His dad and I separated in January of 2007.

He was 9.

For more than a decade, his father barely looked him up.

Unbeknownst to all, His dad’s indifference caused Him unfathomable wounds.

He pretended everything was cool.

He was the funniest, most personable and popular kid at school.

Then one day, His 8th grade graduation came around.

I didn’t know how to tie His tie.

Elegantly dressed up in the middle of the day, we both went up and down the street.

We needed to find anyone that could tie his tie.

There was only one man in sight.

The cook in a local joint.

He was sitting on the steps of a house.

Smoking a cigarrette, he was on his lunch break.

From afar, I pleaded to the man: “Could you please help me tie his tie?”

He acquiesced.

As we approached, I perceived his clothes reeked of grease.

I hesitated.

My son’s impeccable tie could end up stained or smelling offensively.

Humbleness and grace kicked in.

He got right to it.

The man was not adept at the endeavor.

He probably hadn’t worn a tie in decades.

It took him a while, but he gave it his best shot.

The knot turned out lopsided.

Genuinely and enthusiastically, I thanked him for his gracious help.

He seemed almost embarrassed at my excitement.

Prior to that day, we had never crossed a word, greeting or glance before.

Thereafter, we smile every time we cross each other on the street.

During those years, I constantly tried to downplay the void of his father’s absence.

Inside, I held back my tears of anger that it caused me.

Even if His father fell short on the ideal role model.

Nonetheless, his doting presence would have made a world of a difference for Him.

Specially during those adolescent years that had just begun.

“I WAS TOO BLESSED, THAT IS MY PROBLEM” He told me recently.

“I’m sorry. I tried my best.”

He is now 21.

He lives with his father.

I have not seen him in months.

In the meantime, I take refuge in this prayer I received by email:

“God, show me how to see this.

Reveal your wisdom to me.

Lord. Show me the way.

One word will do.

One word is all I need”

– Caroline Myss

“Hope” has never left my mind thereafter.




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Ana Toledo

Ana Toledo

Puerto Rican warrior & targeted individual; fighting for equal environmental rights, one pipe at a time”. “Mi nada, a nadie se lo debo.” Julia de Burgos.