by Silvia deJongh

My dear brother, cousin, the genius of the family, a good father, husband, son, brother, uncle, nephew, godfather and friend. 

 

A sweet tooth, heart of gold, cheeky, crybaby, witty, decent, humorous, and bratty. 

 

But one thing you did miss was having a rhythm for music, as a dancer you were a disaster. But a tremendous human being, that you were! 

 

We are all going to miss you here. For my daughter Pillita you were a father to her in many ways, more than I can even count, and for Tim an incredible father-in-law figure and friend. For that I will be forever grateful.  

 

Always remember that at our age at any moment in the blink of an eye we will meet again, and I will be the one with the short vest – The Torerita on. I have imagined the celebrations with the family and friends that you’ve had, the occasional gossip and the "pachanga" too, and you laughing as you have always done, at the drop of a hat. 

 

God has always been with you here and now in heaven, that I assure you.

 

Enjoy everything they offer there, and if they happen to teach dance classes, give it all you have and stick with it. Perhaps Celia Cruz is the teacher and at recess they serve croquettes and guava cakes. How lucky Cubans are?

 

When you see my Roy, give him a big hug from me and tell him I miss him and please let my Jova and viejo DeJongh know how much I miss them too. 

 

Manny, I am short in words to tell you how much I love you, now and forever.

 

Amen.