You’re probably wondering who those random Mexicans are in the picture at the top, give me a second to explain. From left to right it’s my cousin Paco, my Tio Beto, my cousin Little Angel, and last but not least, at the front the picture it’s my Tio Ricardo. As you can see the three in the back look like they just saw a ghost, on the other hand my Tio Ricardo looks like he’s walking up to a girl at a bar looking like he’s about to shoot his shot. I wrote a story a few months ago after the Cowboys and Steelers game when my family all met up.
In the story I talk about how I unfortunately grew up in a Cowboys family and I had one Uncle who shared the same dislike for the boys in blue. My Tio Ricardo is a huge Steelers fan and was actually in Pittsburgh for that game. Now that he was back in town it was him, my cousins husband Junior, and myself rooting against the Cowboys. Now, the whole family was here and if you know how we Mexicans roll, then you know we roll deep. Long story short, it was my Tia Rosana’s 50th birthday. My Tia Rosana is a cancer survivor and one of the strongest people I know, throughout the whole process she has never lost her spirit. Never once has this disease broken her and for that she will forever be one of my heroes.
My Tio Paco organized the whole surprise party, it was an event for the ages. The family kept it a secret, we had family fly in from Phoenix, Dallas and Houston and no one said a word to her. My Tio Dominic, my Tia Rosana’s husband, is a DJ. He told my Tia that he was playing a gig at a hotel and he wanted her to “come help set up.” What was really happening was the whole clan was waiting in the conference room and we were going to surprise her when she walked in.
We got the text that they arrived so we turned off the lights and waited for them to walk in. Btw, trying to keep a family of intoxicated Mexicans quiet is Top Five hardest things to do, especially when half of them have noise makers. I re-watched the video the next morning and all I could hear was my Tia Ana yelling, “SHHHHH.” Anyways, the doors open, they turn the lights on and everyone yells, “SURPRISE!”
The look on my Tia’s face was priceless. I’m pretty sure we scared the hell out of her at first, after the initial shock she let out the loudest scream I have ever heard in my life. I was standing at the very front of the crowd, I saw her eyes scan the room and when her eyes locked on my grandpa, her pops, I saw her eyes fill with tears. I could see she was filled with emotion so I walked over to her and grabbed her. As I held my Tia in my arms she looked up at me and the look in her eyes I will never forget. I told her this was all for her and she couldn’t even muster up a single word to say to me but she didn’t have to. It was a beautiful moment for the family, something I’ll really never forget.
Back to the picture, my Tia’s birthday was the reason we gathered but it happened to be the day before the big game. This picture was taken a few seconds after Mason Crosby kicked his game winning 56 yard field goal against the Cowboys last night. My girlfriend captured a picture that spoke a million words, only thing better would have been if she was in the picture to make it shine. (I had to fellas, cut me some slack) The back three guys are Cowboys fans, and well, you can probably imagine how they were feeling at that point and time. My Tio Ricardo on the other hand, was just as happy as myself that the Cowboys lost.
The ENTIRE game, like every game throughout my childhood, there was trash talk ALL GAME LONG. It’s such a beautiful scene to be apart of. It’s not for the faint of heart, it can get pretty damn heated at times. My uncles are passionate fans, they ride for the Cowboys the same way I ride for the Los Angeles Lakers. To be honest, that’s something I’ve always respected about them, they will fire back if you run your mouth about their team. It always goes back and forth between us. Looking back at it, I see where I got my ability to debate and give an educated opinion.
Both of my moms brothers are college educated-articulate men and will run circles around you if you aren’t ready. My dad left my family when I was younger, and eventually went on to start a new family. My Tio Beto and Tio Paco were the ones I got those coming of age man talks. They were there to give me that tough love when I was younger and still to this day as a 26-year-old man. I learned how to be a man through watching them and even though I know I’ve disappoint them before, I hope to make them proud with everything I aim to achieve in the future. Because of them I learned to use logic and then speak my opinion or else my voice was not valid. Without their influence, and every single family member who made it to Austin this weekend, I don’t know where I’d be.
My mom had me at 16 years old, man. I wasn’t supposed to be anything, I was supposed to be just another statistic. You should not be reading my story on your iPhone, or Mac, or iPad. Spanish was my first language. To this day I speak Spanish to my mother and grandparents. I’ve learned to master the English language and now hope to make a living off of it for the rest of my life. I had open heart surgery at the age of five, I wasn’t supposed to play sports. I was supposed to have limitations as a kid and through my adult life. But I didn’t and I don’t. Through all those tough times my family was there, I never had to question it. I always knew I had an army behind me. There was one other thing that was always a certain. If it was Sunday and the Cowboys were playing, it was about to go down at someone’s house.
The Dallas Cowboys have been apart of my life as long as I can remember. It was at those family gatherings that I learned a lot. Whether it be from sports or just shutting the hell up sometimes and take in some of my uncles wisdom. I guess when you think about it, the Cowboys aren’t that bad.