Two young Latino college students from backgrounds of poverty, with divergent life stories and roots, made vows to live life together--vows buffeted through five decades as their children were born and the couple's careers unfolded, vows tested as they evolved in their values and perspectives on matters miniscule and mighty. But the most vital of all held constant: their commitment to their family and one another. Thus is the foundation of Dearest Papa: A Memoir in Poems, by nationally-recognized author and former Poet Laureate Thelma T. Reyna.
The sudden death in minor surgery of Reyna's husband, eight months after their golden wedding anniversary, stirred deep despair well-documented in this book, but also reinforced the author's regret that, in our hurried lives, we often take one another for granted, failing to soulfully, regularly profess to our loved ones how precious they are to us. In this memoir, Reyna pays tribute to her husband (affectionately called Papa by their family and friends): his suffering when his health declined in his last years of life, his unmitigated devotion to his family, and the endearing goodness and excellence that defined his life and career.