Monday, May 27, 2013

Agapito Ramos Martinez

As the distance becomes greater between our times when we talked, when I heard your stories, heard you sing and play your harmonica, your image often becomes more shadowy.  

Not the sense of your voice, or the impish twinkle in your eye.  But the line of your nose, your feet in flip flops, and the way you shared your strong, loving touch with grandchildren and dogs.  I have to sit still, very still,  to remember.

Thanks to Cousin Delia I have these pictures of you when you were stationed in the U.S. and in Japan.   

I see these and they remind me a bit more of who you were.
WWII -  5'3" and ready for war.  
Street kid, el bebito, high school drop out, ready for war.  

Thinking you were worldly, because you'd gone to Macy Street and seen the ghost.  Only to learn that there are ghosts that we create that never leave us.  A night alone on patrol will do that to you, won't it? 

When I write, the stories come up faster than I can type.  The details almost push themselves one in front of the other, not to be missed or to lose their place in line.  A lot like you, Dad.
The stops and starts of your youth, your alcoholism, your sobriety, your work ethic, your kindness flood my mind and my heart.  I can remember you again with a fullness that makes me sigh and laugh.

George sings and I can only smile.  My dad took me to the Beatles concert, because he was worried I should go alone and because he wanted to be at the concert.   I think back on the man, almost 60, who shushed me, because "George" is singing on the Ed Sullivan Show.  

When I write, I am close to you again.  The writing brings me to a place that is more about you 
than what I feel about you.  

Private, First Class, Pete R. Martinez - Date of entry Apr 1943, date of sep March - 1946.


  1. This is so touching it hurts. Thank you for letting me eavesdrop.

    1. Thanks for listening. Funniest part of this was re-discovering how short my dad was. He claimed to be 5'6". All of us who loved him would just look away, roll our eyes, and chuckle to ourselves. We let him have his 3" fantasy. We also mostly let him claim to be born in 1914.

  2. A love letter, with some similarities to the one I'd write. Some differences, too.

  3. It didn't start out as a love letter, but that's where it decided to go.

  4. Your post about the gifts you da made comes to mind.

  5. Yes. He wasn't perfect, but I want to remember the good stuff.

  6. I want that thought applied to my epitaph. She wasn't perfect, but let's remember the good stuff. Like that.