A close friend of mine, who has traveled throughout the world, once told me: “You know, if someone ever took everything I own, one thing they could not take away from me are my memories.” I’ve never forgotten those words, and because of that, I perhaps now enjoy every moment more than ever — every day, in any way possible. Because, after all, every day leaves behind many memories.

This past Wednesday, Dec. 3, I had the joy of presenting former Texas Rangers pitcher José Guzman with a painting I had created some time ago — a painting of José with his mother, Maria Teresa. The painting is titled, “Memorias con Mamá,” or “Memories with Mom.”

You see, José’s mother suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease in her later years, and what that disease does is rob people of their memory: the memories of their life, the ability to recognize people and things. I felt compelled to title the painting as such because the “moment” that I immortalized on canvas was a happy memory in their lives. It was a time when José’s mother was happy and healthy. It still is a warm memory for José and represents a moment dear to his heart.

I wanted José to own the painting because it also represents a cause he is very serious about — helping people afflicted with Alzheimer’s. José also is a longtime supporter of the food pantry at Evergreen at Keller Senior Living and has steadily been providing food to that senior community to the delight of its residents.

Dianne Gonzalez, Community Director for Evergreen at Keller and a longtime friend, helped to arrange the art presentation, which we decided to make part of their 1st Annual “Parade of Trees Celebration.” Beautifully ornate trees, wreaths and Christmas decorations were displayed and auctioned during the evening to benefit Metroport Wheels on Meals and José’s Guzman 23 Foundation, which aids Alzheimer’s patients. This wonderful event also honored Nansii Downer, who is Metroport’s Volunteer Services Director.

The evening turned magical — hearts were warmed, tears were shared, and laughter became contagious. By the end of the evening, there seemed to be this great sense of camaraderie, friendship, love and understanding. It was a heartfelt celebratory night, and I hope everyone who was there will treasure and cherish the memory of it for a long time. Merry Christmas to all!

Lamberto™
Photos: Veronica Alvarez

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