Men are like the stars; some generate their own light while others reflect the brilliance they receive.
The text message on my cellphone from the number I did not recognize was short:
“Mike H’s father passed away this morning.”
Im instantly overwhelmed with sorrow. Even though I never met Mike’s old man personally, I think I can imagine what my friend is going through right now. I try to come up with some comforting thoughts to offer Mike, something to help ease his pain, arrogantly believing that my words could perform such a feat. Of course, everything I can muster falls way short. Deep down, I know the truth of the matter is that I really cant imagine what he’s feeling right now. I know I cant do much more than offer condolences and sympathies to my friend from the very core of my being.
I can say, though, that if Mike is a chip off the old block, then his father was indeed a great man. Selfless, kind, gentle and with a heart of gold. The kind of man that’s always there for you when you need him even when you dont know you need him. Always there to support you and offer up a piece of his soul when yours is wounded. The kind of man that can share tears of laughter and of pain. The kind of man that fathers wish their sons grow up to be.
Mike, mi hermano, que tristeza siento por ti hoy. Im sorry I did not even know your dad’s name or that he may have been ill and that you and your family may have been going through some difficult times because of his health. I wish I could have been there for you if only to offer a shoulder or a few words of support or an ear to tug on. Your father is in our thoughts and prayers, as well as you and your family. Please accept our most hearfelt condolences.
I know you may be thinking that it’s a pity or a shame that your old man did not live to see that day that you and I have spoken about so many times. That day we’ve dreamt about and longed for so wistfully. I know it’s painful to think that when that day comes your old man wont be here to share it with you, but, my friend, when that day comes, that happiness you will feel inside you, that glee, that rebirth of hope, all of it will have been instilled in you by your old man. He will, indeed, be with you on that day. Just like he’ll be with your Mom and your siblings and with that family you hold so dear back in Cuba. And he’ll share your happiness as he looks down on us from Heaven, smiling, beaming with pride.
To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.