Love

Sometimes, You Just Need to Breathe

Posted on Updated on

Spring, 2017, Sometimes, You Just Need to Breathe

Sometimes, it’s about being present in your world, and offering support to those that need it without hesitation!
Sometimes, it’s taking a moment to see the love that is in your world and making a decision to give love back to the world!
Sometimes, it’s facing a small issue that has held you back, and making a determination to persevere, that leads to massive growth!
Sometimes it’s about appreciating the life before you, recognizing that each challenge of the past led you here, and moving ahead!
Sometimes, it is about hope, belief, mindset, that help build your goals and passions. Don’t underestimate your human potential!
Sometimes, it’s not just about checking off boxes in your plan, it’s about taking a step, re-evaluating, and then stepping again!
Sometimes, it’s about taking off the limits of the world, and recognizing that every successful person is a human being like you!
Sometimes, it’s about giving trust to those in your world, so that you free yourself to grow and expand your perspective!
Sometimes, it’s about persistence, seeing the future you, and knowing that you have the power to become who you want to be!
Sometimes, it’s about igniting a passion deep within yourself, or others, so that their light within becomes a palpable guide!
Sometimes, it’s about providing others with the skills, tools, insight, to empower them to face their challenges with gusto!
Sometimes, it’s taking on a huge challenge, one step at a time, with dedication and focus, to conquer the world.
Sometimes, it’s about letting your passion soar, unleashing the burst of ideas within your head, and about hoping to connect with another person.
Sometimes, it’s about listening to your heart, mind, and soul, and you simply have to know that you made the right choice.
Sometimes, you simply need to breathe, be #mindful, and be you.
Sometimes, you might need to give yourself a good swift in the behind!
Sometimes, you need to #TakeAction right now, and don’t wait for the perfect time, because the perfect time may never come.

Dr. Robert A. Martinez, is becoming wel-known as @ResiliencyGuy across California. He focuses on building environments where children can learn and grow in peace. He speaks on Transformational Resilience, a concept that focuses providing thoughtful systems that seek to engage and support each child in their learning. You can follow him on twitter @ResiliencyGuy and @DrRobM_FSUSD and on Facebook as “Resiliency Guy.” 

Focus on Transformational Resilience

Posted on

My focus is on #Resilience development, and my concept is simple to comprehend. I believe that each person has the capability to support others with developing #resilience skills. I also firmly believe that it is an obligation for adults, especially educators, to build environments for children, and especially their students, that foster the development of the latent ability to be #resilient that resides in each child. 
I believe that there are steps that each person can take to support the advancement of #resilience skills, and this simple graphic is representative of those actions that can be taken to build these skills in our children.
Ask yourself these questions and reflect if you are taking steps to build or hinder #resilience development:
1. Am I acting to #engage my students? Meaning, Am I offering relevant interactions that are intended to build their skills, knowledge, creativity and innovation skills?
2. Am I offering #positivity to my students? Meaning, Am I focused on the growth, the development, the advancement of my students, while providing authentic meaningful feedback that encourages my students and inspires them?
3. Am I being #thoughtful in my approach with my student? Meaning, Am I considerate of the unique needs and interests of my students, and I am reflective in my process, and then, in turn, able to be flexible in my approach to connecting with them as individuals?

 

4. Am I #supportive towards each of my students no matter what? Meaning, no matter the needs, no matter their behaviors, no matter the trauma that they may have been exposed to, do you accept them, without reservation, and do you recognize that they deserve the best you can be?

I believe that working to support our children is the most important work that can be accomplished by educators, parents, and adults. If we don’t, who will? If we don’t act, how will our children learn and grow? If we don’t accept this responsibility, act as mature, well-functioning adults, how in the world can we expect our children to become more advanced well-functioning adults? It is that important! It is the most essential work that we can do! It is up to each of us to build environments for children where they can grow, flourish, and activate the latent ability to be resilien! Please join me in this effort to help our children grow in peace!

Dr. Rob Martinez is the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, and is a proponent of supporting #resilience development in all of our learning environments. He would be happy to assist you and your schools in building and fostering environments where #TransformationalResilience can grow!

