The ones who love us never really leave us; you can always find them in here.
-J.K Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
This week, the world lost a great man. A strong man. A man who valued hard work and instilled it in his kids and grandkids. And he is finally, finally at peace.
Today, in the most Alvarez-style I’ve ever seen, we had a party. And if anyone tries to tell me he wasn’t with us today, I’d explain how wrong that sentiment is.
He was there, with his wife, looking at the legacy they built, from the ground up when they moved to the United States from Colombia.
He was there, in his son who was grilling and wearing a hat and out of the corners of all our eyes looked just like him.
He was there in his grandsons who are the spitting image of him at their age.
He was there in his granddaughters who were content to sit and enjoy the outside.
He was there in his great-granddaughters who love to garden and spent the day in the pool.
He was there in every laugh at every joke and in the music we played a little too loud and in the smiles we shared.
He was there in the sun and the breeze and the silver lining in the clouds.
He was in our hearts and all around us. He always will be.
And he was proud.
My mom’s dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about eight or nine years ago. On August 4, he passed away in the nursing home peacefully. He leaves behind an amazing legacy of children and grandchildren, and through us, he will live on. He instilled the values of hard work and persistence in all of us and he will be greatly missed. So while we mourn his passing, we rejoice in the fact that he has found peace and know he will watch over all of us, however far we may go.