A Father Is Someone You Look Up To No Matter How Tall You Grow

By: Kenneth Raices Rivera

Get to know your father before you ever fight with him because you never know what he has been trough to get you where you are. A father who devotes his whole life at work for his kids and his family plus has been there for them every birthday, graduation and important moment in their lives is a father to look up to, not fight with.

Héctor Raices Rivera, a middle aged man who sits with a glass of water in his hand thinking of his family with tired eyes was born in Lares, Puerto Rico on October 1968, at the time the local hospital did not have a birth unit, it was a hassle having him there and taking him as fast as possible to Arecibo where they had the birth unit.

He grew up in Barrio Quebrada of Camuy, raised by Anastasia Rivera, a housewife, and Francisco Rivera, a farmer. As a kid he loved riding his bicycle with his brother; he went to Lares riding his bicycle because it was far and he had a lot of fun.

As a kid it was not all fun and games like today. His family was very poor and he lived in a humble house with his seven brothers. Because of this and all the needs his family and him had, he had to take a six-moth job in agriculture in New Jersey but his plane ticket had another person’s name. At the airport Hector had to portray this guy, at the time this was called immigration. He was 17 when he worked as a migrant farm worker picking tomatoes and peppers.

When he came back he started working at a shoe factory called Dexter. After this Héctor started going to church and attending the youth group where he met a tall green eyed girl called Marilyn Rivera Lugardo. They started dating and within a year they became girlfriend and boyfriend. After seven years of relationship they decided to get married.

Their first child was named Kenneth Raices Rivera. Héctor was really happy because he wanted a boy. At this time he was working as a security guard in a company called Rangers. Hector worked at the company for very little time before joining a correctional facility were he worked for two years. His jobs are related because what he loves; as a kid he used to shoot birds with a pale gun. Héctor admires the uniforms and everything about correctional officers. The way the navy blue uniforms go with the black boots and the company logo in the shirt is what he lives for.

After Kenneth’s birth, Kelvin Joel Raices Rivera came into Héctor’s life. He switched to night shifts in the correctional facility in order to have time with his kids during the day. The job got a lot harder because he did not sleep during the night and just a little during the day. He went to all their activities like graduations, honor rolls, basketball games and every time they needed him he would be there.

Recently his mom passed away and it has very hard for the whole family because they were very close. Héctor is currently having his toughest times. The economy here is Puerto Rico is bad and an opportunity opened up in Delaware; he had to give everything up and move to the United States with his wife and younger son. The hardest part is leaving his oldest son here in the island because he is studying in the university. Hector is currently in the island finishing everything and visiting his son before heading back to Delaware.

His older sons girlfriend Sofia says that for the time she has known him he is a great dad and family chief. Héctor would sacrifice everything for his family’s well being and would never want anything to happen to them. He has left stuff behind just to look for a better future for the family as a whole.Héctor going to another country, fighting and working so that his family never goes through any problems.

Héctor is a working man, a fighter who gets what he proposes to. He is a man with a really big heart. Maybe if you see him you could think he is too serious but get to know him and you will see it’s the exact opposite. Héctor with his navy blue uniform and the black boots drinks his last sip of water, gets up and walks away to another day at work.

Hector, 46, in a  new year's party. Very happy of the family he has and another great year of being a dad.

Héctor, 46, in a new year’s party. Very happy of the family he has and another great year of being a dad.

Héctor and his to sons, Kenneth Raices and Kelvin Joel in front of their house in 2007. "This is what being a dad is all about". (Héctor Raices).

Héctor and his to sons, Kenneth Raices and Kelvin Joel in front of their house in 2007. “This is what being a dad is all about”. (Héctor Raices).

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