Written By Ashley Neyra
When I was in 1st grade, the class would take turns making a little book about you. Each kid would make a page in the book about their favorite memory with you or what they liked about you. As the class wrote, I got to make the cover for my book. “What color do you want it to be?” my teacher asked. I sat in my little chair contemplating about who I was going to show my book to. My mom and dad popped into my head. I thought about the few conversations I had with my dad and remembered he liked the color blue. In my little brain, I thought “If I make it blue maybe he’ll like it too!” “ Blue please,” I said in my (cooning) little voice. My teacher printed it out and soon my book was complete with my bold blue cover.
Growing up, I was always told I looked like my dad and acted like him. However, after a certain age, I stopped seeing my dad as much because he was working. It was the sacrifice. I got a roof over my head and all the things I wanted. But for years, I lost a relationship with my dad. Of course, I was always reminded by my mom “You’re just like your dad.” At the time all I could think of was, “What does that mean? I don’t know him.”
I didn’t know it then but I thought I could be strong. The reality was I needed him in my life but he nor I knew how to approach each other so we didn’t. Our silence consumed us both for years. All I could remember was that he liked the color blue.
It wasn’t until I was around 18 that I hit rock bottom with a relationship. Things got out of hand and my parents intervened. With my constant panic attacks and suicidal thoughts, I was never left alone. My dad didn’t live with me but that year he came over every day to spend the morning with me and make me my favorite vegetable soup that I only ate if he made it. Slowly, I found out there was more to him than just the color blue.
Later, after I left that relationship and mentally was doing a lot better, my parents told me one thing. That one thing they told me was I had come back to life. “I miss the sound of you laughing at stupid things” was something my mom would say often. The laugh I realized that I got it from my dad. Oh, and those so-called “stupid things” would make my dad laugh too. Once we discovered that… let’s just say my mom got annoyed at us fairly quickly when we were together.
The more I went out with my dad, I was able to stare at him. In my head I would think to myself “Interesting, I got his hair, some of his moles on the same spot of his face and arms. I even got his thick eyebrows.” But it was also nice to confirm that he still liked the color blue.
As the months went on I asked him several questions about how he came to the USA and as to why. He told me he decided to come on an impulse… Then he saw the grin on my face and started laughing because he knew exactly what I was going to say. I sarcastically go “Whoa, it’s almost like if I was your kid.” My dad smiled and told me everything he had done came full circle with me. He saw a lot of himself in me. Even the way I liked the color blue.
The more we talked the more I figured out he loved the ocean, the sky, the space, and even the rainy days. All of which were blue. All of which were the reasons why he ended up loving the color blue. But when I was little, I liked the color blue because it was my dad’s favorite color too.