As I sit here and watch my father disappear before my very eyes, my heart feels a pain like none I have ever felt before, for my Dad, my hero, is slowly fading away, leaving only a shell of the great man I once knew. I try not to cry, I try to be strong, but that is a futile task, for the love I have for my father is too great to be constrained by pain and sorrow. The tears must flow and the anger must come against this terrible cancer that is taking his life. I really cannot stand to see him this way. It just breaks my heart to see such a great man coming to such a tragic end.
My dad truly was a great man and I will always remember him that way. I will always remember him as a teacher, a friend, an educator, a confidant, a repairman, and an amazing parent. He stressed in me from an early age, the value of education, but at the same time, to take time for friends and family, and just to have fun. He knew we all needed a little bit of both to succeed in this world and he definitely led by example. He loved his job at NASA and had a never-ending thirst for knowledge and truth. But, at the same time, he made sure we were all loved and taken care of. He made sure to challenge us to think; about the world, about politics, about science, about anything really. As long as we were thinking and pushing ourselves forward, I believe my Dad was happy.
Personally, he pushed me to be better than I thought I could be. He pushed me to get good grades all throughout my life, get into a good college and then start a good life for my family and myself. He used to tell me to choose a career I could see myself doing for the next 30 years, and to this day, that is something I ask myself every day (what would Dad do). What choice would he make in this situation? Now, I may have disappointed him from time to time, and of course we had our disagreements, but I hope he knew that I tried my best to find my place in this world and to represent him and the last name he gave me to the best of my ability. I hope he was proud of me. I hope he was proud of the life I have built for myself thus far.
Very few people get to live the life they dream of, but my father lived his dream every day of his life. He chased his dreams all the way from Argentina to the U.S., and in the process, created an unbelievable life for not only himself, but also for those he loved.
I hope to be exactly like my father and to earn the respect and love I have seen that EVERYONE has for him.
Dad, I will miss you terribly, but I take solace in the fact that you will be with God and feel no more pain or sorrow. You will be at peace.
I know we will see each other again, of this I am sure. So, as they say in Argentina, “Hasta Pronto” (“See you soon”).
P.S. Do not worry about Emily or the new baby, they will be fine. I will make sure they are brought up in the Mario way. I know you will look down on them and protect them, always.