Wednesday, 9 March 2011

My Eulogy For My Cousin Nuno

First of all, on behalf of the family, I just wanted to say Thank you for being here today and....

As I stand here today and look at everyone, inside I feel very Happy.  I'm Happy because I see all the people that loved Nuno.

When some people look at Nuno...Some people may see a tough guy.  They may see a strong guy who is ready for a fight. 
But everytime I looked at Nuno, I saw different...I saw Love, I saw Caring, I saw a Hard Worker and I saw someone who wanted to be loved.  I always looked for the good in Nuno because I always knew it was there. 

Nuno was my cousin but we shared a special bond.  A bond I can't explain.  We shared special times, special memories and a special love.  I always said to him...He was my favorite cousin and he in return would say I was his. 

He was my buddy, my pal and at one time...one of my best friends.  Over the years of course we moved on with our lives and started to spend less and less time together but with all the times I did have with him.  I wouldn't change a thing. 

Nuno never once disrepected me. Never once called me fat or ugly.  In fact I will never forget the day I got married and Nuno asked me to dance.  He held me in his arms and he looked at me...and he said, "I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOU." He said, "TAMMY, YOU LOOK SO BEAUTIFUL AND MARIO IS LUCKY TO HAVE YOU."  I then said to him, "NUNO, HOW MUCH HAVE YOU HAD TO DRINK?"  He then smiled a smile I will never forget. 

I never did tell him that thoses words from his mouth that day, meant the world to me and to this day...I still hold them dear because I know that at that moment Nuno wasn't joking...He was being sincere.

I remember first meeting Nuno.  It was in Portugal where he lived with his mom and dad.  My family and I went to Portugal for 6 weeks and that's where I first met my little cousin Nuno.  He was just 7 and I was 8 turning 9.  He was so cute and very shy if you can believe it.  He was a lot shorter then me then and with dirty blonde hair.  We became good friends the minute we met.  I can still remember leaving Portugal and having to say good bye.  I was hugging him and both of us were crying at the airport.  At that young age of 7 and me 9...we didn't know if we would ever meet again. 

But as luck would have it...we did.  If I'm not mistaken...I was now 13 and Nuno was 11 when He and his mom and dad moved to Canada. 

Nuno didn't speak a word of English.  I remember him having to start school and how happy I was that he was coming to my school.  I thought to myself, "IF HE NEEDS MY HELP WITH ANYTHING.  I WOULD BE THERE FOR HIM."

But little did I know at that time...He didn't need my help.  Nuno was fine on his own.  That little shy blonde boy had made new friends right away and maybe even a girlfriend or two.  He quickly learned all the bad words in the English language before learning the good ones. 

In Our Lives, we in general, We are humans have done things that we're not proud of.  There's things in our lives that we have done that we wish we could change.  I know that there is many that I would change.
Nuno wasn't perfect.  None of us here are but no matter what Nuno has done in his life...No matter what, I can honestly say that I have always stood behind him and that I would always continue to love him and support him.  I have told him that I would never turn my back on him and I had made that promise to him years ago. 

Nuno just wanted to hear that he was loved and I know that Nuno is looking down right now and seeing just how much he is loved by so many. 

I have 22 letters hand written by Nuno himself.  Letters addressed to me from him.  I spent this passed Monday night reading each and everyone of them.  I wanted to share today just some bits and pieces of his letters. 

In his 1st letter to me...Nuno's first words were..."THANK YOU." He said, "THANK YOU FOR WRITING ME.  IT MEANS ALOT TO ME."  He also went on to say, "PLEASE SAY HI TO EVERYONE FOR ME.  BIG KISSES AND HUGS TO EVERYONE AND I'M DOING OK." He said, "I HOPE YOU, MARIO AND THE KIDS ARE DOING WELL. I HOPE YOUR MOM, DAD, JOHN, TINA, AND THE KIDS AND NANCY AND JAMES ARE ALL DOING OK.  I AM REALLY LUCKY THAT I HAVE A FAMILY THAT SUPPORTS ME AND LOVES ME." He also went on to say, "I'M VERY THANKFUL FOR MY PARNETS, I WOULD BE LOST IF MY PARENTS DIDN'T SUPPORT ME. AND I'M VERY THANKFUL FOR MY BROTHER AND MY GIRL DEE. AND I'M HAPPY FOR THAT." He says.

