Most of my life, I could not grow anything, or at least I never had the desire to.
Then Dad died.
I cannot say what occurred in my mind, but a few months after Dad stopped breathing an idea formed and refused to leave my mind.
It was an idea based on respect, fear, and love.
As I dug my fingers into the soil and planted the Maple into ground, I felt a newness I’d never known existed. It was a calling from a distant place, an awakening of a forgotten endowment, a quickening of my spirit.
As a son of my Father, I am a possessor of innumerous gifts and abilities. Many I rarely consider; uncountable others I never use.
My hands moved on their own, as if practiced for generations, only to be employed at the chosen time.
My Dad was like that—he could grow things, for sure. But, when it became necessary, he could accomplish things other men could not.
This was the greatness of my Father—to be the leader of great objectives, to be the doer and accomplisher of impossible things, to be the protector of the weak and the vulnerable.
Somehow my father always had the answers. And if he didn’t, he could dig and find the solution to any problem.
He’s been dead nearly eighteen years and I still remember his energy and Life’s force. All of my life, I’ve lived in the shadow of a man so great that I never felt I could measure up.
Of all the things that people remember Dad for, it was his force and spirit for life that defined him.
It is how he lived that made him great.
Dad lived like forever. He never got old; he just died one day. He did the impossible so many times people came to expect it from him as an ordinary event.
Dad always stood for what was right.
Possessed with a photographic mind, my Father was a mathematical whiz. His calculations were always precise, managing to raise nine children and provide them with everything they needed to survive.
With a kind heart, he adopted a homeless kid and raised him as his own.
With equal precision, he virtually taught himself to read two languages.
His perfect math captured Mom’s heart; to his last breath, he loved her for over 50 years.
I am the son of Carlos Lerma Bolado. I come from an old bloodline that fears God, loves family and friends, and overcomes impossible obstacles to achieve great things.
Because I am a Bolado—I cannot quit.
I will never surrender my dreams. I will dare to reach for greatness, and maintain my high standards.
I will love, to my last breath, the idea of true love.
And in the brightness of my hope—I will be great.