Father’s Day at Babalú: A tribute to the dad of the Babalú family

Jesus Prieto – February 15, 1931 – January 30, 2014

For all the dads out there, Babalú wishes them all a wonderful and joyous day. For many of us in the Cuban exile community, we recognize and honor the incredible courage and the unfathomable sacrifices our fathers made to ensure we would grow up in freedom and not as slaves to a tyrannical and murderous dictatorship.

As we did last year, on this Father’s Day we want to remember the dad of Babalú, Val’s father Jesus Prieto. Not only did he raise two magnificent children, but as the honorary dad of the blog, he raised us, the Babalú family as well.

Here is a special tribute to Jesus Prieto by Val at Tetecoso:

Father’s Day

Hi Dad. Yes it’s been a while.

I’m good Dad. The family is doing well, too.

Yeah, I know. There are good days and bad days. But like you’ve always told me, I try to focus on the good days and not dwell on the bad days. Or fight what I can’t change.

Of course I miss Mom. Not a day goes by where I don’t think of her. We all miss her. We miss you, too.

I know I know. We should try to get on with life. Not dwell on your loss since we can’t change it. But, you and Mom were pretty awesome. So unique. Larger than life. We were lucky to have you.

Don’t say that, Dad. You and Mom went above and beyond for us. And despite the circumstances, despite the way your world changed around you and despite all those broken dreams, you and Mom struggled through it. Made new lives and sacrificed and toiled so that we could live our own dreams without anyone dictating what those dream should be. That’s an incredible gift you gave us.

Stop that, Dad. You did more than enough. We live by our own auspices, freely. Because of you. Because of Mom. Because of you and Mom. What more can a mother and father want for their children?

The grandkids? They’re great. The greatgrandkids, too. Plus, Dad, we added one more to the greatgrandkids tally this year. Beautiful baby boy.

Yeah, her first. The kid kinda looks like you sometimes. He’s definitely got your hands. Big ole hammers like yours. He’s gonna be a big boy.

You were there, Dad. Every second of the way. She held a locket with your photo throughout the whole giving birth ordeal. Not that she needed it. We all carry you in our hearts every moment of every day.

Of course I cried. You know me. You would have cried, too.

You should be really pleased, Dad. And proud. Like I said before, you and Mom raised a great family.

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