In another letter, Nuno writes about his girlfriend Dee who at the time I had not had the pleasure of meeting.  Nuno went on to say, "HAPPY CANADA DAY TAMMY. HOPE THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORK SO YOU CAN HAVE FUN.  I THINK MY PARENTS AND DEE ARE GOING TO GRASS CREEK SO IF YOUR GOING I HOPE YOU CAN MEET DEEDEE IN PERSON.  SHE'S REALLY NICE AND I HOPE TO ASK HER TO MARRY ME. FINALLY I'M READY TO SETTLE DOWN. I'M VERY HAPPY TO HAVE MET HER AND I LOVE HER VERY MUCH."

I use to sit and write Nuno everyday and draw him pictures.  I knew it made him happy.  In one of his last letters to me, he goes on to say, "I HOPE THE FAMILY IS ALL GOOD.  SEND EVERYONE BIG HUGS AND KISSES FROM ME. TO YOUR MOM AND DAD....ACTUALLY TO EVERYONE." He continues with, "I WAS HAPPY TO HEAR FROM YOU. I THINK ABOUT ALL YOUR DRAWINGS AND LETTERS ALL THE TIME. THANKS FOR BEING THERE FOR ME ALL THIS TIME.  I WON'T EVER FORGET YOUR LETTERS AND VISITS. ANYWAYS, HOPE ALL IS WELL. SAY HI TO EVERYONE FOR ME. BIG HUGS AND KISSES TO EVERYONE AND ONE BIG ONE SPECIALLY FOR YOU."

He would end every letter with..."P.S. BIG HUGS FROM YOUR FAVORITE COUSIN NUNO WITH LOTS OF LOVE." and sometimes he would change "favorite cousin" to "crazy cousin."  That always made me laugh and at the end of every letter that he wrote me, he would end it with "BE HAPPY, XOXOXO."

I cherish these letters now and I can't help but "BE HAPPY".

So that's why I stand here today and look at everyone and I feel very happy.  Although it may not show in my face right now but deep inside I'm happy because I see all the people that love and have loved Nuno and I know that he too would, "BE HAPPY".

After reading all those letters Monday.  I know Nuno didn't want us to cry and he didn't want us to be sad.  He wanted us all to BE HAPPY.

I found a Poem I wanted to share...and it says,

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free,
I'm following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard his call,
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day,
To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way,
I've found that peace at the end of the day.

If my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Ah, yes, these things too I will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow,
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My Life's been full, I savoured much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one' touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief,
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me,
God wanted me now, He set me free.

Now I'm not going to lie to you.  I'm very sad.  I have lost my cousin and my bestfriend but I'm also Happy because with me I take all the many memories that Nuno and I have shared throughout the years and no one, no one can take his place. 

"NUNO, MY DEAREST NUNO. LOVING YOU WAS EASY. LOSSING YOU IS HARD.  YOU WERE LOVED BY SO MANY AND I HOPE YOU ARE WATCHING FROM ABOVE, JUST HOW LOVED YOU ARE. YOU MEAN THE WORLD TO ME, YOU ALWAYS HAVE, YOU ALWAYS WILL. PLEASE NUNO, HEAR ME WHEN I SAY, I LOVED YOU THEN, I LOVE YOU TODAY, I WILL LOVE YOU TOMORROW AND I WILL LOVE YOU FOR ALWAYS.  MAY YOU BE AT PEACE WITH GOD UNTIL THAT DAY WE MEET AGAIN.

YOU WILL FOREVER BE IN OUR HEARTS. YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN AND YOU WILL FOREVER BE LOVED.
P.S. BIG HUGS AND KISSES, FROM YOUR FAVORITE COUSIN, TAMMY WITH LOTS OF LOVE.

"XOXOXO BE HAPPY!!"

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