Saying good bye to Jose

fernandez_1280_2vdff691_o721wrqpI am sitting here watching ESPN’s live coverage of the Jose Fernandez funeral procession in Miami.   Jose, the charismatic Cuban Marlins pitcher died this weekend in a tragic boating accident late in the evening after the Saturday night game.  There are literally thousands of people waiting to see the procession the likes of a dignitary rather than a young 24 year old baseball player.  You can tell this man was so loved by his Miami Florida community.  He was like the boy next door, or your smiling, friendly cousin. The team is heartbroken as Jose was very loved and admired for his enthusiasm, compassion and love of the game, this teammates and his fans.  What a great example for millions of Latinos, many are immigrants, many are looking for a role model and although Jose wasn’t perfect, none of us are, he was genuine. He tried four times to get to the US from Cuba and once saved his mother from nearly drowning in their escape.  He knew what America was, and is. This country is a comprised of millions of proud Americans, proud immigrants and international visitors come here to visit our great country every day. Immigrants have made this country great. This young mans tragic death has united Latino’s and all races in sorrow, and honor.  It was a great thing to see in a world so ready to toss immigrants to the side or say they don’t matter or worse treat them as rapists and murderers as a current presidential candidate would have us believe.  Most Americans know what our America is and this young man is the American experience and a true story of perseverance, courage and humility.  Rest in peace Jose Fernandez, you are someone to be admired and honored not in how you died but in how you lived.


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Never forget the beauty, time and age has hidden

I have been trying to sell some of my sister’s dolls. I looked this doll up online to try to find her value and similar dolls are being sold as “ugly” and “scary.” Scary dolls are in fashion now. I refuse to sell her like that. I know my sister would not want that. She kept this doll proudly displayed in her room.

I know this doll was prized among all the others my sister had and she had many!  I tried to imagine what this doll once looked like.  It was hard to see past her current state so I did some retouch in Photo Shop to see her as she once was.


Her name is Mariana
She is an old doll now and some want to call her scary.They want to buy her as a “scary doll” for Halloween.

I refuse to call her scary because I can see
her once beautiful face in my imagination.

You who can only see her now much older face, her lines, discolorations, markings from time,
are missing what makes her Mariana,
and what made her loved.

You all know someone like her.
Never forget the beauty that time has hidden.



For My Pops

img_450540 years ago, on June 17, 1976, my pop held my hand, touched my hair and kissed my hand for the last time. He shut his eyes and left our lives but not our heart and memories. Truth is, he really never left me because I have always felt him around if I needed him. He’s always been able to encourage me to keep going no matter how hard the path. He gently tells me when mom needs me if I was not paying attention. He is the angel that protects my sons no matter how far away they are. Someday I will see him again and he will confirm all the ways he shared these 40 years with us. Pops, I am still loving you and will continue to keep you close to me for the rest of my life. Until we meet again, your Chula.
Some one wrote these beautiful sentiments that I can imagine my pops sharing with me and that I will share with you

“When you remember me, it means that you carry something of who I am with you, that I have left some mark of who I am on who you are. It means that you can see me in your mind even though countless years stand between us. It means that I have never completely died to you and those that keep me inside where it counts. The best parts of me I see in you. Those pieces like sand will join with who you are and pass to your children and theirs. They also pass to those that love you. So see, I will never truly be gone, and neither will you.”

The BEST MOM in the WORLD!

I am in awe of my mom. She had me late in life and I remember I used to be sad that she was not like the younger moms that came to my grade school and helped out, went on our trips, brought treats and such.  I figured out at an early age what type of woman mytina mom&dad mom really was.  I see how much she had to work for us because my dad was sick so she had to make money and still come home to cook, clean, and do all the things that kept our house running.  She would have wanted to be the mom at school supporting her daughter if she could.

More importantly, she was the mom at home that even if she was busy, she had time to hug me and hold my hand when I needed her. She kissed my cuts and consoled me when kids were mean to me.  She taught me to pray and love God.  By her example she showed me how to defend my family without losing my dignity, without being angry, jealous or vindictive. She taught me to accept what my life is and to be thankful for every lesson we have to learn from it.

When I was young, I watched as some others talked down at her or tried to make her feel inadequate because she had to work or because her husband was sick or because her daughter got pregnant before she was married.  She handled it by not talking back, not being vindictive, not getting into a fight.  She calmly walked away.  Sometimes she would go to her room and cry and then she would pray.  That made me want to protect her and guard her more fiercely than anything because I knew right there what type of woman she was. She was a woman of courage and faith.  Did she make mistakes in her life? Sure, we all do, but she never deserted her family in our need, in our sickness, or in our mistakes.  She never talked down to us or was ashamed of us.  She taught me what unconditional love is.

She is truly a woman of honor and God would be pleased when she comes home to Him. If there was a huge way to honor her I would.  She would receive all the presents, the biggest house, the softest bed, the most comfortable shoes, and the biggest piece of cake!  She would have anything she could hope for.

So here it is, as I walk up the hill on this bright sunny day, I lift my arms and say, “Thank you God for my mom!  You did good, and she was better than I could have imagined.”  I will sing her praises and hope and pray that she knows how important she is to all of us.

Happy Mothers Day mom & God bless!! Your stinker



If You Stick Around (A Letter To Suicidal Teens)

Too many parents are losing their children to a world that they don’t understand and that doesn’t understand them. Keep them around, keep them in the game and always offer hope.

john pavlovitz


Dear Hurting Teenager,

I know you want to leave.

I know the horrible, endless walks through the hallways that you endure every morning, near vomiting.
I know the afternoon bus rides to Hell where you sit frozen with fear, praying to just become invisible.
I know the locker room beat-downs and the lunch room stares and the wounding words behind your back and the hateful taunts in your face.
I know how it takes every bit of strength you have just to paint on a smile and pretend you’re OK and to hide how much it hurts and to act “normal”.

I know that all of this has left you exhausted; that you’ve drugged yourself and cut yourself and starved yourself and sold yourself, in the hope that their voices will become silent, and their fists will be lifted, and you can finally breathe again.

I know that right now, you’d…

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On the Day I Die

I must share this insight. My sister died a few months ago.  It was a sudden loss, a void that she filled is felt in our family.  I can relate to all of this, can you?

john pavlovitz

flowers copyOn the die I day a lot will happen.

A lot will change.

The world will be busy.

On the day I die, all the important appointments I made will be left unattended.

The many plans I had yet to complete will remain forever undone.

The calendar that ruled so many of my days will now be irrelevant to me.

All the material things I so chased and guarded and treasured will be left in the hands of others to care for or to discard.

The words of my critics which so burdened me will cease to sting or capture anymore. They will be unable to touch me.

The arguments I believed I’d won here will not serve me or bring me any satisfaction or solace.   

All my noisy incoming notifications and texts and calls will go unanswered. Their great urgency will be quieted.

My many nagging regrets will all be resigned to the past, where they should have always…

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