My Father-in law And Me by Jackie Villarreal Nájera

When I got married I wasn’t sure whether my father-in law would like me. He liked to tell stories. Many of them he tell over and over again.   I did  listened  to the repeated stories. He seemed to like that .Five  years into my marriage,  I  finally called him Pop. When he wasn’t telling stories, he liked working on jigsaw puzzles. Sometimes I would help him and worked on puzzles that were usually thousands of pieces. I was not very good at puzzles.

In my home, we were not allowed to play games or work on puzzles. We were only encouraged  to read books. My family way of life was excellent too.

As I  would sit with Pop I  tried to  find a puzzle piece. He always complemented me when I found one. He knew working on puzzles was not my forte.

Pop decided to move to a small town in California called Paso Robles. We were living in a town nearby named King City. We asked him to live with us but he said he would be too much trouble. We went to see him almost every weekend. When we didn’t show up he would come see us. We decided to give him a key to our home.

One day I was taking a shower when I heard the door open. I walked out just with a towel   wrapped around my body and there stood Pop. I was a bite nervous but he seemed all right with it. I ran back to get some clothes on.

Pop then decided to move to Mexicali, Mexico. He grew up there and he said he had some relatives there. Later I found out his brother had adopted his niece. He thought of her as a real niece. We often went to see Pop in Mexico and he still  continued to  worked on puzzles. When  we visited him I always ended up working on puzzles with Pop.

There are a few  reasons I decided Pop actually liked me. I once told him that I was going down the street and look at piñatas.  Since he was hard of hearing he did not hear what I said. When I returned, my husband told me that Pop was upset. I asked why?”. He said Pop thought I was mad at him.

Tell him I went to look at piñatas.” I said.

Pop became really comfortable with me through the years. When working on puzzles he wore only his long johns. Once, his daughter Theresa called and said she was visiting. Pop rushed to his room to change his clothes to put on his pants and shirt.

That’s when I discovered that Pop really liked me and felt comfortable around me.





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