You are the only one of the 3 boys who really likes to dress up. It’s funny. When you were little, you loved wearing your dad’s and brother’s t shirts. It was always so hard to get you into regular clothes which were your size. When you were around 7 you really began to care about how you looked. You would always want your hair done just perfectly, and depending on what you were doing, you would pick out certain clothes to fit the occassion. Later you enjoyed not only dressing nicely, but you actually enjoy wearing suits sometimes when the occassion calls for it. You look so handsome. You really enjoy going all out, nice cologne, just the right jewelry. In addition to how handsome you are, you have such a kind, loving spirit. You radiate such a beautiful smile. I love that you also feel comfortable in jeans and a t shirt most of the time as well. As you get older, remember to dress up every now and again when you really want to just feel good about yourself. Not because dressing up is important, but because it is something you really like to do. K
My prayer for you today is for you to have peace, and joy. For the Lord to remind you of how special you are. For you to be able to have hope for a wonderful tomorrow. For you to have the endurance to persevere in any trials you may be going through. That you might see beauty in the flowers which are blooming this season. So that you will notice the bright colors, the many shapes, the different textures they all have, and know God was creative in some of the simple things. For you to gain confidence in any area you may be struggling with right now, and recognize how smart you are, and that you have people around you who love you, and are there for you if you need to reach out to them. To be comforted and know you are not alone. Amen
You boys didn’t have the chance to know your dad’s brother because he passed away at the young age of 42.
First, he was 15 years older than your dad. He was the oldest child in your dad’s family. He graduated with a masters from UNT, and spoke 5 languages. He became a teacher and taught in a local high school. He took teaching very seriously, and won the Teacher of the Year Award one year.
He was also a gourmet cook. In some ways your dad got his love of cooking from his mom and dad, but I can also see how his brother had a huge influence on his cooking style. Nan and Pop cooked very traditional hispanic meals. They rarely used sauces or tried new things. Don’t get me wrong, they made some of the best meals I have had, just very traditional. Your uncle was one for trying new recipes, using a lot of sauces, and often times he would try unique ingredients or techniques. He also love to eat out at very nice restaurants.
Every year he would have season tickets to the opera. Going to the opera with him was a big deal. He first would take whomever he was going with to a very nice bruch, and then to the show. During my first pregnancy he took me a few times. He said he wanted the baby to start being exposed to good music.
He loved all types of music. Maybe it was my age, but at the time it seemed like he had more albums than I had ever seen.
He dressed very nicely all the time. I don’t think I ever saw him in a pair of jeans. It was always a pair of slacks and a dress shirt. Although, many of his dress shirts were guayaberas.
I don’t know the name for this, but he wanted everything done in very specific ways. For example, his shirts in his closet were housed by color from light to dark and then alphabetical order by color name (ie. black before blue). Every pair of shoes he had were in a shoe horn. He was also that way with general things in the house. If you moved anything in the house, he would notice it almost immediately, and move it back into place.
Lastly, he loved all his nieces and nephews. Anytime we came by with you kids, he would immediately come to get one of you and take you to feed you candies and play games. One of the things he would give you all the time were these little mints called Andes Candes.
As I said earlier, he passed at the age of 42. He had been a diabetic for a long time and his kidneys had been failing for a year or more. We had seen him the night before and he was in good spirits after a surgery. The surgery had gone very well, and everyone thought he would have a full recovery. He died the next day around noon. It was very quick and unexpected. He was not married and had no children.
You are the youngest, and have two older brothers. You are 9 months old. Your brothers love playing with you. They get together and tease you and play games with you. You kids laugh so much. One of the funniest things they do is crawl under your crib and play a form of peek a boo with you. You know where they are and you peer over your crib trying to find them. Then they pop their heads out and say BOO. You give a little ACK! and then start laughing pretty hard. Of course, then they start laughing even harder. Then they go back under the crib, they giggle and whisper and try to decide who will pop out next and where. All the while, you walk back and forth in your crib looking down and try to figure out where they will pop out next. You boys will literally do this for over an hour. I hope you never lose sight of having fun with one another. K
Your school has a play they do every year called “Super Turkey”. It is done right at Thanksgiving. Your teacher tells me they have a hard time filling the lead role because it takes a very special person who is not shy and can do the role well. The lead role requires walking through the audience and bobbing your head like a turkey. Of course, that is in addition to the singing and acting. I must tell you, I was a little concerned when I heard you were the lead. I was so surprised you felt comfortable taking the role. But, as usual, you are so excited about it. In church you often have lead roles or solos. You do very well at them.
