About my Father:
As I sit here, creating this portion of our family's
WEB site, it comes time to re-visit, simply put, the most painful
experience of my life.
The death of my father.
As I have lived, I have seen so many father-Son
Relationships that were strong.
Relationships that were strained.
Even relationships that did not exist, but for the hopeful dreams of
those sons' who's only request, was to "know" who their fathers
What they were like,
or would they be proud of that which the son became.
I can not help but be
eternally grateful to God for allowing me to have shared in such a
The soul that was my father.
A person who truly loved and cared for all his children.
Three sons; four daughters;
nine grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren;
For all of us, sharing in our glories, our dreams, our
heart-brakes and our losses.
Sacrificing all that he had, even when he did not have anything left.
He was "everything" to me, personally.
The barometer for which I measure all I am.
To say "he will be missed," is so sadly
lacking in true description, I am ashamed to include the remark on this
Moments with my Father:
Being the "out-doors" kind of person, my
father would take us on yearly camping excursions to various parts of
What is important to understand about my father, is the pride he took in
America's beauty, it's people and it's "purpose."
Immigrating from Puerto Rico on an engineering scholarship back in
the 1950s, being "American" was more than a desire for him, it
was a "privilege." So when we took our vacations, regardless of location,
any negative remarks about the surroundings were taken as a direct
insult to the nation.
If I had a dollar (marked up from the proverbial dime)
for every time I heard, "you have no idea how fortunate you are to
live in this country!"
Often times for just commenting on the texture of a peanut butter
and jelly sandwich eaten along the side of the road.
The older I become, and the more I learn of the world, I could not agree
with him more.
As I grew into a teenager during the 1970s, I decided
that it had come time to leave home.
The biggest reason for my decision was the fact that I had ceased to see
"eye to eye" with either my mother
or my father on matters concerning
They steadfastly insisted that I continue my education, while I on the
other hand saw that as a fruitless endeavourer.
Try as they might, they could not sway me, so at 17 I was off to the
great state of Texas.
I know what your thinking, and as the step-father of teenagers myself now, I
can see the heartbreak I brought on my parents at that time.
To this day, I long to take that decision back. . .
My father would see to it that he showed up on
my door step at least once a year, for the duration of my Texas
occupancy. It was during those years that I truly got to
"know" my father, and grew loved the man for who he was.
When I returned to my home state of California, in the
1980s the relationship between my father and I grew to that of maturity.
We bowled once a week at the same alley for five years,
stopping for dinner after every victory and loss.
One year we made second place!
To me, that was a grand accomplishment, yet he being a bowler for well
over twenty years at that point, it was just another trophy to add to the
collection box in his garage.
The next morning I called home and asked, "Where did you put your
trophy dad?" "In a box in the garage. Where did you put
he asked me. "Atop my entertainment center,
right next to a can of Pledge!"
Those are the years with my father, I will cherish most of
In December of 1998, my father was diagnosed with
liver and lung cancer.
Naturally, everyone was devastated.
Out of every member of his family, he had taken the best physical care.
The man would wrap his hamburgers in lettuce leaves, as not to gain weight.
I can recall him, at the age of 50+, still working on his house.
Stripping, painting and the yard work. He was unstoppable.
Truly a child from an age where "work" was not just a desire,
but a privilege.
Anyone, who has ever had to watch another human being
die of a cancer, knows what we all had to witness.
Knows what my father had to suffer through.
As I write these words to you, I still wonder, what my father did to
deserve such a fate. What any person could do to have to suffer so much.
I'll spare you the "Blow by blow."
Suffice it to say, my father, true to his form, fought as hard as anyone
could for two solid years.
Yet, in the end. Cancer won again.
The final time I was in my father's company, he was at
home, bed ridden.
He spoke to me in Spanish, his native tongue. I was never taught that
language, so I had no idea of what he was saying. He did smile at me
though, and that said it all for me.
Funny. When I first learned my father had cancer, I
prayed to God for the strength to fight it!
In the end, I prayed to my father's parents, long since deceased, to
come and take their child home.
I held my fathers hand, and asked of him,
"Please. When it is my time, will you come and get me, so I will know
how to find the way?"
Then, in plain English he said, "I am sure I will son."
That was the last time I saw my father alive.
There went the main stabilizing factor of my life.
The person I could and would, always go to when I needed to
"know" something. Anything.
What more can I say about the man.
I will miss him more than I know how to express. . .
I love you dad!
Thank you for everything!
"You are the reason that I am."
Bey JR, and Bey SR
If I may please.
A heartfelt "thank you!"
to every soul in the
Without whom, my fathers last wish, to pass in his home, surrounded by
those he loved, may not have been realized.
Bey Vargas JR
My Father's Obituary