Romero

Memory of Romero

 

Today is Easter Sunday.  I know that because Boy is  on holiday.  I read it here too and hummed The Easter Bonnet song along with Joseph.  I read about your plans for celebrating with family and friends.  This morning I thought about Easter.  I thought about families dressed in new Easter clothes going to church to celebrate the Risen Christ.  Families having picnics.  Children screaming when they find the plastic eggs filled with too much chocolate.  I wondered about Romero.  I know he is celebrating the risen Christ and the salvation of mankind.

Romero is a gardener by trade.  He comes to my house every week.  He didn’t say much at first, but we talked and we became friends.  He tells me about his life and his work.  How people try to cheat him.  How his daughter is fifteen and he worries.  How he has no girlfriends because he is raising his children after his wife left.  How he works seven days a week after his regular gardening job.  How he hopes his children will go to school and be successful.  Mostly, he hopes they will grow into good and decent people.  As he tells me about his life, he smiles.  Romero does not understand bitterness.

He tells me something else that explains who he is.  He belongs to a small, fundamentalist church.  When I asked why he joined it, he says, because they asked me.   The church is good to him, and he is good to the church.  That makes sense to me too.  It would be tempting to describe Romero as a simple man.  He is a simple man in the way Christ, the carpenter, was a simple man.   He lives by the rules of his heart.   He is a philosopher.

Romero helps me.  Once, when the spotlight melted, I asked if he would replace it with the new one.  He replied that he was afraid to do that.  What if the house burned down?  I asked if he replaced his own.  He did.  Well, then, he would replace mine.  He does extra things for me because he is a good man.  No other reason.  He smiles too.  I like his smile so much that I know when I forget who he is, I won’t forget him.

 

Memory

One day, when I am old and tired, I won’t remember Romero’s name.  Names are bothersome anyway.   Names don’t tell us anything important.  I gave them up long before I grew tired and pulled the blanket of memory close against the leftover bones.  I know I will find Romero woven in there somewhere close to my heart.  And I will smile too.

52 Comments on “Romero

  1. I can imagine Romero’s smile even though your photograph captures his profile, which reveals, through its lines and shadows, and downcast gaze, some hint of the weight of the worries he bears, but, as you say, no trace of bitterness. I feel like if Romero turned and looked into the camera, I would meet eyes of almost unbearable gentleness. I know from your portrait, both in words and in this image of him you have captured, that he is beautiful.

    I am deeply struck and moved by your photograph titled “Memory,” and by what you have said about memory, and forgetting and not forgetting. The image, so beautifully composed, is fragile and ghostly, and yet is somehow very much of this world at the same time: earthly and ephemeral (as are we).

    Like

  2. It is wonderful to read someone who can see and appreciate a person for who they are, and to even think of looking for it shows who you are…good!! You moved my spirit thank you!!

    Like

    • Romero is a fine person. He inspires me. I’m glad you like him too. He will read this post when he comes to my house next week. I think he will like it. 🙂 He won’t believe that he has touched other people. I know that will make him happy.

      Like

      • Yes, and I hope that he realizes how important he is…can you imagine this world without any goodness. There is little enough as it is, or maybe we just hear mostly the bad because the news media thrives off of the negative. 🙂

        Like

  3. Such a beautiful tribute to Romero! I don’t understand why some have an abundance of heart and so little wealth, while others have an abundance of wealth and so little heart… One of life’s many mysteries I guess. Keep doing what you do George, your posts are always an inspiration.

    Like

      • Of course you are! This post is full of poetry. You just have to lift out all of the poetic bits and arrange them on a page. Everything is already there. It doesn’t have to rhyme, if that’s what’s holding you back.

        I was once very surprised to learn from an “expert” in the USA that I had written a “prose poem”. I didn’t know that such a thing existed but apparently I had written one. Just write it. Someone will find a name for its style.

        Like

        • Maybe…. But, thank you for the praise. I understand what you mean. And I appreciate it. 🙂

          Like

  4. Pingback: Bianca Romero head of IEEP « Hollywood in the Hood

  5. Your post reminds me of all that’s wrong with the Education system. It teaches kids how to pass exams, rather than how to possess character. I really like what you’ve written. It is truly superb. An appreciation of an ordinary man, doing ordinary things, but with the flavour of Christ. Brilliant.

