The last time I was with my dad on his birthday was the year he turned 48. At the time, we all lived in Caracas, a super long general strike had just ended and things were looking medium for the country and for us. My dad had joined the protests and the strike and now had to look for a new job. My sister was studying psychology in Caracas and wasn’t happy about it. My brother Santiago was about to turn 2. I had big plans to transfer to a school in the US in the Fall and it seemed like the first day of my new life would never come.
Today my dad turns 60, and though we don’t get to be together to celebrate with him, we are all happy and doing good things. As my dad reminds us every time we have to say goodbye, all we want for each other is happiness and right now we can’t all be happy in the same place. My sister is in Venezuela. She ended up leaving the psychology program and majoring in mass communication. She owns her own business, is married to a wonderful man and is very happy. My dad took a job a great job in the Middle East. My brother turns 14 in a couple of days. I moved to the US and went to college and then grad school and more grad school. We are all very happy and doing well (except Venezuela.)
I am lucky to have the best parents anyone could ever hope for, and lucky to be my sister’s sister. I am thankful for my dad because he gave me my super cool last name (“P as in Peter, E as in echo, R as in Robert, Echo, Robert, Apple. Did you get that? It’s six characters”), my love of learning and chocolate, and unconditional love that makes me believe that I can leave everything I know to go someplace else and do bigger things. I would be extra lucky if I had the power to tele-transport me and my sister so we could wish him happy birthday in person but well, you can’t have everything and if given the choice between super powers and being my dad’s daughter, I’ll take my dad.