Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Always Wanting More - Alfredo Guajardo Morales
In few short hours we will bury my Dad. He died 4 days ago just shy of his 78th birthday.
Although expected, his death was still a bit of a shock especially for my mom who was convinced he would out-live her based on the life line on his palm. When we told her, she kept looking at her palm rubbing her thumb along her life line in disbelief.
Growing up, my Dad was practically mythical. He was involved in everything and exceptionally well connected. We considered it normal to have the Mayor over for parties, to be on a first name basis with judges, and to always be in the 4th of July parade. Even with our own activities, our parents were involved. If there was a project or a committee, my Dad would be on it, making things happen.
His involvement bled over to political arenas where he quickly became involved in many campaigns. I learned my way around, by mapping the streets of my town, walking precincts. He was in service clubs, on boards, and just had this way of making things happen. Once, he organized groups of low-riders for a neighborhood street cleanup to combat their bad image.
Looking back on it now, I realize where I get my own tenacity, because my dad was simply never satisfied. When he went in the Air Force, he was deemed too short to be a pilot, so he took one of the most dangerous jobs he could get on a plane without flying it. He was a flight mechanic on a typhoon chaser out of Guam. After the Air Force, still determined, he took private flying lessons and learned to fly single engine air craft. One of the proudest days of his life I think, was when he flew his own plane back to Texas to see family. I'd never seen him happier.
My Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's about 12 years ago. One of his doctors called it the "long goodbye." He was right. Sadly, most of my kid's recollections of their grandfather is of him being forgetful, not the man I knew.
Alfredo Guajardo Morales was born in San Antonio Texas in 1934. He lived life to the fullest, and taught me everything I know about always wanting more. Although we commit him to the ground today, all I can think is, "just keep flying Dad."