Tio Guillo would steer the ship and Tia Rosi and I would follow his directives. Back then the boat was smaller, way smaller. It was called, Memo, which is a nickname for Guillermo (William). The cockpit was small, not like the newer, custom sailboat he roams the seas on now. This guy is a sailor’s sailor if there ever was one. Tio Guillo knows how to be both gentle and strong as the moments call for them and he has the respect and love of all who know him. Just like Boaz in the bible, Guillo is known by the ‘elders at the entering of the ‘city gates,’’ his good works walk before him, his eyes look straight ahead and his wife adores him.
I think of my uncle and I realize how much I love the guy and why I love him. It is not so much the mass of our conversations, but the time we spent with each other. The time he afforded me with him. He took me under his wing and his impression on my life has emphasized the value of honesty, grit and goal-directed persistence in being the seeds of a successfully lived life. It is as if he has been a hero in slow-motion protecting and positively influencing those near and far to him by the way he has lived his life. Tia, a second mother to me, has been the keel to his sea-faring ways and has grounded the tough sailor with her own strengths, namely, an ever-loving heart and a constant willingness to be her own force flying at his wing-tip. It is truly a marriage made in heaven.
With no children of their own, they count their children, including my own as theirs. In return, all of us who have been blessed with being brought up by them carrying a part of them in our hearts, giving us a blue-print showcasing that to be honest, determined, loving, generous, patient and merciful wins out. For a large sea-faring ship is commandeered by a small wheel and the good traits we model in our own lives impact our families and communities in ways beyond our own understanding. In effect, love and kindness can shift the fields of our hearts that change the way we walk, talk and go forth from day to day without saying a word. Tio Guillo and Tia Rosi’s legacy of staying active, being selfless and caring underscores the societal value of being our brothers keeper.
Being loving wins over being filled with apathy each and every time.