A Letter I wrote to My Dear Tio ~ RIP
To My Dear Tio ~
Too many times in our lives we leave things unsaid. It’s amazing to think that in this family of yappers there are a lot of things that have not been said. But there are. We leave things unsaid because it seems like a fleeting thought or a passing feeling. But good or bad we should say what we are thinking always. Because that is the best way to express our love for one another, being truthful and open at all times. I have seen you so many times in the past year and wanted to say certain things to you but felt that I was being negative by doing so. But the fact is these are things I want you to know, no matter what happens in the future.
1. You are my hero – I mean that. I always looked up to you, because you are the one person in my life that has been truest to himself. Love me or Leave me has been your motto and I love you. You faced obstacles in your life and took them all in stride. Whether emotional, mental or physical your spirit has persevered and that is the very definition of heroism. There have been many points in my life that I wanted to give up and I looked to you for the motivation and the courage to continue. Thank you so much for that.
2. When I was little I thought you were the coolest person on earth – And I still feel that way today. I look back at my youth and think about how fortunate I was to have you as my “Fairy Godmother” - always exposing me to new foods, music and the arts. I must have been the only 10 year old that knew the musical score to 10 Broadway musicals. But you invested your knowledge in me. Planting a seed that would grow into my own passion for music and art, for foods and travel. I was not always certain that I was cool enough to be around you, but you never pushed me away. Thank you for that also.
3. Although I ebb and flow in and out of your life with time you are always with me. Thousands of miles could not keep us apart because I carry you in my heart and mind. There is not a day that passes that I don’t use one of your pearls of wisdom. Small things like trivial facts about music and Mexico or big things like our family history. I get them all from you. Thank you for that also.
4. Beyond all of the music and the culture you have given me a love and a pride in my heritage that I don’t think would have been possible without you in my life. Your direction and guidance has shown me that there are so many facets to Latino culture and to being Puerto Rican specifically that I feel a swell of pride just to think about it. You embody the essence of a Latino; you’re educated, loving and passionate in both your professional and personal lives. You are this way with out reservation or apology. You really are the most magnificent person I know. Thank you for being you.
There have been plenty of times that you and I have spoken for hours, but I don’t think that I ever told you how much I thank you for choosing to be a part of my life. You could have done what most of my aunts and uncles did and treated me like accessories to the twins and Aida. But you didn’t. You made me feel special. You helped me to embrace my beauty, inside and out. You gave me the gift of your heart and mind. I wish there were other words that I could say besides thanks you. They seem so worn out and old fashioned, but they are the words that are used to express gratitude.
I love you so much and these are the things I needed to say to you and I wanted you to hear them from me. Regardless of what happens from this day till the end of time, I love you and thank you with all of my heart.