DNA Don’t Lie (El Niño, El Niño)* 4

I saw my father for the first time since I was 2 years old on my recent trip to Florida.

When I saw him there was no doubt about how our DNA connection.

iStock photo

I was formed by him despite not being informed by him (like I would have if he’d been part of my life previously).

He is everything  (or at least half) of who I am and nothing that I am at the same time.

His nickname is Niño and, like he had a few years back,  he agreed to see me. This time it actually happened.    I wrote a post on this blog in 2007, Lacking a Father’s Love, that rants about him and talks about my disappointment in not meeting him, so I won’t re-rant here.

Surprisingly, I didn’t feel a need to rant when I saw him.  I decided I wanted to meet him and see him for myself.  I was going to be near his home. There was a shock of recognition when I saw him.  “That’s him,” I thought.  “That’s my father.”  I was calm as our conversation skimmed the surface of everyday banter. I watched as he charmed the waitress.  He is a charmer, highly opinionated, and has a striking physical presence.

We look alike.
We talk alike.
We’ve got a nose and big feet alike.
(What a crazy pair. Nah, really, we’re not like the twins played by Patty Duke on the old Patty Duke Show.)

There’s really not much more to say.  I didn’t get to hear him play the piano – he’s a jazz pianist.  I didn’t get answers to previously asked questions – but I didn’t ask any either.

What would be the point at this point in my life?

He is my father, my seed, half of who I am and nothing to who I am.

I understand how he charmed my mother.  I appreciate that in many ways my sister and I dodged a bullet (or two or three) by not being raised by him.  I also understand that we missed some additional things (like the opportunities his financial contribution to our upbringing would have provided) and the impetus, from his example, to continue our piano lessons.

Oh, well…


*This title comes from the line in a song sung by Shakira in which she sings “hips don’t lie” and Wyclef Jean says in the background, “Shakira, Shakira.”

About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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4 thoughts on “DNA Don’t Lie (El Niño, El Niño)*

  • jim

    I woke up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, read this post, among other things, and then went back to bed to sleep at peace with the world. Nice going.

  • Duane Staggers

    In your blog from March 1, 2011, you didn’t indicate whether you expected to have a continuing relationship with your father, and I don’t want to place you in an uncomfortable situation. However, if you have maintained a relationship, and your Nino Silva is the Nino Silva I knew aboard the USS Iowa, I would enjoy talking to him after all these years. Nino was the pianist for the ship’s band, and I was the pianist for the “flag” band also stationed aboard the Iowa at that time. Although I enjoyed his friendship aboard ship, our’s was a brief friendship, because, the Flag Division followed the admiral when he moved from one ship to another, and we weren’t on the Iowa all that long. I would enjoy hearing from Nino if you’re able to put give Nino this note.

    • Candelaria Silva Post author

      I am just seeing this and subsequent message. I am not in touch with Nino other than to send an occasional card but I do have his contact info.
      I will forward your request to him. I am sure he will be pleased to hear from someone who knows him from that time. All the best to you. How did you find my blog?