You can follow Dr. Rob at @ResiliencyGuy on #twitter as well.

A Rememberance of My Father, What a “Beautiful” Man

Posted on

If you happen to follow my posts on WordPress, Facebook, or Twitter, you know that I was able to spend an incredible day with my father, Eugene “Queno” Martinez, this year. We laughed, ate, talked, cried, and shared simply the most amazing time. 

Unfortunately, not a week later my dad found himself in the hospital with pneumonia, had a stroke, became incompacitated and passed away on June 30, 2016. It’s been a very difficult couple of weeks for my family. 

This last weekend my entire family was able to gather to pay our respects, hold services, be together, and celebrate his life. I was asked to say a few words at his service, and a few of my relatives asked that I share my written words with them.  Though during the services I went off-script, I still wanted to share these written words with them, and you, as I hope there might be some meaning here that resonates with you. 
Good morning, 
I’m Rob Martinez, Queno’s youngest child, and on behalf of our step-mother, Dolores, myself, my siblings, Tomas, Patricia and Henry, and our entire families, we thank you so much for being with us today as we reflect on the amazing journey of our father, Dolores husband, Eugene “Queno” Martinez.

Our father had a wonderous, amazing life, and personally, after deep reflection I have come to better understand many of the roadblocks that he faced, and simply crushed through, during his almost 90 years of life!

His life was one filled with twist and turns, and though he had been faced with many adversities he persevered through it all to become simply an amazing example of a hero to many of us here, and to others across California. He did so much for so many for so long, and well…

I wanted to make this just a bit interactive, so bear with me as we try something: 

By a show of hands, and please keep them risen, who has ever done any of these with Queno?:

-Picked fruits or vegetables, worked with him building something, a freeway, garage, extra room, pinewood derby car, or worked in the yard with Queno?

-Been fishing, played golf, gone on vacation, traveled in a car for hundreds of miles with children?

-Shared a Pepsi, lunch, burrito, or had dinner with him?

-Gone to, listened to, or watched a Dodger game with him?

-Been to church services, a wedding, a baptism, or any other religious service with him?

-Been with him as he held one of his grandchildren, or/any baby for that matter, and seemed to communicate directly to the baby’s heart, mind and soul with a subtle, soft voice?

-Sang, danced, laughed, giggled, watched a movie, been to a swap meet, or stopped at a yard sale with him?

-Whose ever had him come see them in a sporting event, performance, graduation, parade, or any other activity?

-Who has had ad the pleasure of being provided BBQ, guacamole, menudo, or simply was fed by him, and treated like a king or queen by him?

Who has been able to sit and talk about life, passion, hard work, love, and who knows that he deeply cared for you?

Well, I gotta tell you, my hand would have been up for all of these, and by the show of hands today, I think these rememberances for each of us adds to his life’s legacy. Each of us has unique memories of our father, and each of us has those special times where we might believe that Queno was only thinking about us at that very moment, and you know what? You would be correct. 

He had that amazing ability to give love to so many at the same moment that this is why I believe that we each felt so special when we were able to be with him, or even have a quick phone conversation, and even if we were not able to be with him, we just knew that he was thinking about us. So, now it’s up to us to carry the legacy of our father with us, and live our lives, with him being just a little closer to our hearts.. 

My dad was known for a few sayings, 

“Think twice mijo!” Which I think he said to my brother Henry a few more times than he ever said to me. It was his way of reminding us that what we do matters, that what we do has consequences, good and bad, and it was his way of getting us to realize that we can have an impact on our lives, and the lives of others.

He also would say, “if you follow your passion you will never have to work a day in your life.” Which some have credited to some some other famous person, but I’m sure it really was my dad who said it first. He meant that if you truly believe you can accomplish something, let no one, or nothing stop you. He was the Nike guy, before Nike was an idea, “Just do it!”

