I will get back to you as soon as I can ;)

~ Laarni

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Where my mind wanders, rests, and flows


Happy Birthday, Dad

Laarni San Juan

Today would have been my dad’s 111th birthday. Yes, I had an older dad growing up. He passed away when I was 34 years old. I learned SO MUCH from him. I LEARNED A LOT. He was a simple man who wore beige khakis and a pendleton, carried his keys on a silver chain attached to his pants, smoked a cigar, and played solitaire on a table next to our living room window. He followed where the sun would shine into our modest San Francisco home - he meticulously positioned his chair so that the rays of light hit his brown skin just perfectly. Because he was older, he reached the standard retirement milestone while I was still in elementary school. He patiently walked me to the neighborhood public school everyday (actually we were often the first ones on the foggy schoolyard). He had a routine that was predictable: he picked me up on time from school, cooked me scrambled eggs and rice, smoked his second cigar, read the afternoon newspaper he picked up during his earlier stroll in downtown, played cards and slept by 9pm. It was like clockwork. In the summers when I was on school break, we went to chinatown daily. We visited his buddies at the barbershop or at the playground who were playing poker, and then the best part for me was getting ONE piece of candy at the corner market. Such great memories! I had no idea what the chinese writing on the candy wrappers were but I knew they were juicy pieces of sugar that delighted me all throughout the bus ride home. When it was sunny, we detoured to the Woolworths in SF downtown and each grabbed a pizza slice. Once a week, I was allotted a coloring book that fit our budget. It was a great feeling of pride and ownership that I was adding to MY own library collection at home! These memories created an imprint for me that lives within my soul today. Brings a smile too <insert smiling face emoji here>. Predictability as a child taught me that the world can be stable. Taught me that living simple harnesses good will and a good life. My father valued my world, my education and wanted me to do more in school than he ever experienced from his 3rd grade school life. Although he repetitively told me the stories of working in the hot fields of California and the salmon packing in Alaska for 10 cents a day, it was after his passing that I finally understood WHY he shared those memories over and over and over. He wanted me to be industrious and to be productive. He wanted me to live my version of the American dream because I can. I have much more resources and means than what he had as an immigrant to the big ‘ol USA in the 1920s. He wanted me to be educated and learn as much as I can. Thank you, Dad, for setting a great example of what it means to live.