José Fernández’s death is a punch to the gut. He was too young. He was too full of life He had too much to give. He was going to be a father. And on and on.
There are simply no words, only feelings, when we see a young person who survived such dire circumstances succeed and then have his life end in such a tragedy.
Yet, in everything that you read about Fernández’s short life, gratitude seemed to be a common denominator.
In her Sept. 26 column, José Fernández: He was us. He was our story, Fabiola Santiago notes that in an interview, Fernández said: “I’m so lucky to be here.” Even though very young, this seemed to be someone who fully grasped the concept gratitude.
I am an immigrant, and although more than twice the age of this wonderful young man, I, too, am grateful.
I do not think a day goes by when I don’t look around, see God’s grace in my life and am so appreciative for the opportunities afforded me in the United States.
There will be many suggestions about how to best honor Fernández’s life. I am sure that all will be more than worthy.
Yet I would suggest that, in environment of terrible political rancor, that the most fitting tribute to Fernández is a sense of gratitude.
No matter what the political climate, we live in a country where opportunities exist and hope abounds.
So, as one of the tens of millions of first-generation immigrants proud to call America home, especially in a melting pot like Miami, maybe the most appropriate tribute would be to, for a few minutes, leave politics aside and simply reflect on how fortunate we are to be here.
He certainly felt that way.
This would seem to be an extremely appropriate tribute, because I’ve no doubts that “I’m so lucky to be here.”
Maybe you are also.