He was known to also say to each of us, “Keep going to school, keep learning, even if it’s just one new thing, keep learning.” He truly believed that education was the key to success. He returned as an adult man to graduate high school, and continued to learn about different things, and technologies throughout his life.  He was so happy that I returned to school at 46 to obtain my Doctorate degree.  Heck, he even had Apple TV so he could watch his beloved Dodgers.

Several of us were so fortunate to spend this last Father’s Day with him, and for those of you who may be on Facebook you probably saw a little fun video we posted that we shared with everyone that focused on his hand-built BBQ -yes, brick by brick, at almost 90, he build that BBQ. I was also able to share with my dad a written post that I wrote the morning of Father’s Day, where I shared some of his amazing accomplishments over numerous obstacles.  Yes, I was also able to share those sentiments with him the next morning, and he laughed greatly at the video clip, and teared up after reading my post.  He was astonished that over 500 people at that time (now closer to 700) had seen our video, not even a day after it was posted. I told him that we had made a positive impact on people, and that made him smile that sly little smile of his.

The day after Father’s Day, we had the opportunity to talk about his accomplishments, as I saw them, and he simply looked at me and said to me, “I just tried to do what was right, I love you kids, I love my family, and I love my wife, I love my life.  I can ask for nothing more. God has been good to me.” He also said, “I just tried to be good.”  The humility of my father was extraordinary. I don’t think he truly understood the impact that his life had on others the brothers and sisters he helped raise, his own children, the literally hundreds of relatives that felt so much love from this man, the thousands of acquaintances that he might have coached, provided scouting tips to, taught how to work, learn a trade, raise a family, the miracles truly go on, and on. I believe that if we follow his example, and just try to “Be Good” each of our lives, and our collective lives will be better.

So God, as I conclude today, a little request if you will: Please be good to our daddy, Dolores’s husband, friend and caregiver to all, and a simply amazing man. Please, please  make sure he has a cold Pepsi at the ready, the ability to watch the Dodgers, a fresh tortilla for snacking, some dancing music, and watch out, because as we know my dad, we can all predict, that he will work his way into the number one Angel position in short order, I just know it, since he’s that kind of guy!

Daddy, I love you, we all miss you, and we know that you will continue to guide us when you can! We thank you for our “Beautiful” life, and for being the beautiful person you were. 

Love you always,Robert

Dr. Rob Martinez, is known as “Resiliency Guy” on Facebook, is on Twitter as @ResiliencyGuy and works as the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District. 

 

Gratitude, Appreciation and Thankfulness

Posted on Updated on

Gratitude, Appreciation, and Thankfulness

  

Gratitude, appreciation and thankfulness are personal characteristics that many people have, and I believe that when people allow these characteristics to frame their perspectives they are often more happy within themselves, and about their lives.

  
I believe that our perspectives are skewed by our experiences, and it is our interpretation of those experiences that provide us the ability to reflect, consider, and then to build our true life perspective that we then use to live new experiences.
A few difficult questions for you as you consider self-reflection: How were your world interpretation skills developed? Do you work on them? Do you reflect on them? Do you simply believe you are correct in your perspective? Do you seek out new ways of thinking? Do you seek out other views to be able to broaden your personal awareness? Do you believe that what you believe should or should not be questioned? Do you seen an alternative to your perspective, and can you view yourself holding that perspective?

 
To get more to the point, do you hold gratitude for the people, experiences, and life that you hold? Do you really appreciate the people, experiences, and life that you have built? Do you demonstrate your thankfulness to the people who have been and are in your life, for those experiences that you have had that have built who you are, and do you seek to pay it back to those in your world in a positive way?
To grow, develop, and to positively change takes time, and if you actually want to understand and appreciate your life in a more introspective way, it takes conscientious thought, consideration, reflective capabilties, and an understanding that life isn’t what has been done to you, it’s a compilation of the people that have been in your life, the experiences that you have had, and your responses to both.
Yes, you build your interpretation frame. You have the ability to analyze, interpret, and add meaning to each event. Now, sometimes, as children, we have limited abilities to control the people that come into our lives, or the life experiences that we have endured, and yet, as we review, interpret, and add meaning to these experiences as we grow, we can adjust, be flexible, and help ourselves to grow, develop, and take charge of our lives.
I choose to be grateful, to appreciate life, and to offer thankfulness for the people, experiences, and synthesis of both into my life. I choose to believe that I can make a difference, help build a positive world, and work to connect people to the resources that are close at hand that just might help them to grow, develop, and live healthy lives.

