Wednesday, June 5, 2013


For over 35 years on my trips to Las Flores, Progresso, Tamulipas, Mexico, an old man had always found me.  His wife made candy pralines that he would sell on the streets.  The weather never seemed of consequence to his labor  - no matter whether hot/cold - rain/sunshine - "Abuelito" was always around.

He had a huge smile.  I always got a hug from him.  In his later years he would be slower than normal in his walk - but he stood tall as a young man would and he had a gentle character about him.

During a trying time in my life, I would frequent Las Flores - not to buy  - but to hide and enjoy the sights and sounds.  I studied the culture of the people - the way they would do things.

One trip over, Abuelito sat down next to me at my favorite taquito stand.  I was sipping on a Mexican coke, crying.

Abuelito asked me what was wrong - in my broken spanish I told him.

Abuelito, reached into his pocket, pulled out his handkerchief, and wiped my tears.  Then he said, "God will never put more on you than you can stand.  God is good.  And, you are strong.  These are not tears of hurt, but tears of anger - perhaps anger at yourself.  You will do big and wonderful things."

He offered for me to come to their home for a few days.  I declined the offer, but thanked him.

After that meeting, I still saw Abueltio walking the streets, selling his bags of candy - 5 pieces for 1.00. My last trip I didn't see him.  I asked my friends at the taquito stand where he was.

Arellia, who runs the taquito stand, slowly turned, "I wondered when you were going to ask.  He loved you as a daughter.  Abuelito died last week."

I couldn't eat anything else.  I wanted to cry - but then I remembered how humble, how kind, and how much Abuelito loved God.  I swallowed hard.

We are very fortunate in life if we have someone like Abuelito to come into our lives - even sporadically.  I can only hope I would or will be a ray of sunshine for someone along life's journey - just like Abuelito was to me.