Celebrating Dad - My first Father’s Day Without Him  June 18, 2017 10:42 3 Comments

Father’s Day has always been a very special day – this year is bittersweet since it is the first year without him.  It is not easy for me to write about my dad since he only passed away nine months ago.    Every time he comes to mind, I think about his passion, love and drive.     He was always the first one up in the morning and focused on planning his day, inventing new things or preparing for the endless projects planned over weeks and months.    His love for children and nature was unforgettable -- any project or activity was done with such gusto and laughter that it was infectious.


Since I was very young we used to work on special school projects, hiked and rode horses.    He always looked very elegant and handsome with a big smile.  While he was horseback riding, he used a traditional Colombian hat and nice checker shirt and leather boots.  He always encouraged me and support me to pursue my dreams even if they will drive me far from him.   Even through tough times and setbacks, I can hear his strong voice, “Don’t worry my daughter, you can do it, don’t give up!”   

He always entered a room with full force filled with energy, drive, positivism. His love for his family drove him forward even during his ten year battle with cancer and grueling rounds of chemo.  Despite the suffering, he focused on life and laughter.  He was so strong he managed to ride his horses with his elegant style after recovering from chemo.

He loved to share his passion for nature, hiking, horses and animals with younger generations. When he had visitors to the farm, he loved to take them on magical hikes.  Kids were especially welcome to the adventure -- natural vine swings from tropical trees, walking through the bamboo forest or crossing the creek that ran through his farm. 

After the girls were born, my dad designed a unique saddle for our girls so they can ride the horses safely at a young age. When the girls got older, we used to take them on horseback riding trips through the emerald mountains and checking for butterflies, green parrots, woodpeckers or eagles.   His last gift to our girls was super special, an orphaned lamb who became very attached to the girls as they walked and bottle-fed him every day.  My girls named him Colombianito.  We celebrate his laughter as he watched Colombianito jump and chase my girls as they ran through the pasture. 

All my family and friends have amazing memories of my dad and the farm. They came to enjoy the beautiful views of the valley, the hikes around the farm, and enjoy the animals -- cows, sheep, horses, rabbits, roosters, hens, dogs, cats and even guinea pigs.  Our girls always preferred the family farm instead of the house in the city in our trips to Colombia.  Every call to him they always asked, “Grandapa, how is the farm? How are the animals?” My girls remember the beautiful moments with him and share his love for nature and animals. 

His legacy is about love and life, and especially planning for the next generations.  As I remember his words, I wonder how I can encourage new generations to appreciate the world and all its living things?   It’s tough to do.  In my quest for eco-friendly living and creating organic products, I remember my dad’s passion and how he fed me, nurtured me, encouraged me.  And then I realize that anything is possible, as this today and the next day, I celebrate my dad.