Yesterday my cousin Yvonne posted a reminder of the fourteen year anniversary of her father passing away. He was my uncle by marriage and a great guy. His name was Miguel Delgado but many in the family called him Compi or Tio (Uncle) Mikey. In reading the reminder it brought back memories of his passing and all the fun times we had together. It also reminded me about the qualities we all loved about him and I still try to incorporate into my fathering style.
- He was one of the kindest of souls I’ve ever encountered. Tio Mikey was well known to family and friends as the guy who everybody liked. Nobody had a cross word or spoke ill of him. He always called me “USDA Choice” in mocking my Boston Bruins tattoo.
- He loved to joke and play with everybody, kids and adults. Tio had great relationships with all of the adults in the room but he also was great with kids. He used to harass me and other kids, all in good fun. Our family used to drive down to New York every summer to play for a few days. My heart used to race faster as we’d pull into the driveway on Springfield Boulevard in Queens, knowing that we’d all be tossing each other into the pool.
- He taught me how to fish. Every boy remembers his first time fishing and when Tio Mikey took me, Gil and Yvonne to a river in Puerto Rico it was a special treat.
- He was a good and loyal friend. Tio Mikey was my father’s best man at my parent’s wedding. He was a great friend to my parents and that never wavered. Whenever traveling to Puerto Rico, our first stop would be at the Delgado’s for a sopa and some bread from the neighborhood.
- He loved his five children very much. All of his kids, Mike Jr., Carlos, Hector, Yvonne and Gilbert grew up with a gentle and kind man as the head of their household. That was always obvious every time we visited and spent time together.
I’ve been blessed with many great uncles and family members and Tio Mikey sure is missed. However, his memories and what I see as his attributes I try to carry over into my children’s lives. I have plenty of examples from Tio to think about. That’s my take.