 
Is it a simple trick, is it a simple approach, is it simply that easy? Gratitude, appreciation, and thankfulness, three key ingredients to consider on this Thanksgiving Day, and I hope that you choose to sprinkle liberally throughout your life.
Dr. Rob Martinez, known as @ResiliencyGuy on twitter and “Resiliency Guy” on facebook, strives to connect with people and supports the framework of “Transformational Resiliency.” He will be presenting at the National Conference on Resilience Education in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 5, 2015. 

Connect, Appreciate, and Build a Sustainable Transformation

Posted on Updated on

Connect, Appreciate and Build a Sustainable Transformation

  
Connecting: When we connect, even for a moment, we demonstrate the ability to build relationship, be human, show love, and to build a community.


When we connect with those in our environments we take the first step in demonstrating to them that we care, that they matter, and that we believe in the value of them as a person with individuality, ideas, and thoughts that matter to us. We tell them that not only do we care about them, but they have a place in our world, and in our collective reality. Whether this connection is a simple acknowledgment, a wink and a nod, a brief conversation, or a heartfelt hello, we must strive to ensure that we are making these connections.
Think about it, in your world, when people take that moment to actually connect to you do you feel more alive. I think that as we go through our busy days, we often become so consumed eith our internal thoughts, our minds focused on problem solving, and with gathering information from our technological devices, that we sometimes forget to recognize that others are seeking to connect with us.  For example, as I was ruminating over my day’s work, driving home, stopped at a stoplight, with the news radio blarring at me, I happened to look to my left.

 

It took just a few seconds, and yet there she was. An elderly African American woman I didn’t know, sitting in the passenger seat of the car to my left.  She smiled, gave me a little wave with her small right hand, and nodded to me. It was no more than a few fingers being lifted to let me know that she saw me, and that smile and nod refocused me into realizing that my work-day, though long, filled with the troubles of others, and with complex problems with solutions that were hopefully on their way, was actually not that bad at all. She let me know that she saw me, she connected with me, she ackknowledged my exsistence, and I was grateful.
Appreciation: If we miss a moment to show appreciation, we miss an opportunity to potentially change the world! Don’t miss those moments!



Do moments in your day seem to fly by in clusters where you move from cluster to cluster without recognizing the efforts of others? For me it happens all too often, and I want to be better at recognizing the efforts of others, then in demonstrating appreciation for the efforts of others. This will take a conscious deliberate effort in seeking to notice these efforts, and a purposeful response to demonstrate that I’ve noticed, and appreciated those efforts. Please consider joining me in these efforts.
It could be as simple as saying, “Thank You.” It could be as simple as writing a post-it-note with a smile on it, and leaving it in a conspicuous place for the person to find, or it could be a brief email, text, snapchat, tag in a twitter post, or any other entry into the technological stream that the person swims, to let them know that you noticed, and appreciated their efforts. The venue isn’t the important thing, it’s ensuring that the person that you want to demonstrate appreciation for realizes that you care, you noticed, you appreciate them, and that you are not taking for granted their efforts.
Our world today is moving so fast, and yet, it is these moments that are so important to us as people, and it is these moments that could actually make an impact on our personal story, the story of the people in our world, and the broader world in general.  Consider how your reality might change if you offered more appreciation to others. Could you ingnite a new way of acting with people in your reality? Could this new way of acting spread to those people, and their realities? Could we, as some have said, actually change the world by initiating a “Chain of Appreciation” that links us all together? What if we could? Why wouldn’t we?


