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By Mari Maldonado
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Although Father's Day was yesterday, my column was in actuality written
on Friday, before the fact, so I thought I'd dedicate it to the fathers
of our community.
Let's begin with the definition of a father. Webster's Ninth New
Collegiate Dictionary defines "father" as one who has begotten a child.
"Begotten," hmmm? - to create, procreate as the father.
Okay, so maybe the definition leaves room for description.
I was born out of wedlock and I was basically raised by my grandparents
after my mother went on to attend a training school in El Paso and then
later to continue her career as an administrative assistant.
My grandfather, who died in 1982, was "Daddy" to me. My biological
father lived in Pecos and still does, two blocks from where I reside
now, as a matter of fact, but to me, my father - or father figure, if
you will - will always be my grandfather.
It is he and my grandmother who are responsible for the development of
my person during my young and crucial years.
Don't get me wrong, my mom is my best friend and mother. I hold no
grudges for her actions; she was only doing what she had to do, and when
she came back to take me away with her I couldn't be separated from my
With his one good arm, and strong persona, my grandfather was the
influence in my life that made me feel like I could do anything I
wanted. My grandmother was the authoritative figure.
Now, without my grandfather, my stepfather, Robert Mendias, has taken
over the role of my father. Up until a few years ago he was "Robert" to
me, but now, after the past eight or so pivotal years of my life, I've
come to realize that Robert has been "Dad" in more than the definitive
sense of the word.
I suppose "begotten" is an appropriate term to be included in the
definition because a father not only creates biologically, but is also
responsible for creating the person and adult that emerges from his
children, be they biological, inherited, adopted, acquired through
marriage or whatever.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that Father's Day should be a day to
remember that one special male role. Not just the person resposible for
your birth, but rather the person responsible for making you who you are
Here's to you dads. Keep strong and don't forget the important role you
play in both your family and society.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mari Maldonado is an Enterprise reporter whose column
appears each Monday.
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