May 1, 2017
Will Be A Date I Will Always Remember
June 8, 2017
Wow. Today I woke up with an incredible amount of sorrow. I didn’t realize Father’s Day was going to hurt this bad. Today also reminds me of last years Father’s Day, (every year we meet as a family in Cocoa Beach.) Last Father’s Day, I gave my Dad a simple gift that moved him very much; a frame with two pictures; one of me with him as a little girl, and another picture of the two of us at a Marlin’s baseball game some years back. My dad had just been diagnosed with three different types of cancers the week before. I remember when he looked at the pictures, he turned to my mom with tears in his eyes and said, “It went by so fast.”
But, at that time we had such high hopes, and never in a million years would we have imagined in less than a year he would be gone.
June 1, 2017
I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart who has reached out to me with loving texts, emails, voicemails, cards… I have appreciated it so much, you have no idea. I’m sorry if you have not heard from me, but know that you will. I’ve just been trying to process all of it. I can only say as I did before, it just still feels so surreal. I can’t believe today marks a month since my Dad left this world. It seems as though he is on an extended business trip. Except he hadn’t traveled for business in over a year, and he never would have been gone this long, nor would I EVER go this long without speaking to him. The strange thing is, May 1st seems like yesterday. It seems impossible that this amount of days have gone by. Where have I been? The world has been spinning, and I’ve stood still.
When the waves of reality come washing over me at unexpected times, I want to ask. What just happened? It seems impossible- all of it!
A few days ago I visited with a dear friend who made me the most lovely gift that I will share with you. Having lost her Dad seven years ago, she understood this horrible “club” I just entered. After getting an ear full of my story, she described exactly what our situation was like. She described that what all unfolded was like watching a slow moving car crash. And, she was exactly right.
This word CANCER. I keep wondering, is this what it is like for everybody? I know everybody is different and there are all types of cancers, but that word now to me is so dark/ evil. Like a real life Dementor out of a Harry Potter movie. The CANCER I know now is the most horrible, ugliest thing I have ever seen. And, I am so sad that we have not come further along in solving this problem.
This is still raw for me. I can’t unsee what I saw, I can’t undo the experience. But, I do know that I would not have changed being there for one second. And, I am grateful to God for allowing me to be there during all the ugliness because there were beautiful, unforgettable moments too.
I am doing this post for a few reasons. One, so that my family in Venezuela can see images and see the words I spoke at my Dad’s service. Two, as you know by now, I am a person who has to express themselves. It’s therapeutic to me. Thirdly, my dad deserves all the praise I can express. Somehow through art I feel I am releasing positive energy out into the universe. And, that makes me feel a bit of comfort on some level.
Being that we held my dad’s services so quickly, we were wonderfully surprised to see the room completely full for both services thanks to word of mouth traveled by dear friends in his life. It warmed our hearts to see and hear how much he was adored.
Before I leave you with my Dad’s eulogy, I would just like to say that we were so blessed to have been given some wonderful nurses and respiratory therapists at Hollywood Memorial Regional Hospital. We will never forget; Brian Rose, Joseph, Rebecca, Danny, Wade, and others.
And, I will never forget the giving hand of my dear friends Annelise Brown Clark and Jacel Delgadillo who were there for me in my desperate time of need.
Also, a huge thank you to the handful of priests and preachers who came to the hospital to bless my dad. You can never get enough prayers. A very special thank you to Sunrise Presbyterian Church’s, Rev. Pedro Rivera and his wife Ileana, who not only was with us in the hospital, but also delivered beautiful words at both his service and burial. Though my dad is Catholic, he knew Pedro very well because he was involved with my mom’s church too. And, Rev. Pedro has known my family very well for years.
My other huge thank you goes to Pablo Cuadra of St. Jude’s Chapel This was the special church my dad found a few years back. When my dad first started attending there he would tell me stories. I was so moved when I would hear them, and it surprised me that my dad had been so taken with the church. The first time I went with him, I could see everything he saw. It is a beautiful small church, and you are completely humbled by it, and it’s people. It is a church for people who are deaf and those with different disabilities, and their families. Everyone who attends there comes with much joy. You can tell they are all so happy to see each other and to be there to worship together. This was a wonderful experience for my dad to have the last years of his life. I now he found truth by being there.
Pablo Cuadra was amazing. He not only responded to me right away. He not only sent a priest to be with us, but he also held a service in honor of my Dad that was being held 30 min later, and after my dad past, the church held another service in my Dad’s honor and invited us to participate in the service. I know my Dad was smiling down.
To learn more about St. Jude’s church and Schott Communities organization, please go to: http://www.schottcommunities.org/
I am so grateful things happened they way they happened and that my Uncle Frenky and cousin Gabi were with us during this time. I felt it then, and looking back I can’t imagine them not being there. Having them with us was God working his magic. Also, I would like to thank my amazing brother- in- law Christian for all his amazing support.
Emilio Martinez July 3, 1944 – May 1, 2017
I want to thank you all for coming today to share in our sadness and to honor and celebrate the beautiful life of our dad.
Yes our minds and hearts are reeling with how suddenly he was taken, but we are ever so grateful to God that he is no longer suffering. As we just begin the process of reflecting, it is not his passing that hurts most for we know he is in the hands of God, but it is the loss ; the dynamic in our family that has been forever changed and can not be changed back to what it once was. At least not in this lifetime.
