Ever since I was a kid I was interested in learning people’s stories. After escaping a situation of extreme domestic violence, me and my family moved into a shelter in South Carolina. It was a very serious and scary situation. The people who ran the shelter seemed nice, but as always it wreaked of the institution smell that was some mix of bleach and fumes from the fluorescents lighting. I’m not sure if there are actual fumes from the lighting, I’m not a scientist. We spent only a short time there because they quickly arranged for us to go back home to California. I should mention for the sake of painting the picture, that we spent just over a year there and I had adopted the southern draw. Yes, I was a little Mexican kid with a southern accent. I imagine that it was odd to hear.
The shelter paid for all of us to go on a greyhound journey back to California. It was long and grueling but it did afford me the time to quench my thirst for stories. I heard stories of family reunions and impulse decisions to shake things up. I met former jailbirds who gave cautionary tales hoping to save me the troubles they ran into. One story that stuck out to me was the story of the Frenchman. I’m sorry but I really do not remember his name, I’m sure it was very French. I met him while sitting in the back of the bus. I liked sitting back there because most people didn’t. I had more leg room and space to sprawl out when I was tired. On a almost two week journey you begin to value some space when you’re on a bus the whole time. Most people steered clear of the back seats because of the proximity to the bathrooms, although a drawback of my chosen real estate on the bus, it was worth the sometimes overwhelming smell. The Frenchman was interesting. He had travelled all the world and paid his way by making artisan jewelry. He had beads that he had collected from all over the world. He told me about friends that he had made and family members that spanned all over Europe and South America. His stories were mesmerizing. I was always the annoying kid that wanted to be involved in whatever the grownups were talking about, but that trip really gave me a love of people’s stories. It also gave me. A lot of ideas of what I wanted for my future.
Fast forward 20 years and many more misadventures, I now have made a career telling my story all around the world and helping people through their own life stories. I have overcome a lot of stuff in my life and I have made it my mission to help others do the same. It is for this purpose I am happy to announce the launch of my book Dad In A Day: When My Mom’s Kids Became My Own. This Project has been a labor of love. (And continues to be, the first draft will be done by December 2016) I have felt the need to share my story for two reasons. The biggest reason why I want to share is for the simple fact that my story is not uncommon. There are many people who grow up ashamed of their past. I was and sometimes I still am. The power of being open takes away the sting. I want to encourage others to do the same. The most compelling reason I wanted to share my story is my Mom. My Mom was not a person that could easily be put in a box. She experienced a lot of pain, and trauma in her life. Some things I will never know the full impact of. In all of that pain and hurt she still had the courage to share with people in her own story, even the ugly parts. She helped a lot of people by sharing her story. I grew up with her engaging complete strangers sharing her story in the hopes that it would help them. I am continuing with the family mission. I can’t wait to share this project with all of you! Stay tuned for early release info and other ‘Dad in A Day’ announcements. For pre-orders go to dadinaday.com, and for any questions enter your contact information below.