January 17, 2021
  • 10:02 am Straight Down the Chimney and Into Your (Digital) Hands: Special Holiday Edition of The Bulletin!
  • 2:44 pm Did You Wake up Looking this Beautiful?
  • 11:43 am A Long History for University’s Newest Major
  • 5:15 pm Issue 5 of Bulletin Live! Collector’s Item! Worth its Weight in Digital Paper!
  • 4:06 pm Special Election Issue
  • 4:03 pm Three best Latinx Halloween & Horror Short Films available now on HBO Max
  • 9:49 am Issue 3 of CSUDH Bulletin Live if You Want It
  • 3:24 pm Hispanic Heritage Month Update
  • 2:00 pm South Bay Economic Forecast Goes Virtual
  • 3:52 pm BREAKING NEWS: Classes for Spring to be Online, CSU Chancellor Announces
  • 9:39 am “Strikes” and Solidarity
  • 8:30 am March Into History: Just 5 in 1970, CSUDH Growth Shaped by Historic Event
  • 8:30 am Will the Bulletin Make Today Tomorrow?
  • 9:04 am Different Neighborhoods Warrant Rubber Bullets or Traffic Control For Protesters
  • 5:07 pm STAFF EDITORIAL: Even Socially Distant, We All Have to Work Together
  • 5:47 pm Transcript of CSUDH President Parham’s Coronavirus Announcement
  • 10:46 am Cal State Long Beach Suspends Face-to-Face Classes; CSUDH Discussing Contingency Plans
  • 5:26 pm Things Black People Should be Able to Get Away with This Month
  • 10:25 am Latinx Students Need a Place to Call Home
  • 2:35 pm Will Time Run Out Before Funds for PEGS? [UPDATED]
  • 5:18 pm Greatness Personified: Remembering Kobe Bryant
  • 8:41 am Year of the Rat? What’s That?
  • 6:20 am Artist Who Gave Life to Death and Inspired Countless Others Gets His Due at Dominguez Hills
  • 5:16 pm Why I’m Rooting for Dr. Cornel West
  • 5:00 pm Under Fire from the Feds, Vaping’s Future is Cloudy
  • 3:28 pm We’re Going to Need a Bigger Boat; Tsunami 3.0 Hits Campus, Enrollment Swells
  • 1:22 pm THE FIRST ISSUE OF THE BULLETIN IS HERE
  • 4:48 pm University Weathering a Wave of New Students
  • 9:21 pm The Bulletin’s Public Records Request Offers Springboard to Launch Gender Equity Discussion at CSUDH
  • 4:27 pm Black is the New Black: Raising the Capital on the “B” Word
  • 10:53 am Guns Up for Arrest: Student advocacy group pushes for CSU No Gun Zones–Including the Police
  • 4:09 pm Staff Editorial: Words on the First
  • 8:42 pm Carson Mayor Blasts Media, Landmark Libel Case in Keynote Address
  • 9:27 am Free Speech Week Calendar of Events Update
  • 6:02 am Food for Thought: 40% of Students are Food Insecure
  • 3:12 pm Academic Senate Rejects CSU GE Task Force & Report
  • 3:06 pm Work To Be Done
  • 5:56 pm ASI Elections: What You Need to Know
  • 8:02 pm CSUDH President Parham Announces Cancer Diagnosis
  • 9:47 am CSUDH Art Professor’s 20-Year Journey Results in First Local Showing of Film
  • 9:13 pm Free Speech or Free Hate area?
  • 9:08 pm CSUDH’s Best & Brightest Shine at Student Research Day
  • 9:05 pm Academic Senate Approves Gender Equity Task Force
  • 12:37 pm When Dr. Davis speaks, Toros Pay Close Attention
  • 3:38 pm Investing in the Future: Dr. Thomas A. Parham Reflects on the Past Eight Months and Contemplates​ the University’s Future
  • 3:24 pm Green Olive to Open By End of Feb; Starbucks Not Until Fall
  • 3:20 pm Gov. Newsom’s Proposed Budget Hailed for Extensive Funding Increases
  • 3:08 pm Out of the Classroom: Labor and Community Organizing Course Aims to Teach Students How to Organize for Social Justice
  • 2:54 pm The Other Route in Professional Sports
  • 9:02 am Hail to the New Chief, CSUDH President Thomas Parham
  • 3:36 pm Career Center Holds Major/Minor Fair
  • 5:34 pm After Unexpected Delay, Undocumented Becomes More Intimate Theatrical Production
  • 1:30 pm What to Expect When You’re Expecting New Buildings
  • 9:33 am The Most Family Bonding Time of The Year
  • 9:32 am How My Holidays Will Look Like From Now On
  • 9:31 am I’m Black but My Spotify Wrapped 2020 is All White
  • 9:51 am Old but Gold, The Glory of Toys
  • 9:51 am One Divorce and Double the Holidays
Story tips, concerns, questions?