Building a Sustainable Transformation: This takes ideas, dedication, and follow through! #Resilience #EachPersonMatters



To change the world is no easy feat, and yet, what could be more meaningful? So to those that actually dare to take on this challenge with me, I say, “Welcome, to wherever you are,” and “Let’s travel this journey together.” Whether you are a teacher, an educator, a person who cares about others, or the head of a major corporation, it just doesn’t matter, since no matter who you are, you do have the ability to change your world, impact the world of the people within your world, and quite possibly, change the entire world.

You simply need ideas that you believe in, dedication to initiate a change in your own behavior, and perserverance to follow through on your own behavior.  In addition, if you create opportunities for others in your world to follow your example, and set expectations for those in your world that will lead to them supporting your ideas, then your goals become closer to your reach.

 

As this blog suggests, if you seek to increase your personal connections with others at every opportunity, if you begin to increase your appreciation for others that you are connecting with, you will be taking significant steps to build a sustainable transformation in your world, that can, and will, impact those in your world, and quite possibly ignite a change to our collective world. I ask again, What if we could? Why wouldn’t we?

 
Peace, Rob Martinez, Ed.D.

Dr. Martinez, strives to empower adults to build environments for children where they can “Grow in Peace.  He can also be found on twitter as @ResiliencyGuy and @DrRobM_FSUSD

 
Dr. Martinez will be presenting at the American Associationi of School Personnel Administrators Conference, “Human Capital Leadership Summit” in Monterey, California, on December 3, 2015, and at the “National Conference on Resilience in Education” in Las Vegas, Nevada, the weekend of December 5-6, 2015.

Tale of Two Types of Teachers

Image Posted on Updated on

Tale of Two Types of Teachers: One Brings Forth Transformational Resiliency, the Other Threatens Students Success-Time to Choose!

My dear fellow educators, parents, people who care about children, and supporters of a better world, let me first say clearly, each and every child you know needs your support, care, love and understanding. I further believe that each child you know is entitled to an educational environment where they are encouraged to grow in peace, able to stretch their thinking, advance their skills, build a healthy psyche, and become college, career, and community ready!  

Quite simply, each child is entitled to learn in an environment that focuses on building Transformational Resiliency, and one where a child’s success is never threatened.

Unfortunately, in some of our schools today I must confess that there continues to exist some adults whose talents and skills do not focus on providing support, care, love, understanding, empathy, and growth mindset models to children.  Instead, they hold a mis-guided belief that the tactics of fear, intimidation, power, control, shame, and punishment are effective strategies for keeping children in their place, quiet, compliant, and focused on solely outdated academic pursuits as defined by these mis-guided individuals.  Hold for a moment while I gasp along with you, and shake my head at the reality that some of these adult individiuals are mis-guided teachers who desperately need our intervention!

I’d love to tell you that this is a myth, and yet, to my dismay, I have heard words from some teachers’ mouths directly to my ears, that describe situations that could only lead to frustration and negative success for many students.  Some of these statements sound like: “We must lay down the law…we must convince them (students) that we are in control…we must demand that they respect us…we must be sure that they know the consequences of their actions…we must force them to behave…we must suspend them at the slightest misdeed…we must never let them see our weakness!” 

While some people might seek to understand these statements, and some might even agree that each classroom needs order, that children must be provided parameters within classrooms, and that when there is no order chaos could derail many a classroom, the underlying premise of these statements is one of intimidation and fear, which is by no way a means to an end where children are involved.  It saddens me that these feelings might reside in anyone.

This is a sad fact that there are those in positions of power, including some teachers, that seek to control students.  Further, where these sentiments exist there may be a push by some to garner support, and replicate these thoughts. It is worrisome when a veteran teacher with such beliefs, who thinks that it is their duty to share their “wisdom” with new teachers to ensure compliance of students across their school, is the main voice on a campus without discourse occurring.  I must say this practice of passing of knowledge, this training of the newbies, this approach to control, domination, depowerment, has no place in our schools, has no place in the raising of children, has no place in the growth mind-set that is needed to support our children.  Further, these tactics especially have no place where children have experienced trauma, pain, discrimination, and disparate treatment from their community, and these children need emotional nourishment, not emotional neglect. In fact, the complete opposite is needed for children to grow in peace.  

