craving: to drive and drive and drive
His name was Juan: A little Mexican man from the south side of Del Rio, Texas. He came to my family's home one day as I was sitting outside talking to my friends. He was asking if we had work to be done to our yard. I answered, "You have to ask my parents." His smile was genuine and his walk was as if his body was frail and in some sort of discomfort. I looked over my shoulder as he walked by to ring our house door to see if he was going to the right door. He looked back and nodded, to assure me that he was.
As my mother answered the door, I could hear the mumbling of his voice and seen my mom nodding. I couldn't quite get what he was saying. All I knew from my mother's big smile was, she was happy to help him any way she could (that was my mom; helping anyone and trying to make their life easy). The next day I drove in our drive way and seen the little old man relaxing in the shade drinking a cold glass of lemonade. I knew he was now working for us as our long time gardener. He waved and I waved back and asked him, "Como estas, Juan?" (How are you, Juan?). He knew no English and his voice was so hard to understand at times. All I heard was a little voice reply and answer back with "Muy bien. Gracias". His smile told me everything was alright.
Juan became a part of our family, he always came every morning to beat the midday sun. It got very hot in Texas, and at that time everyone would run for the shade and take a siesta (nap) until after 5pm. As we got to know Juan a little more, we learned more about him. We would take him home to his lonely, humble house and watch him walk slowly up to it. My heart broke each time I saw him walking alone. Most of the time he would stay at our home all day long and take his naps in our garden room, where my mom would make sure he was comfy. Over time, he became like a grandfather to me.
Mind y'all, the work he was doing on our yard was really nothing. We would get a kick out of Juan, because most the time he would be chatting with the dogs and sitting down on the grass while watering it. We knew he just wanted to be a part of a family. He had no heavy labor. Why did he pick ours? He always stayed for our evening meals and went back home with a nice meal for later that my mom would prepare for him. She would take no for an answer the first couple times he would refuse and be shy to take the food. After a while he would look forward to taking the food and hint to my mom, "You know your arroz con pollo ( rice with chicken) was very delicious." I knew he would eat alone at his little table late at night, when he wouldn't spend the evenings with our family. His son was all the way across the world and his daughter never kept in touch. He adopted us as his family and we took him in.
The day he came to our home looking for work was the start of a new life for Juan. The beginning of his new family. I never knew a little Mexican man was gonna change the way I looked at life years later. He did. He changed the way I looked at life. He unknowingly did. But, I'll always be grateful that God send Juan in our lives.
On a cold spring day we went to pick him up at his home. We knew he wasn't gonna work on the yard. It was much to cool outside. It became a habit for us to just go everyday to pick him up. I'll never forget my mothers face when she walked out to the car. She was in shock and tears were streaming down her face.
I asked, "Mom, what's wrong?!" She said, "Juan passed away." Bless his heart. He passed away alone in his bed that night. We took care of everything. We had his little funeral and did everything we had to do, if one of our family members passed on. I have his face printed in my mind. I think of Juan from time to time and will never forget all the times he made me laugh and made my days so much more brighter.
I truly believe he didn't die sad. He had us to love and love him back. He was a ray of sunshine. He was our friend our family.
Final Whisper: It's never to late to say how much you care and love a person. Do it now, the impact it has on someone will last forever.