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Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Husband is Puerto Rican

Have you ever been in a situation where you suddenly find out the person you are with is not who you thought they were? A friend of mine while we were driving through the city, said "Lock your door, this is the Puerto Rican section." My response, "Did you know my husband is Puerto Rican?" She laughed, not just a little, but a lot. There are pictures of my husband on my blog, you can see why she thought I was kidding, but I wasn't. Mark is about 6'5" on a good day, he may be shrinking with age so his height seems to vary now! He is pale and a strawberry blond with green eyes that change color often between a greener green and a blueish green. His shoulders are broad, which is good because he carries much weight on them. His look may not be of a stereotypical Puerto Rican, but his heritage is. Mark's Grandfather came here as a young man to build a better life for himself. He was always thought to be about sixteen years old in the stories passed down, but recently the family has discovered he may have been even younger. Papa, as Mark's family called him, came with a group of boys and worked hard for themselves and their family back in Puerto Rico. Fast forward one hundred plus years, his family has thrived. Mark's Mom has four siblings, three of which have gone to college, pursuing higher education was important to Papa. The youngest sibling, who did not attend college formally,  is diagnosed with developmental disabilities that prevented him from pursuing higher education. He, Uncle Steve, lived with his Mother and Father, protected from the outside world in a small upstate town. Papa's wife, Mark's Grandmother, died when Uncle Steve was a young man. I believe he was only sixteen years of age. So Papa and Steve took care of each other until Papa's passing in the late 1980's. At which time Uncle Steve moved in with his big sister, Mark's Mom. At the time Mark was living at home and attending the local community college. So to keep Uncle Steve occupied, he tagged along with Mark to college most days. There he was included in classes or because he is a talented pianist, he'd would play piano in one of the rehearsal rooms. That is one of the many stories about Mark that made me fall for him. Here he was, attending a college, having fun as a young adult, but thought nothing of having Uncle Steve tag along. Now remember this was LONG before our daughter Teale was born with severe brain damage and developmental disabilities as a result. Mark has truly, always had a good heart and a sense of all people are deserving of respect. I still love the image of Mark in class, Uncle Steve by his side and the camaraderie that Uncle Steve and he shared. A man who had been protected, somewhat isolated from the big world, but Mark chose to welcome him into his life, exposing him to much. I love this about Mark, his pushing Uncle Steve to step outside his protected world, giving him an experience we often still talk about. It is like the good old days stories, when Uncle Steve went to college with his nephew. By the way, I met Mark and Uncle Steve during this time. Mark and I met on a local co-ed recreational softball league. Mark brought Uncle Steve to the games and he became part of our team. (to read more about our meeting  So, the long story short, Mark is one quarter Puerto Rican. Looking at him you probably would not guess it, but I have found myself in many interesting positions because of our looks. Many people seem to assume Mark and I are "just typical Caucasians." They have said things to us like I experienced in the car that day. I know Beau has won many bets when people doubt his Puerto Rican heritage. When Beau was in elementary school they had International Day. All the kids dress up in a costume of their heritage, Beau picked Puerto Rican. The kids marched in a parade behind the sign of where they were from. Beau, my blond haired, blue eyed son, marched with one other girl behind Puerto Rico. I was in the hallway watching the parade when he came by and could hear many people say "How is Beau Bradley Puerto Rican?" Many also asked me directly, but even then they questioned what I told them, that my husband is Puerto Rican. Yes, my husband really is Puerto Rican, so maybe our family is just one more example of  it's best to"Not judge a book by it's cover!"


  1. I really like your take on the issue. I now have a clear idea on what this matter is all about..
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