    Like

    • I was a teacher once. I may have influenced my students’ value systems, but I don’t believe human decency can be taught. It is learned by association and human interaction from the cradle forward.

      Thank you for stopping by and for your generous comment.

      Like

  6. This post made me smile all over the place; mouth, eyes, nose, and ears. Using your words and photo, I pictured George and Romero. Romero squinting beneath a besmirched cap, George’s fingers clasped gently around a camera. And I thought of the easy way between the two of you. Not easy because it is, but because you didn’t allow it to be difficult.

    The tendency to gravitate toward what is familiar, what is comfortable, can often times rob of you an encounter or relationship with someone very special. I worked as a nanny for 10 years before semi-retiring to squeeze this book out of me. In that time, I met a woman, Maria, who was likely the purest glimpse at hard-work and kindness I’ll ever get. She arrived every other Friday at 8 a.m. sharp and didn’t leave until 3:30 p.m. A break — if you could call it that — of fifteen minutes was all she allowed herself, because she had a son to pick up from school at 3:45. Maria spoke very, very little English and communicating with her was “difficult”. Thankfully, neither one of us cared too much about proper nouns, adverbs, and adjectives. It’s amazing what you can do with a smile and some clever hand-gestures.

    I hadn’t thought of Maria in a while . . . Thank you for reminding me of her.

    Happy Monday, George.

    Like

    • Thanks, Mollusk Girl. I’m happy that you liked it. I am always glad to see Romero, and he is happy to see me. I think my place is sort of a refuge from the stress of his other jobs. He has a crew of guys who work with him, but he comes by himself lots of the time. The work goes a lot easier if you can smile.

      Where is our book?

      Like

  7. George, this is easily the best piece of read regarding Easter (and I read more than 20). Romero reminded me of the protagonist in the brilliant Italian film, “Il Postino.” I was not at all myself this morning and now i am uplifted and hopeful because of this post.

    Like

    • Hey, anything I can do to cheer up the Blissful Adventurer! Life is tough, Michael. I’m glad I’m my age and you are yours. I tried to recall how I must have felt at your age. I think I was in a perpetual angst. We were working too hard. I don’t think I had much leisure to contemplate more than dragging myself out of bed every morning to go at it again. We were determined to make it back then. Actually, that period of my life is something of a blur. There were too many problems to solve and too much work to do. I didn’t read for years. I worked. Seven days a week including holidays! Somebody always had a septic system pump malfunction on Christmas Day back then.

      One Thanksgiving Day, Dean and I decided to install a septic system for a small business because it was closed. We could work without having somebody constantly in the way. We took Kelli. She was about ten or so, I guess. It was too wet to work in clay soil, but we did. Dean was trenching the lines and I was fitting and laying the pipe. Kelli’s job was to walk the narrow trenches and throw out any mud clods the trencher had thrown back into the trenches. When I looked up, she had disappeared. I found her lying in the truck asleep. To this day, she is fond of reminding me that we made her work on Turkey Day! Sometimes, hard, physical work is the best therapy. Find yourself a ditch to dig. You’ll feel better! 😉

      Like

      • What you described to me just then sounds like a hell of proportions best kept for WWII references and Daytime Soaps. Wow! Thanksgiving Day!? What do you think now about “trying to make it?” I do sometimes like the idea of my old days stacking cases of wine, seeing it sell, and then stacking more.I liked when I helped my dad with the construction company as well 20 years ago. Now I am building something else. I throw around weights, hike, and run to burn things and find endorphin. Yet, now I am the great boss I always wanted to be and this is my great Pyramid under construction. No one will build it if I don’t and I can’t really sit and look at other pyramids with admiration; only envy and judgement. I worked on Easter and I work on Saturdays because not doing it gets me closer to the place where I will realize my pyramid-building has passed. I can’t even begin to accept that at the moment. I still think I can hit .400

        Like

        • What do I think now? I think it was far easier and more fun for us to make it than it is for Kelli and JC to inherit it. They have a whole different set of problems. I don’t worry about a thing. When they fail to deposit my money in my bank one month, I’ll worry. No, I won’t. I will write another of my history-making loan proposals and kick their asses into gear and off we’ll go at it again. There is no such thing as “making it”. In business, as in life, it’s always up or out. But, you get time off to die.

