To her, the name of father was another name for love.
Today’s story is from Summer Puente.
On occasion, we share a story that cuts deep, so deep that the customary “life lesson” seems extraneous. A story that confounds the traditional paradigm of what a father should be, and reveals the boundless potential of what a father can be.
In the words of Summer Puente…
“This is my dad. With him is my eldest sister, Sonny.”
“She’s got the cognitive ability of a two or three year old, with limited speech and mobility and function. Like a baby, trapped within the temperament of a toddler and in the body of a young woman.”
Summer recounts a time when she came home from college on winter break…
“I remember her screaming from the moment she woke up until my dad got home. Screaming like an inconsolable infant, screaming like a newborn with the lung capacity of an adult. She probably kept screaming into the night, but I’d always take the family car and leave the minute our dad walked in the door. I couldn’t handle it.”
Summer also reveals that her dad is a single dad…
“He’s the kind of man that had a family young. He works whatever jobs he must, he’s been sober for 23 years, and a single dad for 13. He’s one of those remarkable people who’s suffered more than they deserve, yet continues to love unconditionally.”
“A good man, a better father. How do you honor someone so remarkable?”
“I’m one of his daughters, and there are fewer things in this world I’m prouder to be.”
Summer Puente recently moved back home to help her dad with Sonny. She is documenting her stories through a project called “Sing A Song” and a website called Cowbird.
*Photos by Summer Puente as posted at Cowbird.com.
Read more about Summer, Sonny and Thomas Puente at: Cowbird