A Fathers’ Day letter for my husband, Jorge

Jorge, Joanna, Carlos and Maggie Rosado, 2002

In late April of 1981, just outside the brightly-lit delivery room of the Clinica de Merida, you met your son, Carlos. Because he cried during the post-natal tests, his face had turned bright red and little gasps punctuated his breathing. From my prone position on the gurney wheeling along behind him, I looked to you for reassurance. You nodded your head up and down. I could see the wonder in your eyes and hear the joy in your sigh. I could feel gratitude spilling out of you, filling the air around us. We had overwhelming reasons to be grateful. Eleven months and two weeks prior to this moment, you’d held a different little boy and we thought we were starting our family. But our first son did not live beyond his third day.  

To feel such love for the baby you had in your arms, mixed with the anguish of losing his older brother is still my ultimate teetering-on-the-brink moment – and you felt the same – I could see that. But the strength you summoned from deep inside yourself brought me back from the edge. You kissed me and you promised me you would be the best dad you could possibly be. I believed you and my faith turned out to be well-placed.

Three years and nine months later, in early January of 1985, Maggie joined our family. You had no sisters and I could see your look of uncertainty. How should you act with this little girl? All sorts of expressions and grimaces crossed over your face, and then your mouth settled into the widest smile I’d ever seen you make.

For all these years, you have loved your son and daughter unconditionally. When they were newborns, you got up in the night as soon as they cried. You changed their diapers, and brought them to me to nurse. You played down on the floor with them. You read to them. You provided every opportunity you could, and you taught them about your country. You also insisted they learn about mine. More than me, you made English our home-language and thanks to your efforts, Carlos and Maggie have two native languages. Striving for excellence was not merely an option for our children,

Of course there were times when our son and daughter rejected your opinions and advice. This is a normal part of growing up and becoming independent.

But you have always done what you believed was necessary in order to keep them safe. You tried hard to help them understand why you insisted they conform to certain norms. They have learned a great deal from you. They have received true love. They’ve had a stellar example to follow. And we have learned from them, felt loved by them, and we find ourselves following their example more and more. The way of things is unfolding as it should.

When Carlos and Maggie were little guys, I would often ask them – Didn’t I find the very best dad in the whole wide world for you? They’d jump up and down to show their agreement.

Now they don’t do that, They grow quiet and I see their acknowledgement. They have come to see that you don’t need to agree with your dad all the time, to know for sure that he is the BEST DAD IN THE WORLD.

Published by Changes in our Lives

I am originally from Canada but have lived in Mexico since 1976. My husband is from Merida, Yucatan and we raised our family here. We both worked for many years at Tecnologia Turistica Total (TTT), the tourism, language and multimedia college we founded for local and international students. Now retired, we enjoy spending time with family and friends, My other interests include reading, painting, cooking and travel.

11 thoughts on “A Fathers’ Day letter for my husband, Jorge

    1. Dearest Hanneke, You met Jorge in the very beginning. You and Burke have visited us in Merida and we have remained true friends despite our separation by many miles. You know Jorge well and I remember always how you told me, “You picked the right guy.” Love is a complex but wonderful thing, isn’t it?

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    1. Thank you Marianne … I am thinking of you today as you wing your way north with another of the “world’s best dads”. Dedication to their children is not often taken as seriously as our husbands took it. Parenting is not easy, but I think you’d agree it provides life’s greatest accomplishment .

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  1. What a very moving piece, Joanna. You brought out my tears. Thank you for this intimate glance into your family! Please give Jorge a hug and tell him I sent it! Have a great day! xoxo Alex

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    1. Thank you for writing. I gave Jorge your regards and he said, “I hope we can see that couple soon.” COVID has put a damper on our ability to see friends like you and John, but this won’t last forever and we’ll once again share time together… in person!

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  2. So beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes. Powerful but oh so loving and honest. Love you all. My favorite family.

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  3. When I was a child, we kids had a favorite aunt, but she was not related to us through family. Auntie Marg was my mother’s former roommate, a fellow nurse who shared many of Mom’s best qualities. Carlos and Maggie think of you rather like we considered Auntie Marg. How lovely that our feelings are matched. To be called your “favorite family” does us great honor.

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