Now, rest assured, that situations are not like this everywhere, and know that a growing proportion of educators are striving, pushing, leading other educators to understand that the first and foremost important factor that will combat this approach is to first be a person, a human being, and to allow our children to know that we are humans with true interest in developing relationships with them as people.  These healthy relationships are so needed across our educational institutions, and are indeed an avenue to save children, and in turn save ourselves.  When educators seek to provide positive educational environments, where the resilience development of children becomes one of the prevailing factors of the work, and where adults are consciously aware that they matter in the lives of children, extremely positive outcomes are possible.  This paramount priority of building relationships must be at the forefront of an educator’s mission on a daily basis for real and true growth of children to occur.

In many of the conversations that I have had with such educators I have heard words of inspiration, words that are filled with encouragement, words that are supportive, demonstrate love and care, and words that can indeed lead to the enhancement of positivity and quite possibly change the world.  Some of these words include: “We must seek to understand each child that enters our classrooms…we must strive to build relationships, and be human beings…we must help our children develop their internal locus of control…we must create respectful environments where each child can give and get from their community…we must provide opportunities for children to see their futures, to build capacities they never imagined, and to learn how to support each other…we must seek to heal children…we must seek to forgive children…we must seek to restore justice to our classrooms, schools, communities so that children learn to understand the power they hold in their lives…we must strive to empower children, all children, each child, to be ready for the future they can, and can’t see!” Then as believers of education we must inspire those that are doing this important work with our children each day to continue, and to bring their colleagues with them to create a positive tipping point for each school!

When I hear these positive statements from teachers I am inspired.  When I see these types of positive strategies and behaviors being implemented I am enthralled.  When I hear groups of teachers engaged in discourse that is focused on building relationship with and among students in classrooms, hallways, quads, schools that are providing environments that are empowering children to be safe, build positive relationships, learn how to trust our educational institution, and to use the resources provided to them to grow themselves and each other, I am humbled to be an educator.  And, my dear colleagues, it is happening.  It is happening due to the strength of individuals, the courage of educators, the resiliency of children, the implementation of professional development that encourages and educates teachers about their power to truly change lives through making connections with children, and by not thretening a child’s success.

It is happening in more and more classrooms and schools.  Teachers and educators are learning how to “Capture Kids Hearts.” Teachers and educators are helping children to “Be The Change.” Teachers and educators are striving to support children with understanding “Rachel’s Challenge,” and to initiate a chain of kindness. Teachers and educators are fostering healthy conversations. Teachers and educators are encouraging restorative justice practices. Teachers and educators are understanding that it is with support, love, caring, and focusing on the betterment of children that real change occurs, and that by dismissing the old myths that we gain something by controlling children is a practice that has reached far beyond its shelf-life.  

Teachers and educators are building classrooms and schools where social-contracts are the rule, not the rarity.  Teachers and educators are understanding that the power of positive mental health instruction and social-emotional learning curriculums are a priority for each classroom. Teachers and educators are empowering each other to create environments where Transformational-Resiliency practices are flourishing.  Teachers and educators are rebuking the false promises out-dated strategies that seek to control children, and are replacing them with strategies that are nuturing and nourishing students.  

If you have stayed with me through this writing you have probably picked up that I hold quite an internal passion for this topic.  Yes, my wife and I have four boys, and one with some significant difficulties simply attending school, and each and every time I hear someone speak of the need to control studentes I cringe, I gasp, my heart races, and my blood begins to boil.  I am seriously concerned for my son experiencing anyone who might wish to threaten his success, and I pray that each educator that he may meet over the remainder of his education will be someone who will seek to employ Transformational-Resiliency practices to encourage his success.  

I ask you, in your work, in your life, in your role, if you hear any educator speak of the need to control students, please challenge their ideas, tell them that you are sorry for their perception and experiences that might have led them to this perspective, and explain to them that there is another way, a better way, a way of engaging students through practices that focus on kindness, care, compassion, empathy, and relationship building.  Tell them that they have time to change, that the children they work with each day deserve the best they have to offer, not just the control they want to implement, and quite frankly it might be time to tell them that if they cannot choose to change, they might want to choose to leave. Our children deserve only the best!  

