I don’t know how to say this

I don’t even know where to begin

How do you write a tribute to someone who you still think is there?

Cuz you see, you’re not really gone in my mind yet

If I were to go to your house,

You would still be there in your favorite chair

All my life you have been in a chair

And it’s because of this I feel closer to you

See, we have held this inexplicable connection of my living and your dying

This unbreakable bond that only a grandfather and grandson can share

Where the joys of a new life are conciliated for the sorrows of an old one passing

For as my family celebrated my first year

You thought you had lived your last

This story has been etched into my mind

Like ancient hieroglyphics on the Great Pyramid of Giza

Of how on the day that I lived 365 days

Was the same day that your heart had stopped for 365 seconds

How I can imagine every single time I think about it

What my father felt that day

How he had to go from celebrating his child’s first year birthday

To rushing back home

praying that this not be his father’s last year

holding back his tears

From California to Texas

He drove straight through

To reach you before you were through

As fate would have it though, you would live

Yet hardly escaped unscathed were you

The stroke had taken away half of you


Paralyzed completely on the right side

Ironic, how on the day that I learned to walk

You lost your ability to

As I grew stronger than a bear

You grew weaker to the point of tears

As I got... as I got faster

You got up each day slower

As my mind blossomed like a flower

Yours deteriorated along with your power

Fast Forward 18 years

And while I’m here

You have finally passed on to there

Where I know you’ll have the best care

February 20th 10:35am to be precise

As my father explained to me

How the inevitable had finally occurred

My heart sank harder than the Titanic

Not just at the thought of you gone

Which in itself was something I dare not accept

For if I did accept

Than that meant that my father had just lost his father

The man that raised him along with 8 others

The man that gave him no praise

But something far more valuable

How to be a father

From building a house to caring for a family

Abuelo, you taught him it all

And to accept your fall

Would mean that my father would call

Only after wiping his tears to stand tall

Like the proud man you had raised him to be

As a redwood tree

And to accept your fall would mean to accept that I had lost my grandfather

The one who only through his presence alone taught what no one else could

Here, let me prove it to you

Ask yourself really, How many men

With no education

With no money

With no family

And with no English

Stay to support, not only to support

But to raise nine children?

In Juarez, a city where there’s so much drugs

That it puts pharmaceutical companies to shame

Where there’s so much death

War veterans cringe and jump into ditches

Where there’s so much poverty

It makes Detroit seem like a city of riches

How many men would do that?

They say – or they used to say

That me, my father, & my abuelo all looked dead on alike

That actually, I looked more like my abuelo

See, we shared the same Jimmy Neutron head

And Dumbo ears

Man, these ears

When I was a boy, these ears were my curse, ridiculed everywhere I went

It drove me crazy, felt ashamed even

Till the day that I was told that you look like your abuelo

And that same day, my pride couldn’t be tamed

For I held you higher than anything else in my mind

And that same day

I held my Jimmy head up high

I realize this doesn't do you justice

That no tribute could ever do that

But I hope you can appreciate what this niño had to say

And that you’re flying up high where Dumbo’s ears reign high

I accept that you’re gone

I accept your fall

I accept it abuelo

And I accept what that means

I know you hearing me right now

So I’ll just say it one last time

I love you abuelo

Thank you


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