By: Ed M. Colón
One common day but a special occasion for the Guzman family, many stories, many laughs but only one person with a fascinating story that catches anyone’s heart. Miguel Vega Valentin or better known in the family as “Mike” is the main character and it all began with the words growing is not so bad.
Then he continue his story saying “It all began in 1960 the good old days like my mother use to say I was born I was giving the name Miguel Vega Valentin and everything was perfect but then my father left us,” the look in his face as he was telling the story was of a peaceful and joyful man. Celia Guzman his wife said “Miguel’s mother is a wonderful woman, sure she is strict but never careless in fact I remember Miguel always calls her Mamita Brava,”
Miguel laughs and shared a memory in which he says “I remember in 1975, four days after my birthday I decided to go with my friends to play some baseball and I use to live in Arecibo but we when to San Juan to play baseball, my mother almost kill me when I got back home,” it was not a sad memory he seem so calm and happy to have share that with his family.
I asked him about his father and he replied “Not remembering my father made me a better man, I understand my family and I am always there for them no matter what, sure there are good and bad times but as long as we are together everything is alright,” Celia was sitting next to him and said “ Could not have say it better myself, I’m proud of you Mike”
A few minutes later while he continue his story there was something that mike said that was interesting he told us he had some rough times growing up with only his mother to raise him without a father figure but then he said something that shock us all it was “I could not ask for a better way to grow up. I learn to value everything in my life, to care for others , to be a good man and a good father,” he got up and as he was walking out of the room he said “Mi Mamita Brava that’s the woman that created this man and I will never forget it thanks to her I have wonderful stories to tell in my life.” That single expression of pure happiness in his face made everyone in the room smile.
His first job was in a Car Dealer, he spend one year working there, in fact he meet his wife and her father in that job. Celia was smiling while he told us “One day a beautiful woman who’s name was Celia Guzmán and her father Juan Guzmán brought a car, I could not get Celia out of my mind so I ask him if I could go out with her daughter” Mike was laughing because Juan Guzman gave him that Killer look but in the end Mike got his opportunity.
A while after Miguel came from nowhere and started talking about his jobs and said “Two months later I meet Celia’s brother and he told me he was going to work at a factory as a engineer and he offer me to work there and I could not resist the offer to I started working for shell’s two years later ended up in Avon in Barceloneta,” Celia then walked in and sat down close to Mike, listening to Mike’s stories like all his nephew’s.
Mike married Celia in 1989 and they moved to Isabela but he also said “I have a wonderful boy who has 20 years and my princess who has 14 years. I never been happier in my life,” He keeps saying to always remember to protect your love ones and never let them out of your mind.
The stories them change with him saying “Seeing my daughter grow from that little princess to a teenager and that fear of her falling in love is a process I will never forget,” with a dead serious look “My son looking at all his changes and is like looking in the mirror and seeing yourself grow all over again, this time with a father figure. My life is not perfect for others but to me this is all I need,” Mike almost cried of happiness while saying that calling his mother who has 83 years and still calling her “mamita linda” that’s something that makes any man feel love and spending time with my niece and all my family, he almost made us all cry.
His last words of that evening where “Looking back at all the hard work I say this life has been wonderful and I could not ask for anything better, there is no money in the world that could buy that from me,” the face of mike was full of wonderful yet not describable emotions, after that we all when our own ways but with a new idea in our heads “Growing up is not so bad”