Dozens of deaths a day greet you in the morning paper. Then the phone rings, and you hear your daughter's tears — and it gets personal. Soon you are kneeling at the casket of a man you did not know, crying your thanks to God for the gifts of grace and the richness of affection he brought to your life, though he never knew it.
The man's name was Antonio. He woke to life under the spring sun of central Mexico nearly 76 years ago. I met him once. But as I study the still contour of his face, I realize I knew him far better than I'd thought.
He lives in his son, Armando, a young man whose gentle spirit I greatly admire, a man who loves my daughter, Rachel, as much as I do, if such things can be measured. But today it is grief, not love, we must fathom. Last words must be remembered and spoken.
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