always cut really short) so I could wear flowers. I guess the next phase in my life will involve wearing flowers in long hair. Because a few minutes ago, I heard my Papi tell me, “You can’t wear flowers in your hair yet. Your hair’s not long enough yet, Kiki. But you’ll get there. Just give it time, and take care of your hair.”
I can’t believe it. I would probably have never known music without you. While I know that you and Mom won’t be there at graduation, when I move into college, I know you will be there in spirit. You won’t walk me down the aisle when I get married physically, but in spirit you will. I miss you, and I’ve made it this far in life because of you. I’m lighting a candle in my heart for you. I love you, Papi. And I will never stop loving you.