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Homage to Norman


Myrna, her daugther, her husband and her son Norman in front of a cake.

By María Victoria Diaz

I had the luck of seeing up close the strength of love and family.  It is the kind of love that you don’t see much and makes us ask ourselves if it is an invention of poets or of Disney’s magic.

Years ago I met a cheerful and down-to-earth woman that allowed me into her more intimate spaces.  A fighter mom to whom I always tell I don’t know what material she is made out of because she endures through the hardest tests that life has presented to her.

Little by little I started to understand her secret.  Where was that strength coming from?  Only love could be the source.


Deloris next to her brother Norman. He looks at her.

Myrna is her name, a Mexican “de a de veras”, and she is part of our Advisory Board.  I thought her secret weapons against vicissitude where her oldest daughter Deloris, her youngest son Norman and her husband Juan.  Deloris has a shy smile compared to her mom’s but has the same kindness and cheerfulness.  Norman was deaf-blind, and with help from mom, I learned to communicate with him and to feel his happiness.  Juan is fun, talkative and tenderhearted.  That description falls short.  They are not her strength; her strength is the strength of love.  I saw them go for walks, play, cook, laugh, and cry--all together for a cause, each one doing their part to make each day better than the previous one.  I had the privilege to spend time with them on several occasions and I can assure you that very few times in my life have I felt with such intensity, the strength and love in a family.


Outdoors. Myrna and her husband smile. Golden Gate bridge in the background

There’s a love that allows us to let our loved ones go when they grow up or when they leave to follow their dreams, or when we know that they are going to be better in another place.  That same love is the one I felt on Wednesday when I talked to Myrna, who was sad, but was letting her Norman go.  In her words, he has to be jumping and singing in heaven.  I have no doubt that the love of this family, which ends up infecting their surroundings, will give them solace in these difficult days.  Thanks Myrna for allowing me to enjoy your family’s company and to witness love.