its an "Ill see you later," an "ill hold you again"
the love of a father, the pain of a son
the loss of a friend, the grieving within
not able to speak, I'm at a loss for words
its been some time now, just barley feeling the loss
I got tatted for you, on my right arm I'm wearing a cross
I miss you so much, its hard to imagine
that you wont see me grow, my kids you wont hold
my wife you won't know, ill grow old without my old man to hold and to love
Remember when I was your little boy?
your everything, your pride and joy?
how often you held me, how often I cried
how often you left me, how often you lied
All is forgiven, all is behind
all is well now, I have peace of mind
The Lord took it from me, both the pain and the joy
The Pain being the past, the Joy being you Dad
I pray that my last gift to you was accepted
taken and put to work.
Ill see you again, Ill hold you once more
But not yet, not yet.
You see after being 5 minutes "late" for check in, we missed our flight home from our vacation in Orlando. We were instead put on a flight that was grounded for 3 whole hours due to thunderstorms, and while we waited we were tortured with the acting chops of Mr. Demi Moore himself. At times I was waiting for the crew members of his show "Punk'd" to show up with cameras as I reacted with amazement, shocked by the outlandish antics of Ashton's amazingly "creative" brain. But after the end credits of Valentines Day rolled I realized that Ashton wasn't going to Punk me today, maybe next time.
My sister and her husband were going to pick us up from the airport now and at last I was able to relax a bit. I just liad my head back and rested my eyes for a bit, but my mind was racing, I couldn't stop thinking that something else was going to happen, but honestly what else can happen after something like this right?
As we landed in Atlanta, we learned that our next flight was boarding and we had to make our way from where were all the way across the airport, in length terms we had to run about half a mile dragging our bags, before realizing that the flight was going to leave us if we didn't speed things up. We stopped right in time to catch the subway that took us to the other side of the terminal. In there I was looking at the time realizing we only had a few minutes left. The tram came to a stop and we busted out of there, running as fast I could hauling all the bags and my wife running ahead of me with the tickets in hand trying to secure our spot in the plane.
Right in the nick of time we made our way to our gate with about 2 people in front of us. Again I was able to take a breath, and thank God for helping us so far, but to my surprise our struggles weren't over just yet. I got a call from my sister, with a bit of hesitation I answered the phone. She told me that they weren't going to be able to pick us up because her husband had to work in only a few hours (he worked the graveyard shift) so we, once again were up a creek without a paddle.
No longer caught off guard by bad news we were trying to wrap our head around this new problem that was in front of us. My wife called her sister to see if she could pick us up but her voice mail is all we got. I had no one else to call, every one of my siblings was dead asleep and not in a position to assist. As we finally landed in Salt Lake City, it was about 12:30 am now, we thought about taking a taxi back home. We made our way to the exit and asked a cab driver what the cost of a taxi would be from there to Pleasant Grove. The answer hit us hard, picture a deer caught in the headlights kind of look. "An estimate?" he asked "about 80 or 90 give or take" "Dollars?!" I answered with fright in my voice, and yes he meant dollars, pesos, dinero, cheese, cash flow, chedda, mula, bills, how ever you want to call it he meant just that.
Once again defeated and baffled by our current dilemma, we asked ourselves what more can we do. I suggested renting a card but that would put us back money wise. Jenny called her sister one more time and this time she struck gold, she answered the phone, but to our disappointment she said she couldn't because she was with her boyfriend. With our options slimming down by the second I was getting very angry, I definitely wasn't thinking straight but as always my wife was the one with the brains. She took my phone and looked down the contact list and began to dial numbers. A few calls later she look up at me giving me the thumbs up signal. At last someone was coming through for us, but who?
The time was now 1:30 am and I was sitting down waiting and recapping the day's events. It was a bit soothing to think that after all that we had been through so far we were only 40 minutes away from home, no matter how dark and crappy it seemed it always got better. It was now 2 am and I got a call from our Knight in Shinning Armor. "Whats up Foo!" he said as I answered the phone and its s all I needed to hear to know who it was. My big loving father figure Andres, as loyal as any best friend could ever be, there he was with his wife. When no one was able or willing to pick us up we had to relay on a friend who was harder to get hold of than the president, but somehow he was here ready to take us home.
Finally we were going home, after hours of uncertainty and frustration we were for sure going to make it to our warm and cozy bed. Talking to Andres about his lack of pick-up-the-phone-skills, he told us that he always leaves his phone on vibrate so that people wont bug him in the middle of the night, but for some reason this night he felt impressed to leave the ringer on, and by his bed. So when Jenny called him he picked up, which is not normal for him, and specially not that late at night. About 35 minutes later we were home, thanks to my gentle giant.
