Today I watched a man be buried. There were 15 or so people at the burial. Two of them were his “primas” (cousins) the rest were from a non-profit organization who help hungry and homeless people. You see 15 years ago Paco, our portero, lived on the streets of Barcelona. Somehow he was able to get a job as the portero for our apartment building. He worked here for 15 years. He spent his money on treats for Boo and Kate. And according to one of the ladies I met today, he was particular about which treats.. because he knew which treats Boo and Kate liked most. The people today knew all about our puppies because Paco had told them.
Today all 15 of us watched as his casket was removed from the hearse and loaded on to a lift before it was slid in it’s cubby. We watched as the man closed the cubby and cemented it shut. Paco is number 4158. Before they closed the door, I gave Paco the smiling picture of Boo and Kate on the front of the boat in Canada. I’m only sorry I didn’t give it to him sooner. Others had brought flowers and one man brought a newspaper giving Paco the Barca update.. as he was a huge fan of Barca.
There was no priest at the burial. Just two cousins and the the rest of us, who were there to say, “your life mattered”. A beautiful Italian poem was read that (I think) said as much. Paco will be in this cubby for two years and then they will remove him and take him elsewhere with others like Paco who have no family or money. Once a year a bigger ceremony is done for those who have passed in that year.
I guess what I want you to know Emma and Owen, is that you matter. I love you. I will always love you… I will never stop loving you. And even though Paco was a small part of our lives, he was a part of our life! His kindness and generosity with our dogs will never be forgotten. No act of kindness is too small… and you never know what kind of impact you will have on others!
I don’t know Paco’s story and I can proudly say that all of the above information I gathered speaking only Spanish.. but I was so proud of the other people who were at his burial. Most of these people dedicate their time and lives to helping others.. to show them that “they matter”! Isn’t that what we all want? To know that we matter to someone? That we somehow have a made a difference in someone else’s life?