Generally, when I speak publically, I usually have powerpoint slides or a whiteboard and dry erase markers.
This point in the service, I should talk about my dad, Jose, but instead I’m going to speak about my brother, Rob and I. And it won’t be too long, I can hear Dad in my head “Don’t talk too much”
Rob and I are pretty cool people. We are hard working, honest and we follow at least 80% of the commandments - that’s B plus. We vote. We’re hard headed, for certain. We’re not very high maintenance. We are fiercely loyal. We are caring and funny. We grew up learning the importance of being truthful and honorable, keeping our word, admitting mistakes and working 10 times harder not to make them again. We were brought up to stand together when we, or anyone in our family, needed each other and to work out differences because in the end, we are all have.
Jose wasn’t just a mason of stone walls and steps and columns and buildings. Cathedrals, museums, Capitol Hill.
Dad and Mom were the architects, foremen and masons for the foundations and structures that are my brother and I and the adults we have become.
Shaped into our being, was a continual reminder that the opportunities of growing up when we did and in this country was one not to be wasted and not to be thought less of. My brother and I have been built of stronger stuff that nature could provide. We’re built of solid tenants and beliefs held together with mortar of love, humility and humor. (with a dash of sarcasm for sparkle).
I could wax on about Jose and his life, tell you about all his little quirks and nuances that made him special, but all you have to do is look at his family. His marriage to Mom, You can see him in my brother, the man and father he has become. You can see Dad in Alex and Zach - they could bring out such smiles and laughter in Dad. And This nose, it is all Jose. You can come over to our homes, Dad isn’t only in the tiles and paint and replaced faucet, he’s infused, from the memories made there.
For me, the moment I step off the Metro, i can see the him in the tunnels, on the stairs, on the Mall, in the museums, at the White House (only with special clearance, though).
We will miss papi, deeply - as a husband, a father, a brother and a friend.
I don’t think I could be prouder, of anything else in my life, than the gift it is, to call myself his daughter.