Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Good Life

Tio: Mino Velasquez
Rocha, Puerto Rico

While my sister and I were in Puerto Rico, we stayed with my father's sister Josefinita and her husband Mino. Both are in their late seventies and continue to lead very productive yet simple lives. They don't have much but they give an awful lot beyond what they possess for sure.

As he has his whole life, Mino gets up at the crack of dawn to tend to his cows and to cut down the vegetation with his machete. He continues to work post retirement. By seven in the morning he has already had his daily coffee at his nearby sister's house along with his brother. This is his life. It's simple; something of the past, the way the Puerto Rican campecino and jibarro lived.

His wife continues to foster children and Mino doesn't mind. Both feel that its important to make a difference. Several of the children have even been adopted by her children. They now are part of our extended family. It's as if Mino and Josefinita are the modern day Puerto Rican versions of Ma & Pa Kettle.

Before ten o'clock, you will find Mino on his porch hammock enjoying a few minutes by himself and perhaps even with his year and half great granddaughter snuggling on his chest. The breeze whispering through the palm trees soothe them both and they soon fall asleep.

They don't have much, but I feel that they have more than most. They seem to be content with their lives. They don't talk about religion they just practice kindness and mitzvah. I am proud of my family and all that they do to make the world better one child at a time and one day at a time.

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