“Thank You For All The Useless Things You Have Given Us.”

My family members on my dad’s side of the family have a tendency to poke fun at each other, especially my dad and his siblings, and when someone does something that the others can make fun of them for, they hold it against them for as long as they can. One example of this is a story about my dad when he was little. My aunt joyfully told me the following story about her brother:


“My father (your Abuelo) [my grandfather], was a Doctor in Cuba. At times he would have to visit his patients on horseback—many of them lived in the country, and it was just more accessible that way. On one occasion, he took your dad to visit a family that needed treatment. When they arrived, he told José [my dad and her brother] to be still and behave—something that a four-year-old would have had a problem doing, but he really looked up to Dad. He knew that he was a very important person, doing a very important job. When Abuelo was finished, the family was so grateful to him, they wanted to pay him, but they had no money. Abuelo told them not to worry about it—they were poor. So they offered him things from the garden: a dozen eggs, a chicken, bread, and some vegetables. Abuelo was very gracious. He asked them to give it to his son, as he folded up his stethoscope packed up his doctor bag. He then turned to José and said, “What do you say?” José said, “Thank you for all the useless things you have given us.” Bringing up children is never easy…. [sighs].”