We would like to take this time to share with you a little bit about our dad that you may or may not have known. His history formed his character and the person he became. He was born in Aruba and brought up in Venezuela. He was child number seven out of eleven children. And at the age of 9, he moved away from home and attended Divina Pastora in Barquisimeto, while his family lived about an hour away in Chivacoa. After finishing his high school years in the seminary, he then moved about five hours away to Caracas where he studied Philosophy and Theology and worked on the church’s farm and handled the churches administrational duties. It was during this time that my dad decided that the cloth was perhaps not his true calling, and with the assistance of Mosenuer Vicente Lambruschini the high priest whom my dad said was like a second father to him. It was he who helped my dad get to the United States and enrolled in school. Dad first attended the English language institute at the University of Southern Miss. But he decided to change schools for a bit and attended HINES junior college in Jackson Mississippi that assisted better in him learning English. He later returned to Southern Miss, receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Business Administration.
Our dad was a great soccer player in college, and it was during this time at Southern Miss that he met our mom. After marriage, the birth of me, graduation, and the birth of Natalie, my dad took us on an adventure to live for a period of time in Venezuela. A memory for me that I will always cherish.
In 1981 our dad received a position with Clark Equipment Company and we moved to Miami, that is when our roots were planted, and south Florida became our forever home.
Our dad was extremely lucky to have had the position he did. As regional person for South America, it allowed him to travel frequently to Venezuela and visit his family. I’m sure he has always been grateful for that. I can imagine that being the only one in your family living in a different country was always heavy on his heart.
In 1999 my dad had one of his proudest moments; he became a citizen of the United States. Our dad was a true patriot. He would often say how he was someone who truly understood what a privilege it is to live in this country and have the freedoms we are given. And, I say this as we are all very sad for Venezuela at this time.
So, now that I am older I am more wise of course and I can see how my dad’s history formed his character. He totally grew up different than us. He was an overprotective Dad, and as a teenager it can drive you crazy, as an adult too.
We wish he didn’t worry so much about us all of the time, but he did. But, I think that worry and immense love he had for us, the need to protect us, is what kept him fighting. And boy did he fight. He fought so hard, and gave 100% without EVER complaining. Never once did he complain. He withstood any amount of pain that came his way just out of longing to remain with us. Our dad was a selfless man with a huge heart.
Many may not have known his struggles because he was just a private person. But, in his final days he was blessed to have his best friend; his brother- my Uncle Frenky by his side. We had a private chat going on an app with all our family in Venezuela, everyone united- sending love, prayers, and encouragements. My cousin drove to the seminary where my dad grew up and got one of the nuns he had known his whole life to speak to him on his last day with us. We held the phone to his ear as she spoke. And, we know how much that must have meant to him. We also have been so grateful to Pastor Pedro and Mrs. Ileana’s for their consoling visits. When dad took a turn for the worst they came, and they also came a few days later on his final day. We are forever grateful.
Our dad was funny and he even kept us laughing at moments in his final days. Though he could not speak he did ornery little actions that brought laughter in the midst of sadness. To note: He had always been a social guy, he could hold an interesting conversation with anyone. And, another thing to note: In our house growing up, dad was the one with the soft spot. If I wanted something I knew to go to him.
The things I know my dad will miss are just the times spent with our family, cause family is all that mattered to him. He will miss attending Sammy and Alex’s soccer games, he really enjoyed sharing in the joys of their success. But, know that he is still watching, his bleacher seats are just a little higher. He will be watching you Jack and be there for all of your games. For Christian, Bella, and Chloe’ he will continue to be there and watch over with a great smile, all of your accomplishments. He will continue to be with all of us in spirit and in our hearts in all we do.
I know what we will miss most is his warm embrace, and his sweet voice full of I love you’s.
No matter how old we get on the outside Natalie and I will forever be Daddy’s little girls.
The fight and the will to survive was a testament to the person he’s always been I’ve never look up to anybody else so much. I think about him being nine years old, around the same age as my son Jack- leaving to go to school in another city to live in the church. And coming to the United States alone and not knowing any English. He overcame many obstacles in his life. It wasn’t until Bella was born and I stared into her eyes for the first time, that I suddenly realized how much my parents truly loved me. I suddenly understood all the sacrifices that they made for us.
Our comfort at this time lies in knowing that we were there when he needed us most. Comfort lies in knowing that Uncle Frankie, Natalie, Mom and I were given the opportunity to make sure he knew how much we loved and adored him and how grateful we were for everything he ever did for us. Nothing was left unsaid, that was a gift.
We would be lost if it weren’t for the greatest gift our parents gave us; our faith. Now we turn heavily to God and our savior Jesus Christ to help ease our sorrow and help us on our path to healing reminding us that we will we’re extremely blessed to have him for the time that we did, and that this is not the end, and our journey together will continue again one day.
First Image: May 5, 2017, Second and Third Image: May 7, 2017
FINDING PEACE ON THE BEACH
Being that the beach brings a good feeling of peace to mind, we all went Saturday evening for a picnic. It was the perfect thing to do.
JACK & GABI’S BIRTHDAY
Jack’s 10th birthday was Thursday, May 4th, the same day as my Dad’s viewing and service. Gabi’s birthday was, May 5th, the same day as my Dad’s burial. We made the best of what we could do. I’m sure this is a birthday they will never forget.
I love you Daddy. I miss you.