A Day Too Late

“Sometimes, it is important to look back and see who in our lives our, ‘angel investors’ actually are. Acknowledge them. Thank them if you can.”

I’ve read similar words before. I read these exact words one day ago. I’ve heard them before from Andy and others, but now I’m a day too late.

When I was just maybe two years old, a woman showed up at my parent’s house to interview for a live-in housekeeper position.  She didn’t speak a word of English. Only Spanish. Her name was Esperanza Perez.

My mom said I had the biggest smile on my face and that’s when she knew. She knew that Esperanza was going to live in our house and help raise me and my siblings.  I wish I could talk about specific stories in detail, but I was so young. I only remember bits and pieces of those days like watching spanish tv with her. I didn’t understand a thing but she would try to teach me. I remember her tickling me feet, trying to make me laugh. I laughed so hard I was in pain. I called it tickle torture and she loved it because it made me laugh. It made me smile.

That’s really what I remember about Esperanza. She made me smile even when I was very young and I believe those early days of smiling, those early days of compassion, helped me become who I am today. Those interactions helped make my brother and my sister who they are today. I’m proud of that and Esperanza should be as well.

A few weeks ago I tried to tell her those things in person but I couldn’t do it. I literally could not find the courage to say those words out loud when I was with her.

She was in a coma, connected to a breathing machine because she had suffered two, major heart attacks. She couldn’t hear me, but still, I didn’t say the words I wanted to say. Here I was struggling to put a “thank you” sentence together and there she was fighting for her life. Even if I had said anything she wouldn’t have heard me. Some say that people can still hear in those traumatic cases, but the analytical part of me said, “she can’t hear you, so what’s the difference?”

Well there is a big difference.

Anyone that is able to read this post is alive and is capable of saying thank you. I wish I said thank you to Esperanza when she was well. When she was happy. I wish I said thank you when she was lying in that hospital bed fighting for her life.

Esperanza passed away today. I’ll miss her. But I wish I could tell her thank you. Thank you for being a part of my life and for helping me become the person I am today.

I just wish I wasn’t a day too late and I hope you won’t be a day too late either.

R.I.P Esperanza Perez.