We welcome Marco back to the blog as he shares about his family.
“LOS ORLANDOS: ORIGINS”
I joke about there being three generations of Orlandos in my immediate family between my mother and father and me, with each of us very much a product of the era that we each grew up in. My father is a “baby boomer” with an “old school” mentality. He’s been around long enough that he’s basically earned the right to say and do whatever he wants. My mother is 15 years younger than him and a “Gen-Xer,” and it shows. She is more laid back in her approach, more spontaneous, very much a “spur of the moment” person. And then there’s me, the “millennial” Orlando, just taking everything in and going along with it, sometimes under duress.
My mother grew up in the coastal Downeast Maine town of Harrington, near Cherryfield and Milbridge, with two younger brothers. She’s tried her hand at so many different things from a career standpoint, so she has a wealth of experience from law to accounting to teaching to social and human services. She’s a bit of a nonconformist in the sense that a traditional nine-to-five forty-hour week has never really been her style. She’s not really one to stick with any one thing for very long if it doesn’t give her any fulfillment. Yet at the same time, she likes to keep herself busy. I often wish she could learn to delegate to someone else to take some of the load off every now and then, but she knows that nothing would get done because she doesn’t trust anyone to do what they say they’re going to do. I am very fortunate to have an open relationship with my mother and to be able to talk to her about anything, even things I wouldn’t ordinarily discuss.
My father grew up the sixth out of seven kids in Warwick, Rhode Island. He is a proud and hardworking individual who often gets his best work done at night when no one else is around to bother him. He and I did not always get along so well when I was growing up. We consistently butted heads, both figuratively and literally. I’m not proud of how poorly I treated my dad back then. He didn’t deserve to feel the brunt of my wrath when I was struggling to connect with the rest of the world around me. It wasn’t until I was fully grown when I realized that my dad did not have an easy life when he was young. He pulled himself up by his own bootstraps to get to where he is in life out of necessity because he knew no one else was going to provide for him. I have a lot more respect for my dad now as a man of integrity who will do whatever it takes to make sure his family is taken care of and that they all have what they need.
From what I’ve gathered, my dad saw something happen in Rhode Island at some point back in the 1980s. Whatever it was, a light bulb went off in his head, and in that moment, he decided it was time to get out while the getting was still good. He relocated to Maine and started a new life in the Bangor-Brewer area, which is where he met my mother. They married each other on November 10, 1984. It was almost as if they knew from the moment they first met that this was what they both wanted. Then they welcomed me into the world 11 months later.
For all out trials and tribulations, both individually and as a family, my mother and father have devoted their lives to taking care of me and trying their best to understand me and all that goes on in my head. I can never give either of them enough credit for all they have done for me in life out of pure love. Even now, they can never do enough for me sometimes to make me happy and to let me know in their own way that they love me. I hope they both know how much I love them, even if I don’t always say it.
The Speaking Up For Us (SUFU) blog contains views and opinions of each individual writer. The views and opinions expressed through these channels are purely the bloggers’ own and does not reflect the opinion of SUFU as an organization or any SUFU staff member.
Published October 15, 2019