I was a bit worried that we wouldn't make our flight but we still had plenty of time, or so I thought. We pulled up to the car garage of the Orlando International Airport and parked, grabbed our bags and bid farewell to our trusty white Cube. There we were hauling our bags through the huge masses of people piling all over getting ready to leave, some with tears and hugs others with "Ill see you later" goodbyes. Finally we got to our flight check in line, and just in time, with maybe a minute or two to spare.
"Excuse me?!" I said with a tone of disbelief "how is that possible? our flight is not leaving for another 30 minutes" to what he said "Well sir you are right but we still need to get these bags checked in and with the time frame that you have left us there is no way we can get you there in time, I'm sorry."
To Be Continued.....
When you hear the words "Dream Big" what comes to mind? My guess is that for most people this sparks thoughts of lots of money, a huge house and expensive toys. And why not? its totally normal to think of a lavish lifestyle. I would also dare to guess that most of us will never see that kind of life. Does that make us less than those who can live that way? No it does not. One can also make the argument that money doesn't determine happiness, or does it?
For many years I have been thinking about my future, and the older I get the harder it gets to come to terms that I might never have the McMansion, or the sports car of my dreams. But does this make me a lesser person? or does it diminish my accomplishments so far in life? again the answer is a big fat No.
My happiness is not determined by how much my bank account has, or how big my TV is, or how many shoes I have, but by what I have been able to accomplish so far in my life. Lately I can feel myself growing as a man, as a husband and future father. The choices I am making now are literally affecting the future of our unborn children.
You see in high school I was for the lack of a better word an Underachiever. Not because I was dumb or had some sort of learning disorder, but because I didn't care about my education. How could I? an illegal immigrant teenager, who as I put it best "will one day own the airways, and MTV's convented VMA award," care so much for an education. That just wasn't my cup of tea per say. High school was more of a popularity contest for me and my pals. When in class I was more worried about who I would bump in to in the hallway and what the girls would think of my outfit that day, I was more focused on things that did not matter one bit, but try to tell a teenager who's hormones are in full rage that School wasn't a place to hook up but a place to learn and get prepared for whats ahead of you.
Late in to my senior year I was falling behind and little by little the thought of graduating was slowly fading away, and not just for me but for many others in school. I guess I should have payed more attention in class, but it was too late now. I was passing the majority of my classes with low C's and high D's, and somehow (by the grace of God is my best guess) I was able to pass all my classes. I walked with my classmates, I was able to get a diploma, I was able to show my family that I wasn't a compete failure, and most of all I was able to show myself that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. Given that I didn't pass with honors but I passed none the less.
So now here we are, 9 years later and I am finally in good shape to start college, a long time, I know. But late is better than never right? I think I have found a career that makes me tick, something that actually gets me excited, not just something to do for the rest of my life, but something that I am mediocre at. If you haven't been following my blog then you probably have no Idea what makes me tickle inside, well that is a passion for writing. I honestly and truly think that I can have a career in journalism.
Is this my version of "Dream Big?" maybe, I just can't come to terms or grasp the fact that I can actually be good enough at something that I can get payed for and make a caereer from it, this sort of stuff dosen't happen to me and others like me, we usually end up working for a factory and or a call center (and not that those are bad jobs, any job is a good job, but its not something that you are trully sold on or happy doing, its something that gets you and your family through. This is not what I want, I want the oportunity to do something I love untill I retire. I am dreaming big, for once I can see my future as I want it, a family man with a great wife and amazing kids, doing what he loves, not just for himself but for them.
Let me take you back, way back. The year was 1996, Tupac was still the King of Rap but his murder was close at hand. The Dallas Cowboys beat the Steelers to win their 5Th Superbowl, and the Chicago Bulls defeated the Seattle Supersonics in the NBA Finals. This is the year I feel in love.... the memory of that shoe is still crisp in my mind, its shiny patent leather mid and toe box was just breath taking. The Air Jordan 11's where the thing of legends, not even the Barkley's came close to these baby's. Everyone I knew was sporting these shoes as soon as they became available, everyone except me. I remember walking around school and thinking "Man I wish we had the money to get them" but the truth was that those shoes where way out of our price budget, so Hand-Me-Downs would have to do, that or Payless shoes or better yet salvation army.
OK flash forward to present time, as I stated before, the Jordan 11's became the stuff of legend and are now one of the most sought after shoes out there, but like Disney classics they are only released every now and then, and after they sell out they are locked away for a long time. Its like seeing a Unicorn, trying to find these shoes in stores.
Thursday of last week I was browsing through my facebook account and I noticed something that made me stop abruptly what I was doing. In Bold letters their post read "Who's going to cop their 11 Retro's this Saturday May 1st?" I almost pooped myself when I saw that pots along with a picture of the shoe I have wanted since I was 13 years old. I had recently told my wife that if they ever re-released that shoe, I would go in debt for them and I wasn't kidding.
