Happy Birthday Papi!

On a short trip to Puerto Rico in September, he was at my sister’s house everyday to visit.

“Papi”, that’s what I call my father. It’s the Spanish word for dad, daddy, pop and so on. This incredible man turns 82 years old today and I couldn’t be prouder to be one of his daughters.

My parents, Mary and Angel Figueroa. Circa 1956

Sadly my mother passed away over 20 years ago and my father stepped up to the plate to fulfill both parent roles. This was a pleasant surprise for my sisters and I. My father was always on the sidelines and let my mother take the reins when it came to celebrations, giving advice, getting together for holidays and such. The first mother’s day after she passed my father called each of us to wish us a happy mother’s day and let us know that we were blessed to have a great mother and she will always be with us in our hearts. This was very special because my father never called us, it was always our mother and we were all very touched by this. He didn’t stop there, now he calls us for every special day in our lives, Birthdays, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and sometimes just because.

Left to right, my sisters Yolanda, Awilda, Me, Brenda and of course “Papi”!

Two of my sisters live in Orlando as I do and one lives in Puerto Rico. We recently all got together for my niece’s wedding  in Puerto Rico and my father was with us every day, all day. It was a special treat.

This man still wakes up early in the morning to go to work at a plant nursery he owns. He’s there all day long helping clients, moving things around, replanting, seeding, and tending to the plants. He’s finally talking about taking it easy!

I want to wish my dad a very happy birthday and many, many more to come!

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