By Melany Ruiz, Staff Reporter

My Christmas was not like the typical ones I always saw in the movies. Every year consisted of just, my mom, grandma and uncle, and me, my small, happy family. As an only child, I was the star of the show at every family get-together. Every year, we made tamales and ponche, Mexican punch, and I kept an eye on the clock, anxiously waiting for it to be midnight so we could open gifts. 

But it was missing one thing.

My father. But this holiday season will be different; I recently met my father after 20 years of knowing nearly nothing about him. 

It didn’t bother me until someone brought it up and I really began to wonder, “How come my dad never comes around for the holidays?” I never knew who he was or what he looked like. After all, aren’t your mom and dad supposed to be together when they have a kid? These were the questions 6-year-old me would always ask. 

I met my father before my 21st birthday in the middle of this pandemic. I had already come to terms with never meeting my father. All the tears I shed during father’s day, and all the special celebrations I had with his absence lessened as time went by. I didn’t foresee his presence in my life at all. 

For 20 years, there was this other part of me that I didn’t know about. I found myself questioning why I had features that were different from the rest of my maternal side of the family. Where did I get my nose? Where did I get my height? A whole biological side to me was completely alien.  

And then three years ago, I found out I wasn’t an only child when my stepbrother reached out to me on Instagram, but we never connected past a few exchanged messages. I am no longer the center of attention since I am the oldest sister of one brother and two sisters. 

This year the opportunity to reconnect with my father’s side of the family arose again. My uncle followed me on Instagram, since he also attended California State University Dominguez Hills at the time, I thought he was a student I might have met at a campus event. 

I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, as one does, and saw a photo of him and my brother celebrating their recent graduations. I was puzzled, and I wanted to know why in the world this random person who goes to my school was tagged in a graduation photo with my brother? I decided to reach out and low and behold he revealed to me that he was my uncle, my dad’s half-brother.

It’s crazy to think that my uncle and I crossed paths for the past three and a half years. We probably parked in the same parking lots, went to class in the same classrooms, and studied in the same places. 

My uncle invited me to a carne asada that my grandpa had that weekend. That was when the puzzle pieces all started coming together. For the first time, I saw a picture of my dad. We look so much alike. We had the same facial structure and eyes. Here, I was introduced to my grandparents, aunt and uncle.

Despite meeting all these new relatives, I was still terrified of meeting my father. I avoided meeting him for months. I decided to stick with my paternal grandparents, uncle and aunt. I was scared of rejection and I just didn’t know what to say or how I would act when I saw him. Four months passed by and I still didn’t have a name to his face. 

Then one day I had a random carpe diem moment, and I got the guts to call him up and meet him at a restaurant.

In the past, I had just about played every scenario in my head of how I would act when I would finally get the chance to meet him. There were times I saw myself crying when I met him and others where I was angrily cursing him off. 

He showed up at the restaurant with my three siblings and my stepmom.  

When we saw each other, he hugged me and I proceeded to hug everyone else. It was a bit awkward, and it played out to be very nonchalant with endless small talk. I guess I overestimated my emotions and didn’t realize that I would freeze when I actually came face to face with my dad. For starters, I didn’t even know how to start off a conversation with him. At times, I felt like I was being interviewed. He asked me all kinds of questions about my school, my hobbies, interests and church. I don’t blame him. Even though I am his daughter and he is my father, we are both still strangers to each other. 

If I am being honest, there are still a lot of unanswered questions I have about his absence and a whole build-up of abandonment and “daddy issues” that need unpacking with the help of therapy, but I am glad that the moment I was longing for finally came. I am happy to now be able to say I know who my dad is. 

My dad and I spent our first special celebration together for my 21st birthday. It was a bit exciting but I was really nervous because my dad and mom were going to see each other for the first time since they split up all those years ago. When he went to my birthday celebration, I found myself introducing him to my maternal grandma, aunt and uncle even though they already knew each other.

The nervousness disappeared as time went by, but it was really nice to eat my birthday meal with my siblings and my dad. We got to crack jokes together and I got to get to know him a little bit more.  

My family doubled in size this year. Not only did I meet my dad, but I also met my siblings, grandparents, my aunt, and my uncle. I now know that from now on, at every special celebration, they will be there. 

Christmas is around the corner, and although I am looking forward to the tamales and ponche that we make every year, I am also excited to spend it with my whole family, both maternal and paternal, all united and celebrating, safely of course. I can’t wait to see how my holidays will look from now on, even if it doesn’t look like your typical Christmas movie, I like it better that way. 

csudhbulletin

RELATED ARTICLES
LEAVE A COMMENT

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: