Love Over Covid

COVID-19 has infiltrated the world, but I assure you that is has not taken over the world. There have been so many stories of heroism, selflessness, and acts of love that have crossed barriers of race, creed, and geography.

The time to rise-up is now. We need to focus on building a better future for our kids and the generations to come. The more we fix our thoughts on the mess and chaos COVID-19 has brought into our lives, the more distracted we become. It’s just like anything else in life that tries to disrupt our flow and cause panic and uncertainty of the future.

Don’t get me wrong, COVID-19 is a severe issue that is being felt all around the world, but I think that we have given enough of ourselves to the disease and the fear it brings along with it. We have stopped working, socializing with others, and enjoying recreational activities.

The very essence of humanity is found in the community and fulfilling our need to contribute and belong to something greater than ourselves. However, this disease has not allowed us to do the things we love with the people we love for fear of acquiring or spreading the disease.

I’m just like most people who have been affected by COVID-19 pandemic and the trail of destruction it has left behind as it passes through our cities. I have waited in long lines for simple necessities and tried my best to manage my thoughts on whether I should bulk buy certain foods and supplies.

There’s no doubt we felt the economic impact, and the aftershock of the tidal wave COVID-19 brought into our communities. My wife is a Hairstylist and had to stop working due to the demands of social distancing; in-which has reduced our household income significantly. We have learned to live lean and buy only the essentials while enjoying some of the classic junk foods, like Doritos and OREOS.

This lockdown has a silver lining, and my taste buds are the beneficiary, as my daughter has taken a liking to baking cakes, cupcakes, and cooking simple breakfast meals such as pancakes and eggs. We try not to stick our heads in the ground and pretend like nothing is going on around us. Instead, we focus on good thoughts and what we can do to better ourselves and others.

We have a home GYM and have been spending a lot of our extra time working out and running off all the cupcakes and Doritos we ate over the last month, lol. I say all this to share that my family and I are no different than many of you; however, we’re determined not to let this thing win. I’m hoping that just like our family workouts, we can burn off all the excess and run lean with true intentions on making this a better place to live.

I want to encourage you to continue to pray, fight, and work towards a better future. There’s one thing for sure, and that is we don’t know how long we have on this earth, but what we do know is that we can control what we do while we’re on this earth.

If you’re unsure of which direction to take, choose the one that leads you through the road ahead. If just getting out of bed is a battle for you, then I want to encourage you to open your eyes and immediately think of how blessed you are to see the ceiling above you, and that you have a roof above you. Sight and the simple necessities of life are overlooked and underappreciated.

It’s to rise-up and look beyond COVID-19, we have given up so much for this thing, and now it’s time to take back our lives and trust that this too shall pass. We still must abide by the law and remain distant from others, but that doesn’t mean we can’t connect and encourage others while we’re safe in our home.

If you see someone down and out, speak up, physically speak into them by reminding them that we’re all in this together and that they are more durable and more resilient than they think. Encouragement is a powerful tool that God has blessed us with, as it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

I like the way encouragement is described in Hebrews 10:24-25. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

I’m writing this piece in hopes of encouraging others to get rid of fear and to get-up and fight, as we work to end this pandemic and regain our sense of humanity and purpose.

I refuse to give up and quit, and in doing so, I’ll continue to get up every day, go to work, and live my life with purpose as I try to instill the same mindset and behaviors into my own kids. I hope that my kids will be able to look back at this historic moment in time and reflect on all the good deeds they witnessed throughout our communities.

Now is not the time to withdraw from others but instead lean-in and share each other’s burdens as if they were our own. I urge you to be the light, be the love, and be an answered prayer for someone. If you feel it in your heart to give, pray, and do, then just do it.

This, too, shall pass, and we’re going to come out on the other side stronger, healthier, and living a more prosperous and purpose-driven life.

I want to encourage you to live resiliently, be the love in action when others are in need, and remember, quitting is not an option.

#NoQuit #NoFear #BeTheLove

A Man Like No Other

Full of love, full of grace, full of Christ…there’s nothing more reminiscent and more of a reflection of who my Tata was than by the display of his fight for life, and his love for his family.

For the many years that I have known my Tata, he woke up every morning with a smile, a zest for life and a goal for each day. He always had something to do, some problem to solve, and some type of engine to repair.

Daniel Nunez Sr.

He exemplified high character and a strong work ethic even though he wasn’t employed by the time I got to know him. It all started when he was a young man working the fields and learning how to use his hands as tools to provide for his family.

My Tata often shared with us the importance of hard-work and the satisfaction that comes with.

His stories were told with great conviction and detail, and always left you wanting more. The story of how he met my Nana and his quest for her love never got old. It was the sweetest and most endearing story of them all.

Many people admire him for his humility and his unconditional love for others. His legacy will most certainly include multiple accounts of how he bailed people out of situations by offering his time, service and money. Hands down, he was the most generous person I had ever known.

It was a tradition for him to speak at his birthday celebrations while being surrounded by his many grandchildren and great grandchildren to share a few words of wisdom. Most of the time he spoke about his gratitude for the family and his desire for us to love and care for one another.

Daniel Nunez Sr.

I was often told by my mom and many of my Tio’s and Tia’s of how they journeyed from Arizona to California farming and picking for hours at a time during the summer months. But – when it was time to take a break and enjoy life, he always made sure to do all he can to let his kids know that life is meant to be enjoyed.

And because of those ideals that were passed down to our parents, we often took large family trips to Cave Springs in Oak Creek Canyon for week-long camping trips full of late night laughs, stories, and early morning fishing. Now, we all have our own little family traditions along with new stories to tell.

We often celebrated birthdays and Easter Sundays at Thunderbird Mountain Park where the tables were lined with food instead places to sit and eat. We rode ATV’s, played volleyball, horseshoes, and most of all sat and laughed until the sun set. I never wanted to leave. I always got a little sad on the drive home.

Nunez – Camacho – Rivas Family Reunion

I spent most of my childhood life in my Tata’s home and under his guidance. My Tata’s influence can be found in many, and in many you’ll see their love for him.

I’ve learned how to care for my wife, our children, and how to love others unconditionally and intentionally all because my Tata was a man like no other.

His love and legacy will live on forever and ever in our hearts and in our stories.

Now resting with our Lord is Daniel Nunez Sr. – We love you!