The most amazing thing happened yesterday. People we hadn’t seen in ages came out to Joaquin’s rosary. People we thought we had never impacted, came out. Out of town friends and acquaintances (friends now, thanks to Joaquin!!) sent their parents in their place and they obliged. People came from out of the blue to kiss our sweet Joaquin. For some, it was the last time. For some, it was the first. But the ones that hadn’t, all said the same thing, “I never met him and I know I don’t know you too well, but I just felt like I had to come”.
And I am glad they did. Because in doing so, they saw what my husband and Alejandro and I saw EVERY SINGLE DAY. They got to see that special “spark”. I was surprised (kind of) when people saw the huge picture my girlfriends blew up of him and came to us and said, “Oh my God, I can see what everybody is talking about. He was amazing”. He certainly was.
But just to make sure, I had to go talk to our priest about our little angel baby. You see, for whatever reason, we’re not the type of family that has an “in” with the priest at our parish. We’re not Eucharistic Ministers or Lectors and we don’t sit on a committee. We just go to church. So I had to make sure that Father Fernando got my message about “knowing” Joaquin before delivering his message today.
And while I spoke with tears running down my eyes, you could see the priest, head bowed down, discerning what I was saying. And the last few things I said, “Father, my mom would say Joaquin had a special little light emitting from him. My mother in law was amazed at how the little children in school would just want to touch him or follow him. His teacher would say that walking down the hallway with him was like walking with a rock star.” It was then that he looked up, smiled and said, “You know – there ARE angels among us.” Astonished, but not really, I asked him because I wanted to hear what I already knew, “Do they really exist, Father?” He smiled and said, “Of course they do. Angel means messenger of God. They are special people that have that spark, that little something that makes them extra special and not everybody has it.”
So what does that make the little family of three that he left behind? Well, my friends, we are the lucky ones. We had him day in and day out. We saw that little light from sun up to sun down. We are, by far, the lucky ones.
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