Speaking Jose…

Preparing for Christmas Eve
December 24, 2008, 3:47 pm
Filed under: Events, Family | Tags: , , ,

Greetings to everyone! I hope your Holiday season is going well. It’s been about a month since my last post, but its been quite a month. Between wrapping up this semester at Business school and working on a new rebalance project at Detroit Diesel, the time to sit down and put pen to paper (or in this case fingers to keyboard) has been difficult to come by. The last few days have been especially crazy as I wrap up work stuff while getting the Christmas shopping done. Thankfully its all done, so tonight we can go have a nice Christmas Eve dinner with Kristen’s family. I had thought about writing something about what Christmas means to me, but I think Linus from the Charlie Brown Christmas special says it best (see the video below).

Even though its a happy time of year for us, I get a little blue because my Grandfather Pico passed away around this time in 1996.   We usually went to his house on Christmas day to meet up with the rest of the Pico clan and have a big Christmas buffet where everyone had a great time.  He was a well known Ear Nose Throat doctor (Otolaryngologist for those want the complicated title) in Puerto Rico who was passionate about the care of his patients. He was born one of seven children at the family farm in Coamo, an agrarian area of Puerto Rico (more so in 1912, when my grandfather was born).  He worked hard and  got into Villanova University in Philadelphia (no small feat when your commute to school involved a weeklong trip on a steam ship), where he got his medical degree.  

One of my favorite stories about my grandfather was that he and a friend would go to the some of the poorer Italian neighborhoods in Philadelphia on the weekends and provide free medical help.  The people they helped would then invite them to huge Sunday dinners to repay them for their help, which was great if you were a Puerto Rican in Philadelphia with little money of your own.  He lived a great life, traveling throughout the world and having adventures in the oddest places, like the time he ended up treating a relative of Harry Winston while taking on a steam ship to Spain.

 The main reason I bring this up is that I didn’t learn most of this about my Grandfather until after he died and I wish I had spent more time talking to him and learning about his life, I would now be a richer and better person for it. So for the Holidays I ask that you take some time out from the Egg Nog and Fruit Cake and talk to your elders a little more, maybe you’ll learn something you never knew before!

So before this post goes out of sight, Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night!