"Even after you're all grown you still need your parents," he said. "I wish I still had my mom around. I still need her."
I agreed. I don't know what I would do without them.
He started telling me about one of his older brothers, Norberto. He said that he would visit their mom and dad many mornings. He was married, had three kids. He lived a few blocks away from my grandma and grandpa. He would knock on their door and he'd listen as their slow footsteps got closer. They would always answer, not upset because someone was knocking so early, but happy to see their son.
My grandma, Nena, would start the pot of coffee and my grandpa, Papiya, would tell him to stay while he walked to a nearby store to buy some rolls to have with their coffee. They would sit, talk, until breakfast time or until it was time for my uncle to head to work.
My dad wishes he could hear those footsteps that brought with them love and warmth. That were ready at any hour of the day, for their children.
I told him that that is how I feel when I go to their house. I can say I am only going to be there for a couple of hours, but the hours just seem to fly on by, without a hurry to go home. I can see it when my brother is there, too. He does the same sometimes.
I am blessed to have such a good relationship with my parents. Not every visit or talk goes smoothly, we all have our opinions, our own minds. But most of the time everything is fine. I can talk to my dad for hours and hours. We can start a conversation on the phone and continue on to something else. We can talk the next day about other matters and so it goes, on and on.
"Our conversations never end," he says. "We never feel full."
I think about how I will be when our kids, all grown, come knocking. I will have a smile on my face, happy to see them, ready to talk or listen. Just like my parents have done with my brother and I. Just like their parents did with them.