The Morning You Left Us

Is it Friday?
Is it Saturday?
When your retired, you don’t know one from the other
I went to sleep so very late
I did not hear the phone
that very early morn.
Was the phone really ringing
Or was I dreaming?
I woke from a deep sleep to check
And there it was… a text…
“Dad had fallen”
I thought I was fast
But Paramedics were faster
I missed him by moments as they sped him away
It was in emergency room 8
Where he lay in wait
There was nothing more they could do,
Due to covid, we could not be with him as he quietly
slipped away
It’s hard to let go,
But yet we know;
We carry him with us and all his love for family, his community, and the environment
I love you daddy

Pappa Herrera

I am forever grateful for knowing Manny and his incredible family for many many years. They are the kind of family everyone aspired to emulate. Mamma and Pappa Herrera taught their children to respect others, love and care for their enviornment, treat every living thing with respect and to love and enjoy life. My life is better for knowing them and having them all in my life. RIP Pappa Herrera. 


Thank You

Thank you to everyone for sharing their messages, stories, and beautiful pictures. While we are devastated by this loss, the memories of our beloved Tata will help us all get through this together. He would have loved knowing that. Family, after all, is everything. 

For Tata

He was a man of his word. Those words, selected meticulously, came in their own time. You might have had to wait patiently for them to be formed, as though they were being crafted by a pair of index fingers on his favorite typewriter, but they were always words worth waiting for.

Words like family, community, kindness, and love. He made you feel so happy and proud to know him, to love him, to get to sit beside him, watch the world go by, and share a story or a laugh with him. He always had a smile to offer.

The moment that keeps replaying for me is when he danced with me at my wedding. He said I need you to promise me something. I said okay. He said I know how life goes and I need you to promise me that you’re going to finish college. You’re going to get your degree. I said of course I am. He said I believe you but promise me anyway. If you do, I’ll promise you something too. When you graduate, I’ll be there. I’ll even wear a tie.

And he did. He was there. He watched me walk across the stage. I had held my tears back until I saw him there beaming. Wearing that tie he promised me.

So I keep thinking of that. How important that moment was to us both. What it meant. How often I thought of that promise on the days that were too long and the night classes that were longer.

He taught us about hard work. If you have to start out with three jobs, then well, you do that. Then you’ll get better and move up, then you’ll only need two. Then maybe just one. But you’ll know how to work hard by then and you’ll keep doing it. One person can change the world. It was never going to be an easy thing to do, but he had a way of making it feel possible.

He made a difference. He led a beautiful life with a beautiful wife and he showed us what love was. What love could do.

He was one of the greatest humans I’ve ever known and there isn’t going to be a single moment that I won’t miss him.

I love you, Tata.

Thank you for such an incredible lifetime of love.

Love, Bekita