I guess it mostly surprises me because dad and I are too shy to do that kind of thing. Dad does sing in choir, but he doesn’t feel comfortable doing solos. Now, in my car, I am an excellent singer. I can hit all the beats, and sing loud, and all is good. Unfortuantely, when I get out of the car something odd happens and I just don’t sound the same.
You are not someone who shows off for attention, or sings for attention. You do it because you love it. Music is something which makes you very happy. You also take your roles, songs very seriously and give a lot of time and attention to making sure you do them well. When you have a particular song you are learning, I will hear you playing your tapes over and over again to learn the words, beat, and even the little inflections in the voices.
You were a great Super Turkey. Seriously, so many people could not take their eyes off of you as you walked through the audience. Not just because you were so cute, but because you did such a great job of having fun and acting out the role. X
When I was 15 I had a job working at a local taco drive through. I really wanted to work at the grocery store across the street, but they wouldn’t hire you until the age of 16. I still had a few months. My job at this restaurant was to take the drive through orders. Back in that day you would push the button and the person in the car would shout their order into the microphone. Your order would then come through the speaker and several people could hear it. One day I was working, and taking my orders as usual. Your dad came through the drive through. Of course I could not see it was him when he was “placing his order”. I turned on the speaker, welcomed him, and said how can I help you? He asked if it was me answering. I said yes. He asked again and used my full name. I said, yes this is me. At this point I was confused. I had never had a customer ask me if it was me. A few of the employees had noticed this was a very different conversaation as well. Some of them were half listening to the order. I was known for running a fast window, so I tried to encourage the customer to make an order. How can I help you? I asked. The customer told me his name, and asked I was wondering if you would go out with me Saturday night? The whole restaurant was silent. I don’t know if they were trying to figure out what he said, or knew what he said.
First, I was totally shocked. I had no idea he was thinking of asking me out. For a moment I was asking myself, is this a joke? Who is this? Second, I was insanely shy. I quickly realized everyone was listening in at this point. He asked again, will you go out with me Saturday night? His voice sounded so excited and happy. Although I still could not see him, I knew he had a big smile on his face. His voice was so animated. I told him yes.
Everyone in the restaurant cheered. Where they were just moments ago working in or a customer of a taco joint, they were now a part of an event the beginning of a new relationship, a first date. Your dad said in a most happy voice… YES! Now I don’t know if he never was hungry, or forgot to eat, but he told me ok and he would call me, and then he drove right through. Well wait a minute, he didn’t drive right through. He screached right through. You will have to ask him about his car sometime, but it was, I believe a blue, ’72, Cutlass Supreme. It had a rag top, and he kept the top down most of the time. There were a few times before this I had seen him, and he just really liked to drive fast. He would often screetch away.
It was one of the most embarrassing and yet precious moments I have had.
Up until a month ago we had a live in nanny. She went back to her home country in Costa Rica. Youa re 8 years old. You have started really pitching in and started helping around the house a lot. You also have a knack for helping your brothers with their jobs, and you do it with very little complaint. I really appreciate it a lot. You won’t know until sometime later how much the little things mean. It is so nice to know I can depend on and count on you. X
Well ’96 is over. There are many reasons I am thankful. The boys are getting so big. They got a black lab puppy for Christmas. His name is Shadow. You have taken a primary role in making sure Shadow is taken care of. You takes him out, feed him, wake up with him in the night. You are really doing well with him. I woke up one morning explaining to you Shadow needed to be taken out real quick. You looked at me very frustrated and informed me I just did’t know what it was like. Waking up all night, making sure the dog had eaten, playing when Shadow wanted to play, watching him to make sure he didn’t chew stuff. Yeah, right, I had 3 babies, but I have no idea how hard it is to take care of a puppy. That was funny. L
Nan often takes the family to Gulf Shores for a week in the summer. We have come several times. The beach here is clean, white sands, and not very crowded. We always get a house right on the beach. You kids run around and have always have so much fun. At night you run around catching crabs and bring them back in buckets. Tonight there was quite a rukus when you came in from gathering crabs. The boys had also been doing some fishing. Apparently while you were in the water you caught a shark. It’s a small shark, but none the less. Who else would catch themselves a small shark? Only you. Then to top things off, you actually brought the shark up to the house. So funny. You are so proud of your little shark. Funny thing is, I don’t know what you want to do with it now. You are trying to talk your dad into letting you keep it in a bucket tonight. Let’s see if you can talk him into it.
It is your 6th birthday. We had a party for you, and you had a pinata. Each person took a turn and went before you. No one broke the pinata though. Then came your turn! You broke the pinata with one hit. The candy went everywhere and all the kids ran to pick up what they could. It was tons of fun. We came back to our house and had your cake and you opened presents. Later everyone got to swim and hang out. It was a good birthday. X