For my Father: Para mi Papá – “El Bribón”


When I was 15, I told my dad I hated him. I told all my friends and peers at school I hated him. By the end of the month the whole town knew that I hated him.

See when you’re 15 and your dad tells you that you can’t have a boyfriend, can’t go to the movies with your friends, and takes your phone away at 9 PM when “free” minutes start…you can start to develop these types of feelings towards him.

We used to fight ALL THE TIME. I got into the habit of just being in a bad mood any time he was around. I never REALLY listened to anything he told me and realize now that in all those years that I was ignoring him, I could have learned so much from him.

He would wake my brother and I up really early during on our days off in the summer so that we could go and work for him. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I “grew up”, but I swore at that age that I would never be anything like my father.

I used to sneak out and go to Mexico. I started going when I was 14 after I made friends with some upperclassmen. I would sneak through my window at first, as the years went on I stopped caring and started just going out the front door as quietly as I could. This was my system for a good year and a half. So far, so good.

I received a call about 10 minutes later as we were reaching the port of entry…from my dad.

  • “Where are you?”
  • “Down the street at Lia’s.”
  • “Ok, Let me see you walk back here.”
  • “Fine.”
  • “Ok, where are you?”
  • “Going to Mexico.”
  • “Turn around and come home, AHORITA!”

When my friend pulled up to drop me off, he decided it would be a good idea to get off and apologize. It was not a good idea. If anything, it made the situation worse. That night we had one of the longest and worst fights we had ever had. I decided I wanted to graduate as a junior that night. “The sooner I can get out of this town, the sooner I will be away from him.”

Years went by and I am sitting in my Civil Engineering 301 class. Even after convincing myself that I would never be ANYTHING like my father, I was sitting in a CE class. My dad is a civil engineer. After years and years of working summers and winter breaks at his office, this is where I ended up…following in his footsteps.

My first two years at college were rough. I was not prepared mentally or emotionally. I look back now and wish I would have stayed for my senior year and matured a little more before taking on living in Austin and going to college. I failed and got kicked out of the engineering program 5 semesters in a row. Every time I would go home and tell my parents, my heart would hurt for weeks from their look of sadness and disappointment.

My dad would always end his speech to me every time with, “Es que necesitas agarrar la onda.” “You need to start understanding what this is all for and about.” Each time he would try and convince me to move back home and take a year off while attending our local community college. I had a life in Austin, friends, and freedom. I was not ready to give all that up. The last time I heard this speech from my dad, he looked me straight in the eye and told me, “If this is what you want you have to show us. You have to show the world and yourself that you really want it.”

I am not sure when I changed. But when I did life was a lot easier for me and for everyone else. As I grew up I started seeing that a lot of my dad’s advice had so much meaning. He raised it by teaching us to work hard for what we wanted. All those summers and winter breaks spent working with him were just a way to show us that nothing in life comes easy.

I learned so much from my dad without ever realizing it. I wish I would have listened a little more and tried a little harder to be a better daughter earlier in my life.


Now, we are probably the closest we have ever been. I am now a “daddy’s girl” and proud of it. I always look forward to seeing him, sitting down with some whiskey and mineral water, and talking about life. He really is one of my role models and I will always look for his guidance in everything and anything I do.

Cheers to the best dad in the world who taught me the most important lesson I ever learned.

Through faith in God and hard work, anything you set you mind to is possible.

Gracias por todo lo que haces y sigues haciendo por nosotros. No hay suficientes palabras en el mundo que pueden decir cuanto te quiero y agradezco por todo.

Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing dads out there! everything you do will never go unnoticed!

Feliz Dia de los Padres!

Stay in love,



One thought on “For my Father: Para mi Papá – “El Bribón”

  1. Great story Anali. I have two girls that will be in high school this coming year. We still get along with out to much arguing. Both are very assertive and I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will continue to listen to me.

    My home town is not too far from yours. I grew up by-lingual and it has paid off many times over too. I grew up in the potato, onion, sweet beet and some times strawberry fields of Idaho and Oregon. Every year we came home and played catch-up with the other kids in school but that too was a good experience.

    Your success is a great inspiration and I will share it with my girls.

    I was drawn to your blog by the write up you did reference Donald Trump. He may not turn out to be the best candidate for president but what he says does have some truth to it. By that I don’t mean to defend him totally. When we apply what some folks say totally we too make the mistake of talking out of turn.

    As a 12 year veteran of Texas law enforcement I have seen both sides of the illegal immigration issue. Many a time did I have to turn over criminals that had to be handled by border patrol. Some times we would catch some and they would be deported that same day or within 24 hours and the next day we would catch them again.

    There are a butch more that we never had to deal with and they made good contribution to our city as well as other places they traveled too in the US.

    That type of negative behavior does not apply to every illegal immigrant. Just as your story of perseverance and success does not apply to every illegal immigrant.

    Therefore we cannot take this guy’s statements personally. What he says does not apply to you or me or most of the folks that the illegal status applies to. But, it does apply to some of the illegal immigrants from Mexico due to, in part, their association with the gangs from South America, Mexico and in the US.

    Hope I made some kind of sense because my ability to clearly articulate my thoughts is limited.

    Ya estoy viejito y no me hacen caso la jente.

    Sin mas……

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