His car never showed. He didn't call either. And with that, Papi vanished, not to be heard from again for another eight years.
What followed were a string of failed relationships with men who were just like Papi. I know that now, but at the time I couldn't pinpoint their similarities. Inconsistency was the common thread. They also left me. Still, I celebrate men, particularly the men who have come into my life and convinced me, through actions, that there are positive and loving men in this world.
There is Dave Robles, a creative, inspiring, humorous man whose warm heart is as contagious as the flu in winter.
There is David Temkin, a savvy businessman and the founder of SoLatina, a website for single mothers. He has become my unofficial advisor, offering to help LoveSujeiry.com just because he believes in my talent. No tricks. No hidden motives. Just a helping hand.
There is my ex-boyfriend, Luke, a single father by choice, as he took custody of his daughter. He is also my biggest fan. I remember how he beamed when I stepped on stage, sang my heart out, and spit prose. Once off stage, he waited with open arms. I’m so proud of you, he expressed, smiling from ear to ear. I melted into him, thrilled to have the support and admiration of a man that I loved.
As for my father, when I was a sophomore in college, my sister had a dream that he had passed. She called me, panicked and sobbing in fear. She was going to call him, she said, before it was too late. I shrugged, pretending not to care. Days later, my father called. When I heard his raspy voice for the first time in 8 years, I froze. He wept and apologized. I nodded, unsure of what to say to the first man who had entered and exited my life so inconsistently.
Today, we are better, and so is my track record with men. I am still single but my abandonment issues, though persistent, are under control. My wounds? They have healed, leaving behind scars that only I can see. Still, I look forward to connecting with my father, who just took me out to dinner a week ago. We sat there, face-to-face, stuffing our mouths with chicharon de pollo, tostones, and rice and beans. He listened as I shared my creative goals and dreams of becoming a published book author, consultant, and business owner. He spoke words of encouragement and, in the end, told me he loved me and believed in me. I smiled, realizing how much I need him in my life. How good it feels to be acknowledged by my father. And so I celebrate my father. I celebrate him for admitting his mistakes, loving me in his own way, and embracing the here and now. I celebrate him for starting anew with his children, attempting to rebuild broken links. I celebrate him and all other men who have allowed me to be me, all of me.
I celebrate you. I celebrate you. I celebrate you.♥
Sujeiry Gonzalez is a professional writer/performer who relishes on all that is love. With vibrancy, honesty and a sassarific attitude, Sujeiry’s humorous love stories, relationship advice, and her Pepa Power™ connect with all women, warranting her the title of Sujeiry, 1st Lady of Love. Find Sujeiry daily on http://lovesujeiry.com!