Friday, May 21, 2010

Farewell to Grandpa (Abuelo)

My Dad's father passed away yesterday. His name was Ceferino and he was 93 yrs old. He died a month before his 94th birthday. He lived in Puerto Rico with his wife, my grand mother who he was married to for 75 years. They were so blessed to be able to live independently in their home together. Tomorrow my family will say their final good bye's to Abuelo as they lay his body to rest. I wrote him a letter, my final letter because I'm not able to fly to Puerto Rico to be there but my family will be present and the letter will be read at the cemetery on my behalf before he's buried. Below you'll find my final words to Abuelo, an extraordinary man who made everyone feel so special. 

Dear Abuelo,

I am so very sorry I couldn’t be with you during your final moments.  But I know you were not alone and more importantly, I know that you’re in a better place now, our true home and that brings me great comfort.  Abuelo, Lourdes wrote to me yesterday and shared with me that she went to visit you at the hospital the other day with her sister Ivette and father. She shared that she and her sister held your hand and caressed your face during their visit with you.  She said that you were very much conscious but could tell that your time had come. Oh Abuelo, I hope you felt those tender touches and I pray that they comforted you and reminded you that you meant the world to so many people. She added that she thanked God for knowing you and for how well you loved her Grandmother, your sister Toya. She shared with me that you were such a good man and that you were so loved.  I knew that already but it was so wonderful to read. Abuelo, you were so easy to love.  You had a special gift that was distinct and so set apart. You knew how to love well and show that love. You had a servant’s heart and I loved that about you. You loved your wife, our Grandmother unconditionally and so beautifully. You showed it in such marvelous ways and showed up every single day and raised three fine men, your sons whom I refer to as my very dear uncles and my wonderful Papi (father).  Abuelo, your eyes had a way of lighting up when someone walked into the room or came to visit you. And your voice always expressed genuine joy to hear from someone when they called. Everyone who knew you, felt loved by you. We love you so much and we miss you already. Planet earth feels a little empty without you and your love. I pray that you will carry our love for you and our smiles with you always. We will never forget you. Never, ever! Thank you for being such a wonderful example of love and for being such a bright light in our family. You have left an indelible mark in our lives and in our hearts. We will love you forever!

Your granddaughter,


In loving memory of my Abuelo, Ceferino Rivera.  June 15, 1916 - May 20th, 2010.

Nothing but a breath, a comma separates life from life ever lasting. Death is not a period, nor exclamatory or even a semi colon. Death is a pause as one transitions from this life to the next.