Sometimes I’m just like my mother. I can be stubborn and stoic. I baby talk to dogs, eat sugar-free candy, and always want to do people’s makeup. I’m definitely Blanca Nora’s daughter.
But as much as I may take after my mother, there’s no denying I’m daddy’s little girl. We have the same logical approach, the same sense of service to the community, and the same ethical values.
Growing up, I always looked up to my dad, and was even a little competitive with him. When he graduated from law school and passed the bar, I was in first grade and decided I was going to be a Supreme Court justice. (Ha!)
Over the years, as I watched and admired my dad I learned some strong lessons about service and family. Today, those lessons are paying dividends. As an attorney, my dad was always focused on helping his community. He didn’t have to come to South Tucson to practice, but he did because he loved this community.
This weekend I had a call from one of my clients asking if he could bring his mom to meet me. He’s a young man, barely an adult, and his mom is helping him pay for his immigration papers. The mom has had some bad experiences in trying to get immigration papers prepared before — she’s given money to a fly-by-night shop who took her money then closed before they delivered her papers. I understand her concerns. Immigration is a scary process, and putting the fate of you and your family into the hands of a stranger can be particularly scary.
The Senora came to meet me on Saturday, and I laid out my credentials as best I could — my education, my experience, my volunteer work in the community. I pointed at my framed degrees, my Supreme Court license, etc. It was not too long before she was at ease and feeling comfortable asking me questions and making plans. But there was still something –something– holding her back.
Then her son asked me, “Isn’t your dad an attorney? What is his name?” When I told them, the Senora lit up. It turns out my dad had helped her family a few years back. Something awful had happened (a child had been shot) and my dad had come in and saved the day (the child wasn’t forcibly deported by the hospital). Go Dad!
The next thing I knew, the Senora told her son to schedule the next available appointment to get her immigration paperwork done. Some people might take offense at this — the idea that the family is doing their paperwork with me because they trust my dad. But I don’t. My dad, Fernando X. Gaxiola, has spent the past thirty years building a reputation in this community as someone you can trust, someone you can turn to, and someone who is here to help the community. If I can help carry on that family reputation, through QuikHelp, I am more than happy to do so.
I’m daddy’s little girl, and I’m damn proud to be so.
Love you, Pops.