Monday, June 26, 2006

This weekend

I drove to the rio grande this weekend for an impromptu family reunion. My aunt chava is passing away from colon cancer and flew in from Indiana to see everyone (together) for quite possibly the last time. As sad as that sounds, it was a wonderfully upbeat event. I saw uncles i hadn't seen in years and cousins that i only remembered as children. For those of you who are aware of my rocky relationship (if you can call it that) with my father, it was not the catharsis i was expecting, but it did solidify in my mind the way that i have to handle future situations with my dad, which is nice considering that there has been so much uncertainty as to his feelings for so long. I am too much the optomist, however. At the end of the day, when most everyone had gone it was myself, my wife, my uncles henry and romel, my aunts charlene and sylvia, and my cousins talking in the living room. I am ignorant of much of the family history and so i was asking a lot of questions.

"So what was grandpa like?"

The answer came, "...oh, he was a lot like your dad..."

Coming from my uncle Henry that wasn't good seeing that he and my dad are not on the best terms. (if my cousins are reading this, please fill me in - i am totally oblivious).

"Great," i thought, "my grandpa was an asshole."

All my life i had been told that my grandpa loved me when i was born (this was from my mother) - that Mr. Chavez was crazy over me. He passed away when i was three years old. From this i had this idea of chavez-grandpa in al my young years as being a really loving and a very wonderful man (no, i can't explain the leap), but when i asked what he was like there was a pause and then uncle henry made his comment and then romel said something about him liking to kid around, then i changed to subject to his career: he painted buses. This lead to his death. He painted without the mask and died of lung cancer. What's in a name? As a child i hated the name adolfo. It was no secret that my mother's side of the family also hated my father and his name, hence i was called Killy all my life. I knew my father had caused the pain my mother felt even as a child, maybe that's why i hated my name and why i put my grandfather on that pedastal. That my father had somehow 'fallen' from an ideal. This is something that i believed until saturday evening. As a father, i embraced my own name and gave my son the same under the false impression that my grandfather was some sort of ideal-Chavez. *ugh* It feels as though i've named my kid Hitler and just though to myself, "Doh! i forgot about all that fucked up shit he did..."

My sister came away with an even grimmer experience; she decided to hang around dad out back, where i was in the front catching up with my cousins. My sister has always fought against the tide with my dad; has always fought tooth and nail for him to care and to acknowledge her. The effort has failed miserably. I was more worried for her at this reunion, hoping that she wouldn't blow a gasket and 'pop a cap in his ass'. (*chuckle*). She did blow a gasket but managed to blow it in private and maintain her composure. For that, i am grateful.

On the upside, we were able to visit Carol's brother and took a very long time to get home. We stopped along Yturria's Ranch on 77 before the INS checkpoint and peed behind a rail station house and walked along the tracks to some abandoned boxcars. It was so incredibly hot so we didnt' stay out there long, but we managed to pick up a railroad spike and a fractured white tortoise shell.

We also made a pitstop at the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi. Adolfo had a super duper ultra hardcore blast. It was the first time something really registered with him as an event. His eyes just bulged at the enormity of the boat looking at it from the 35 bridge and he got so excited to learn that we were indeed going to pay the $30 to actually go inside it! It was truly a magic moment for him and for carol and i. He came away with two toy airplanes and a 2'x3' poster of WorldWar II Airplanes.

...and becuase i know you're wondering, i took photos with my old N70. Yes, film. I hope to get it processed today and scanned in sometime tomorrow. Photos to come...

8 comments:

colin said...

Sorry to hear about the unpleasant truth in relation to your name, but the way I see it, you are the rebirth of the name. the third time is the charm. Not to say your not an asshole, your a good kind of asshole and all the future generations of Adolfos will place your life on that pedestal.

I think coming to terms with your parents is one of the most difficult parts of becoming an adult. Still so much wanting them to be all that you had hoped they could be. Giving up those hopes, that is hard.
It feels very exposing. Nothing between you and the cold wind of responsibility.

Thanks Killy, for taking the time to type and include all of us in your life.

todd said...

ha! i had the same idea about the whole name thing. i said he should just start calling himself Adolfo Chavev I and start with a clean slate.

taggart said...

Wait a sec......I thought your name was Killy?.........jk....thanks for sharing if it means anything I am coming to terms with how NICE my mother is........
seriously I think all of you would agree I could have used a little more ass whoopin'

CarolinaDivina said...

you are still my one and only number one Adolfo Chavez III
as far as i'm concerned - you are all the love, charm and grace of three men - in sharing your time and love with your beautiful son, you are teaching him how to grow up to be like the wonderful person that i married
you are the best person i have ever met in my life

CarolinaDivina said...

tag
isn't that why you married liz?

colin said...

Because sher can provide as much love as three men?

taggart said...

I am trying to come to terms with the fact that my first thought is "yes" Liz can provide as much love as three men.
But I dont know why..........

killy said...

dude, that's awesome. liz is three men. heh *snicker* *laugh*