On Friday they would be released online and through Eastbay, right at 12:00 am EST so 10:00 pm my time, not a minute early. The actual shoe would be available at only 2 stores in Utah, the Foot Locker at the Valley Fair Mall in West Valley and at the Fashion Place Mall in Murray, and each store only had 12 pairs each, one of each size, from 8 to 13. Lovely! Here was the chance to fulfill one of my childhood dreams and yet it felt so far of a chance to achieve that it made me sad. I decided that I was going to call Eastbay and order my shoe that way, because I was not about to go fight for a spot at a mall waiting for hours before they opened the doors..... right?
April 30Th 2010, 9:55 pm: I was on the phone waiting to talk to a customer service rep for Eastbay, credit card on hand ready to go, I had my game face on and there was nothing going to stop me form getting this shoe, NOTHING!!
April 30Th 2010, 10:00 pm: I was still on hold listening to that annoying recorded message "One of our representatives will be with you in a moment" and my hands where sweating with anticipation.
April 30Th 2010, 10:10 pm: I was still on hold, the phone was hot now from being held so tight to my ear, just waiting for that Darn rep to answer the call, but nothing.
April 30Th 2010, 10:13 pm: "Thank you for calling Eastbay this is (I don't remember her name so lets call her Tiff) Tiff how can I help you?" with excitement I said "I need to place an order please!" I was just thrilled that I was about the get the most import shoe I would ever own, "OK, can I please get the product number of the item sir" to what I said with a confident tone "Why sure" after I gave her the number she said the following "I'm sorry, sir but that item is completely sold out" WHAT?!!! you can't do this to me, you just can't!!!! Why?!!! with a deflated tone I responded "Are you serious?" to what she said "Yes sir I am." I just ended the call, I couldn't take the disappointment, and the pain it caused me to hear those words.
What to do? should I go to the mall at 6 am to see if I can get a pair? No! that's dumb, I don't do that kind of thing, but this was different, this was for the Retro 11's. I should do this! right?.....
To Be Continued......
After a few we get our food and my wife just stares at her plate in disappointment and anger. She gets up and goes to talk to the cashier about it and she is told "Ill let HIM know." She comes back and sits down a bit irritated, to this point I haven't really noticed what the big deal is, until she pointed it out. The piece of Asada (Asada is a type of meat, for all my White Folks) is supposed to be big, and fresh, instead she got 3 pieces of old crusty looking meat. About a hand full of Beans with cheese on them and the same size portion of rice, and a mountain of Lettuce and Guacamole. My girl wasn't having it, not one bit so she needed me to take care of it. With hunger still there and a bit of a head ache I get up to talk to the cashier.
She looks at me and says "I will let HIM know," Him who?, who is this HIM she keeps mentioning? I ask for a manager, to what she said "I am the manager but don't worry the owner is here, Ill let HIM know (ahhh so that's who HIM is) and Ill come back." I was pleased with that expecting the owner to come back to talk to us and make us happy right? right?........
The young lady comes back to our table and informs us that the Owner (HIM) told her to tell us that these are the portions they are giving out now, the reason we had such big portions last time was because the old cook was giving out bigger portions, so In other words we got lucky last time. At this point I wasn't having it, I was angry so asked the young lady to have HIM come back and talk to us. About a minute passed and here HIM comes....... I was ready for a duel.
The following is a reenactment of what took place that fateful night at Taco Riendo (this whole conversation was in Spanish):
HIM: How can I help you? ME: My wife and I came here before and had the same platter and it was way bigger last time and the meat was fresh, this one isn't. HIM: Well the reason is because our old cook was giving out way too big of portions and she is no longer here, now I'm in the back making sure all is well portioned. ME: Well we just payed 10 dollars for this plate and I honestly do not think that this amount and quality of meat is worth that much money, she has more lettuce than anything man! HIM: Well if you go somewhere else they are charging you about 13 dollars for that same plate, plus I pay about 3 dollars and 90 cents per lbs for the meat, that's not good for me to do, to just give away huge portions of food. ME: Well I didn't go elsewhere, I came here and I need you to do something about this plate.
HIM: What would you like me to do?
ME: I need a new plate for my wife, more meat and rice and beans, less toppings.
HIM: Well if you want a new plate your going to have to pay for it. (Time out.... can you believe the nerve on this fool?! OK Continue)
ME: I'm not paying for another plate man, and I'm also not going to have my wife eat this crap, I need another plate of food for her.
HIM: And what am I supposed to do with this food?
ME: I don't care!
HIM: I can't do that, you need to pay for another plate then. ME: I'm not doing that! either that or I need my money back! (He looked at me with a long frustrated pause, he inhaled)
HIM: OK, give them their money back
He stormed to the back to continue riping people off with small portions of dry old meat. We didn't even touch our food, I was shaking from anger. We walk up to the cashier and got our cash back. Before I left I noticed everyone there was looking at us, I told the cashier "This is horrible customer service, we are not coming back. Tell HIM I said that." Taco Bell was where we ended up eating that night, and as my brother said: "A Cheaper and Better Meal" He was right.