The Bus to Heaven

by Raquel Cortez

The Bus to Heaven

When I was six years old, my dad divorced my mom, which meant he also divorced his kids, to put it in better words. I was raised by my stepdad named Al. While growing up, I just wanted my dad, but where was my real dad to be found? He got married and didn’t bother with his three first children.


While growing up, my stepdad, Al, was the one who put up with us kids, but as I got older and appreciated him for being there, I realized my stepdad wasn’t my step anymore. I consider him my real dad. I really enjoy visiting him with my sons. Well six months ago, he was diagnosed with cancer in his lungs and head. They gave him a year to live. Before that, I always gave him bus passes to catch the bus. He was a person who loved taking the bus everywhere—every time I visited him, the first thing that came out of his mouth was, “Do you have some bus passes?” He always had a sense of humor and made me laugh, and he was the kind of person who wouldn’t bother anyone for a ride or ask for help. That explains him wanting bus passes.


Well a couple of weeks ago, he wasn’t feeling well, and he didn’t even ask one of his kids for a ride to the hospital. He took the bus to the veteran’s hospital and didn’t tell anyone he was really sick. The hospital was far away. Actually he had to get two buses to get there. That evening, the doctor called my brother and told him to come to the hospital because my dad wasn’t going to make it. He had full blown pneumonia.


Well that night, almost at 11:42 p.m., he passed away. All of us nine kids were there. I couldn’t believe it; he was the only dad I knew and loved, and I didn’t really know my real dad. At the funeral, my real dad attended it. He asked for my number and I gave it to him, not really caring if he called because, in my eyes, my real dad was gone. And he did call me and we been talking since then, but in my heart, Al will always be my dad. But god gave me my other dad back. The one who abandoned me when I was small. One bus took my father to heaven while another bus came back to pick me up …