Tell them about Transformational Resiliency: The growth, development and strengthening of a child’s personal resiliency as a result of being provided an engaging, positive, thoughful, supportive educational environment.

Peace, Robert A. Martinez, Ed.D.  
@ResiliencyGuy  @DrRobM_FSUSD  https://resiliencyguy.wordpress.com/

IMG_0991-0

My Brother, My Brother–A Thanks to My Brother George!

Image Posted on Updated on

My brother, my brother, you made me do it, and in turn you helped to make me!

Many moments, many smiles, many tears, many laughs, many songs, many moments, many challenges, many amazing adventures, George, you often made me do it, and as you did you helped to make me!

As a child, to me, you were a Superhero! You were a blur, as an athlete, a musician, a good looking son-of-a gun, a wild one who drove fast cars, wore super wild clothes, lived in the fast lane, yes, you were a stylin’ metro man, well before your time. 

George, you made me laugh, you made me cry, you made me clean your shoes, you made me wash your car, you made take care of your dog, you made me clean up after myself, you made me make dinner for us (even if it was just some boloney in a tortilla), you made me share my beer with you, and as you did you helped to make me!

As a teen, to me, you were a quite the mystery-man.  Who else could pull off working at a diaper service during the day, and play in a wedding band on the weekends all at the same time.  To me you were a world-traveler, a true bohemian, one who wasn’t ready to settle, one who wanted it all, and yet, you loved the simplicity of a cool beer on a summer day, a winter day, okay, day, night, whenever…

George, you made me wear a tie, you made me go to school, you made me sell my car, you made me get a job, you made me buy a Gremlin-3-speed cause it was safer, you made me bring home pioneer chicken (for free-fo-sure), you made me keep my room clean, you made me help with the yard, you made me go to Vegas with you, and wear a matching suit–(think Mexican Rainman), and by doing so, you helped to make me!

As a young man, to me you were an amazing role model, a man who enjoyed life at every moment, who demonstrated a commitment to his profession, who continued to enjoy his music, who focused on his friends and relationships, who loved the swapmeet on Sunday, the beach any time of day, and then as a man who would share all of his love with his wonderful wife, and children.  

George, you made apply to college, you made me find a better job, you made me question my choices, you made me see the world of possibilities that was out there, you made me reach out and reconnect with dad, you made me get car insurance, you made me want to do better, you made me want to become the father I am, the husband I am, the professional I am, the friend I am.  George, by doing so you helped to make me!

As an adult man, to me, the way you battled the cancer beast, year after year, and never let it capture your heart, mind and soul, i was always reminded of how I viewed you as a child-one with superhuman internal strength, as one who would ccontinue the fight to out-maneuver the pain, as one who would love to spend a day by the beach, enjoying a frosty one, and listning to some music with those he loved, and the hats, those beautiful styling’ hats. 

George, you made me feel grateful for every moment I’d see you on facebook, you made me smile with every text you sent, you made me smile with every outing you were on, you made me wonder in awe of your perserverance as you would seemingly never, never, never give up! You made me think about my own relationship with God, and I really do believe that you are now traveling through space and time with mom, with Brandon, with Stephanie, and now joined by Hildi and other loved ones seeking out new adventures. George, my dear brother, by doing all of this you helped to make me!

Yes my brother, you helped to make me, by making me a better person, by being there for me, by being my best friend and father for a number of years.  I truly could not imagine where my life might have been if not for you.  I know you know, and it can probably go without saying, and, just to be clear,  I love you, I’ll miss you always, and you will forever be in my mind, heart and soul. 

My brother George took me in when I was sixteen years old and had very limited options. He cared for me as a brother, a son, a friend, and our relationship as you might tell from my writing will be un-matched in my life. I hope that these words resonate with you as you may consider how much you mean to those you love, and those that love you. My hope that you all have a Brother like my George in your life, and that you can be like this for another.

Peace to you, Rob

IMG_0355.JPG