          Like

  8. I love the Romeros of the world. The people who quietly go about their day, work hard and put a touch of themselves in everything they do. I like to connect with them, like your connection with Romero. I’ll be he would do anything for you…

    elisa

    Like

    • Well, Elisa, Romero and I come from the same place. The only thing that separates us is the fact that I read better. Whatever that is worth. Yes, we would help each other because that’s what good people do. 🙂

      Like

  9. Beautifully expressed George. As always, you have a way of touching the heart strings and stimulating the mind. I’sll be passing this one on to some who are outside of the blogging community. Take care. 🙂

    Like

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Lorna. I asked Romero if I could write a story about him. He said I could. I think he might like it.

      Like

  10. A very beautiful post. How fortunate you are, to have Romero taking care of your garden. It is that simplicity that is most beautiful about human beings… the simplicity that reflects the soul. It could very well be that you will remember Romero’s name as long as you live… and his smile too.

    Like

    • We complicate our lives once we learn to read well, don’t we? 🙂 Romero and I share a common history. He could have been my son. If he were, I would take pride in the man that he became. Romero and I come from working people. I have worked with my hands too and found it more satisfying than anything I ever did behind a desk.

      Dean and I visited his mother some time before she died. She was living in a nursing home in North Carolina where Dean grew up. She recognized me immediately. Then, she introduced me to her husband, Dean. I will never forget the look of absolute adoration on her face as she looked at him. I will never forget the look of absolute horror on his face. I understood, but he did not. He never went back to see her again.

      Like

  11. I love how you write, it’s so interesting.
    I have always wanted to do a post like this, where I tell a story about someone.
    Very nice post George, I really really enjoyed it!

    Like

        • I’ll be waiting for that one. Just tell us in your usual way of speaking. Nothing fancy. I was hoping you’d do that since you mentioned them in a post before.

          Like

    • Oh, how funny. That’s just the way I think. I thought the same thing when I was twenty. I am always aware of the transience of life. Hold hands while we are here, I say. Tomorrow is too late to start. 🙂

      Like

    • Happy Easter to you too, Lance! I am waiting with baited breath as the trite old sayin’ goes! 😉

      Like

    • Thank you, Daisy Fae. You’ve been so good to visit me. I’ll be right along. I know the door is open so I’ll just wander on in. Don’t mind me. I have bird food in my fridge. And no expectations when I visit. I hope the Easter Bunny found your house too. 😉

      Like

  12. I already love Romero because the way you describe him! A person with no bitterness, a person always smiling, a good person, a person of simple faith, a person who print on you such a strong impression! Sounds like God loves you so much that he send Romero to touch your heart! Thanks for sharing this story George! 🙂

    Like

    • You would love Romero too. I am grateful for him. He stops and looks at me and shares his life with me. People who allow themselves that kind of honest connection to other people are special. He is one of them. Yes, God has been good to me, Ana.

      Like

  13. I am impressed so much… This is wonderful post, you expressed so nicely. Thank you dear George, Blessing and Happiness. With my love, nia

    Like

    • Thank you, Nia. I love Romero. He is a kind and gentle man. If only the world were as Romero sees it, we would all live in a better place. He gives me hope.

      Like

  14. Dear George,

    I don’t know whether you are a better storyteller or poet. You are so perceptive, and your words paint such a clear picture. Truly moving. You are so gifted.

    Like

    • Ah, Naomi, you are the writer. I am a sentimentalist who tells stories. Thank you for understanding. Seeing cannot be taught. You see.

      Like

  15. I truly envy you your ability to capture the real people in your life so completely, both in your words and in your heart…and quite obviously, you are in theirs. That’s a talent I wish I had. *hugs*

    KC

    Like

    • Ah, but you write of “Paradise”:

      the animals now own
      this paradise alone

      And, you write superbly about the human condition. You write a lullaby that leaves it’s melody in my head.

      Youth seeks too much, I think. Maybe that’s how miracles are born? Rome was not built on the scribbles of old people. 🙂

      Like

      • Heh. Wish I was young…although I suppose 42 might seem young to some. And besides, that’s only my legal, nominal age. My mind/emotional/social/creative ages are many and varied. :p

        As far as I’m concerned, youth is in the heart and mind, not the body. And yours is filled with beauty and spills over into mine with every story. *hugs*

        Like

Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: