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  • Classmates never understood my family tree, even after my attempts to explain with drawings and biblical stories. It goes something like this: I grew up in El Salvador with my mom and sister in the apartment building where my dad grew up. He lived 35 minutes away with his wife and my two half-brothers. His third daughter, my half-sister, lived nearby with her mom. An unconventional family, but it’s my family. There were bad moments, but I mostly remember the good ones, like eating ice cream at the park or yelling from the balcony for the man pushing the sorbete cart below to wait for us. Us kids have grown up and moved all over the world, but my papá still lives in El Salvador. We met up two years ago after several years apart, just the two of us, and spent a couple of weeks together. We shared trips, stories, food, and lots of conversations. And ice cream. Only this time, it was my treat.

    This story was first published as part of PictoryMag's "Are You There, Dad?" showcase in June 2010. My dad passed away on Thursday, October 11th, 2012 at 12:10pm. I will always cherish his life.
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