ABOUT MANNY AND WITH MANNY
By Leonor Torres
29 years ago, after 32 years of separation, almost like in a fairy tale I reunited in NJ with my dear cousin Manny. A knock on the door of my friend Juany's house…, I opened it, and there he was…with his smiling face and his good boy expression. From my soul it came out: “but how tall you are!!!”. And at that time, I really did not know that he was not just big in size, but that his greatness encompassed his body and soul.
I stopped seeing him when he was 14 years old and I was 12, it felt like time had not passed by... in that reunion, in just minutes, we were children again and at the same time we grew up becoming adults. From then on, my existence had a different nuance. I recovered my paternal family and along the way, discovered unimaginable treasures in it. A valuable jewel of that treasure was Manny, my cousin Manny, “mi primor”.
From then on, in all the events of my life: sad, painful, happy, simple, great, defined, confusing... Manny was in all of them, with his peculiar sensitivity supporting me at every step. I learned of the greatness of his soul discovering it in each of his actions and I also learned little by little through others about his intellectual splendor, successes, and brilliant career, because his unpretentiousness and humbleness exceeded the imposition of the ego. He never spoke of greatness, despite having been brilliant in his career, providing unparalleled tools to technology, traveling the entire world, having vast knowledge of art, of the peculiarities of countless cultures and above all being the protagonist of professional and social recognition in countless of countries. His moral values went beyond all the adjectives that this concept could entail, crossing the borders of "being good" to become "incredible".
Beloved by all was Manny, by his family, friends, fellow students and colleagues, neighbors and everyone who had the privilege of knowing him.
Today we are left with a void as great as his presence was, but we will fill it with the memory of his childish smile, his carefree gestures, with the memory of his humorous anecdotes, of his peculiar disposition to accept the impossible, with the memory of his unconditional presence to offer help, to instill courage.
You were and will continue to be a cousin to consult, a cousin to count on. I will continue to wonder “what would Manny say or what would Manny do?”. I'm not saying goodbye to you today, “primor”, because you didn't leave, you just got ahead of me. 32 years will not pass without seeing each other again. You are there with everyone and God always with you.
See you “primor”..!
Your cousin, Leonor