When I was a little girl, I remember I had this picture of my father. He was wearing a black suit, a white shirt and a black bowtie and to top it off, he had this very thick black mustache that beautifully complimented his dark brown face. I was young so I didn’t understand the complexity of my parent’s divorce or why one day I lived with Papi in Santo Domingo and the next day I lived with Mami in America without Papi. I ignored the intricacies of their separation because it didn’t add up to me—I just didn’t get it. I do however remember crying every single night as I held his picture. I listened to this song by Selena called Fotos y Recuerdos (Pictures and Memories), where she says, “All that’s left of your love is fotos y recuerdos.” I recall missing him like one misses—I really can’t compare it to anything, I just know that it was the kind of missing that hurts the soul so much, that you can feel it in your gut.
A few days ago, my uncle showed me this picture of my dad that had inexplicably appeared in his car. It was of course, exactly the same picture that I use to have, this one being much smaller than mines (come to think of it, maybe it was the exact same size but because I was so little, the picture seemed bigger at that time). I don’t know where my copy went; I think it might have literally disappeared with all of the tears that fell on it.