Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tu Me Das Vida Amigos

We just wrapped up our 3800mi road trip to the East Coast and it can best be summed up by my grandfather's mantra "Tu Me Das Vida Amigos." (You give me life my friends)  The trip as a whole was very refreshing from the week at a remote state park that provided electronics free head clearing and focused time with each other, to all of the visits with friends and family, many of which we hadn't seen in years.  It was the first time our girls met their great grandparents and I will never forget the image of their 83 year old grandma crawling on the floor with them nor the content of the Elmo DVD that played on loop all 52hrs we spent in the car.  We also had the blessing of spending 5 days at the beach (which the beach bums in us thoroughly enjoyed) and I got a chance to get in a dawn patrol surf session and enjoy the sunrise and empty beach you see to the left, recapturing the excitement of 4AM surf trips with friends in high school.

Hanging out with lifelong friends reminded me of the value of setting time aside for relationships.  This is something that's inherent in every teenagers life but as adults the list of responsibilities seems to be endless and in many cases takes precedence over investing in relationships and spending time having fun with others.  Reminiscing about fun times in high school and college reminded me that while our house may be a mess and the same pile of car parts is sitting in the garage still waiting to be installed, lifelong memories and fellowship are way more valuable and fulfilling and should be a priority.

Also, as we visited with family and I took in all of the pictures of my grandparents in my Aunt's beach condo, I was struck with what an amazing legacy they left behind after fleeing a communist takeover in Cuba in 1960 and the "Fin de una vida y comienzo de otro."  (The end of one life and start of another)  As part of the first wave of Cuban immigrants my grandfather left behind a successful career as a lawyer to start life over as a milkman, eventually earning a PhD and raising 4 successful kids in his new country.  I have no doubt that if he was still here with us today he would be incredibly proud of the beautiful families each of his kids have raised as well as the generosity they show towards others within and outside of the family.

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