Papi, what is happening to you?: The unforgiving reality of old age


Visiting my Dad , whom I call Papi in Spanish, has been a sweet and sour experience.  I came to visit him in Puerto Rico for a few days… because I miss him and  I wanted to see him again.

During the time I spent with him during these few days , I start questionning again the absurdity of this existence.   What is, if any, the purpose of this life ?  Why are we born to simply die and cease to exist at the end?

Papi was an active man who worked very hard, had many friends and went to many parties.  He was known as having a good sense of humor and making jokes all the time.  He always dressed up with the latest fashion and style.  Papi often took good care of his belongings, particularly his hair.    He also has been a jovial and friendly individual.  He laughed hysterically and made jokes with his friends about politics and life in general. He enjoyed drinking with friends and eating spicy food.

He went to the army for a short period of time, but he often reminded us of his military routine.   Papi married my mom and had four sons.  He worked hard at a pharmacy warehouse . I remember visiting him at his job which was upstairs.   Papi would buy me candy and sandwiches “medianoche” for mid morning snack.   He also taught me one time how to ride my bike, how to take a shower, and how to clean my shoes.  He was very particular about his personal belongings.


Now most of that is gone.  He can barely walk and is more forgetful.  He is in his late 70s and does not eat very much. He is retired and can barely take care of himself.  It’s almost like he has become a different person.   It makes me wonder,  what is happening to my Papi?

In spite of the changes, he continues to do certain things that shows glimpses of who Papi really is. He enjoys doing word search puzzles.   Papi sometimes still makes the kind of jokes he used to make.  He remembers most of his family members and friends.

I can’t help but to question again the reason for this existence.   The purpose of us living in this state of awareness we call “life” if at the end it is going to be gone.  My Papi was a jovial and active man.  Now he is a weak and serious old man.   Like the winter that comes and takes away all the beauty of the trees and the flowers and the sunshine, so does old age take away the sunshine that I often found in my Papi.   Will there be a spring after this?

Most of Papi is already gone.  Most of what he reflected has faded away.

I guess Papi is not completely gone.  At least not in my heart.

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English only?

So what if people don’t speak English while in the United States?  Would that make them less welcoming and not deserving to live in this country?   I have a big problem with people glorifying aspects of their culture, specifically the dominant language.   If you have seen my recent posts, you probably noticed how disturbed I feel with all the political propaganda that regards the United States as exceptional and unique.  I must say, United States is not exceptional (and the US is not the only “America” either).  I recognize that this statement may offend some readers.  But the simple fact that I am posting this post should indicate that I don’t care if people choose to feel offended. Please click the following links regarding discussions about a candidate speaking a language other than English in the political arena:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/06/politics/sarah-palin-diversity-spanish/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/02/politics/donald-trump-jeb-bush-spanish/

I assume that those who hold an egotistical and superior image about their “American” culture would probably agree with these discussions.  They probably agree with the statement that English is  “kind of a unifying aspect of the nation …. that is understood by all.” The language that is understood by all is not a specific uttered speech, but the meaning behind it, such as love and compassion.   For example, should Bibles be written only in English for it to be effective in sending a message in the United States?  Is English the only language that would make every family functional?  Yes, it is the dominant language and it is a great asset when looking for a job… but it is not the only language.

What really unifies a nation is a common goal for peace, improved economy, equality, and affordable insurance. Not a language.

Why are some people so afraid of accepting the diversity that makes this country truly great?