My Boricua Dad just called me to tell me his cancer is in remission. While I listened to his good news, I was also especially keen on listening to the melody of his Spanish accent. Oh how I wish I could turn back time to reclaim the 17 years my wannabe-American mother forbade me to see him, to even talk to him. I wonder how my Newyorican life would have been different if he’d been more present in my life. I’m sure I would know more of my native language, given that Papi runs a Spanish language home. What a gaping wound it still is to not have command of my people’s native tongue. No matter how hard I try – classroom settings with Gringos, hundreds of dollars spent on Rosetta Stone – I’ve come to accept that my Spanish language skills will never be what they should have been. For now, at least I’ll have my Dad a little bit longer to listen to and soothe me.