My Hero

Geronimo Rudy Velez

If you are a regular customer or an Oldie but Goodie to our business, then I'm sure we have told you about our personal lives. We enjoy our heartfelt conversations that we share with our friends as they walk in for professional tailoring and alterations. As many of you know my father and Alvina's husband of 40 years had been battling colon cancer for over 10 years. On June 4,2013 he lost the battle, but in many ways we all agreed he won the war. 


My dad was a survivor, a Vietnam Veteran, Head of houshold for his widowed mother and 8 brothers and sisters, and in remition twice. Dad never gave up his dream of living to see the last of 13 grandchildren graduate from high school. Unfortunately he didn't make it to see but one, his first Grandchild. He was so proud of her accomplishments and of the woman he saw her become. He died just a few days shy of his two eldest grandson'a graduations from Madison and Robert E. Lee high schools. This was hard on our family and all the grandchildren. Dad never wanted to face his mortality and never spoke about the what if he passed. He just insisted on living everyday and saying he was going to live another 20 years. He truely owned the name he was given at birth, Geronimo, a true warrior. Even in his final week he asked us what was going on and why so many visitors and we told him of his prognosis and what the doctors and nurses were telling us. He was dumbfounded and could not accept this, he told us," But I feel fine." In fact he was not fine and passed away fighting till his very last breath was taken. Surrounded by  3 of his daughters,myself included, and my husband the youngest of his son in laws.I held his hand while playing his favorite music from his favorite band, that he managed for many of his younger years. Complete peace came over his face and it was then we new he was  without the pain he had come acustomed to living with over all these years. 


A few weeks before, when he entered in to hospice, He said the words I will never forget, " Man, it's a lot harder dying than it is living." This was true for him because he died not realizing it was his time. 


My dad is my hero because he lived a hard life filled with pain and always managed to smile and he never wanted his life to be over. My whole family will never forget him and we will always appreciate the time we have on this earth and not take it for granted.

 I will always Love you Dad,

Melody