Thursday, July 17, 2008


I am sitting here at terminal 87A at the San Francisco International Airport. I arrived here from a few days’ conference in the beautiful city of Portland, Oregon. It is a point of transition because from here I am heading back to Sacramento where I left so, so many memories. After facing whatever is in store for me, I am heading further back in time to Los Angeles where I hope to complete a variety of tasks. The next step, I hope, will be to board a plane at the Ontario airport heading back to Pittsburgh and to my final destination which is my future in a wonderful little city in West Virginia.

There are many reasons why I stop to reflect at this moment in time. First of all, time has passed and change has come along with it. It’s funny because in the middle of my day to day struggles, while I strive to help others learn and share, I have failed to communicate not only with those whom I love and treasure but also with my very own self.

I have always been the type who observes and learns from my surroundings. However, I have been so busy building another life that I forgot to stop and smell the roses, so here I go. I am a middle aged father of three wonderful children. I have come to terms with the fact that the “me” I used to claim is just no longer there. I have finally learned to put aside my own preferences and learned what the true meaning of my life is really all about. For me, it has been surrendering! Yes, really, I have surrendered and stopped fighting because I have a purpose that is much, much larger than anything I could have thought of, and with this writing, I do hope to be able to articulate what that could be.

In so many ways, I wish that I could go back and change so many things, but today I realize that it is what it is because I have had so many demons to confront along the way. It’s not so much that I have had a rough life; I think that most people have. It is that I have been forging this human being that finds himself at a crossroads on this day. I could so easily start again and I am not afraid of doing so. That is one of many things that I am so grateful for. There is nothing worse than living your life scared of what could be and that is one of the lessons I retained. I do apologize for my mistakes if and when I was too preoccupied or too involved to realize or to correct them. In retrospect, I am the net sum of my experiences and who knows who I would be if I had not lived them.

Now that I find this moment of tranquility and lucidity, I’ll like to say that I do not hold any grudges and that I hope that my regrets will one day just go away. It is not easy when you have lived a life of a wild gypsy. To be honest, I guess I thought that having survived the horrors of my youth somehow entitled me to feel the guilt of not having died. I guess that I was just angry because I could not do anything to stop the pain. I guess I felt that I was undeserving of a “normal” life, whatever that may be. I guess I had a mission to live recklessly and to live fast and furiously no matter what the consequences. Now, I return to confront those choices but with the hope that I did not leave everything slashed or burned or both.

Success, I thought, consisted of accomplishing all goals. I wanted to prove to myself that I could build business after business and gather skills. I do confess that in the times when I acquired more and more material goods is when I felt the most isolated in my life. Money, travel, luxuries only reminded me of those I left behind. How could I spend hundreds if not thousands in one day meanwhile so many went without? I guess I just forgot what it felt like where I come from. I guess I forgot sleeping on that hard wooden board in that humble little shack where Tio Nicho saved our lives. I guess I just lost track of the ride from Pancasan in the back of that pickup truck, terrified by that military man who boasted of his cruelty.

Now, I remember. I close my eyes and hear him laughing about chopping someone’s hands off just because he did not want to leave his handcuffs behind. I close my eyes and see my beloved hometown being bombed and burning as we fled into the mountains. I guess I just forgot about watching my friends, my family, and my neighbors being shot or taken away to not be found. Damn, perhaps I did not forget, perhaps I was just too mad.

Now, my today is where I find that I have been so fortunate. It’s true that I am insulted by having to confront things from the past, but in the end, I understand. I left and they stayed behind. I kept going while they could not find their path. They simply took advantage of the fact that I was no longer there to fight back. It’s just that I had wished that all I did to make certain to tie any loose ends was good enough. I really cannot phantom what or why. Well, it’s alright. I’ll simply step right up and take any blame if they were right, but I am not alone anymore, in fact, I never was. I am ready to go back!Sometimes we have to go backwards to gain momentum and move forward.

I am so ready to advance and lend a helping hand. I am looking forward to applying all I have learned and share my life. I do miss my beloved Nicaragua, how could I not? I do miss my loved ones and I wish that I could take back some of the tracks I left behind. But I am not the same anymore, I am better armed. This time is not my guns that defend me, it is my heart. This time I want to save so that I can give back. There are so many voiceless all around us. There are so many who need to be protected, who need a guide. I don’t know if I am the right one to do the task, but I do know that I can feel their pain and that I want to try.

This time, I think I found a better way to make a difference, this time it will be by preparing others who want to build their paths and leave their pasts. I am going to take advantage of my accomplishments and build a better future.

The future is bright, it is full of opportunities. I have a larger purpose now, I have what I used to disregard. I have my pride and joy, my kids, my family, my friends and God and Lord, oh Lord; it’s so much more than just enough. I only hope and pray that I get the strength, the health, the wisdom to lead in different ways. This time is not about a company or about pride, it’s about all of us; I want to be a good friend and a good partner. I want to be a good brother, a good son and a good Dad.


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