Col. Gualberto P. Miranda (July 12, 1915 - July 7, 2005)
Thank you for everything you've taught us.
Thank you for all the love you gave us, all the way till the very end, till your final breath.
Thank you for living your life the way you did. You made sure everything you did was beautiful -- from the way you tended to your garden to the way you nurtured relationships. The way you quoted Shakespeare to grandma. For being an example of strength, integrity, and grace. You truly raised the bar.
Thank you for picking me up after I fell in our garden, from showing off my newly-learned aerial cartwheel when I was 8. You cared for the garden so well, and the grass was so soft that it cushioned my fall -- my ego was probably more bruised than I was -- but you picked me up and made sure I was okay.
Thank you for being with me in spirit and giving me strength when I "fell" -- as an adult -- when I was in my dark moments. Even then, you picked me up. And you told me, in a dream, that things were going to be okay. And now they are. You were right.
We miss you, but your presence is in the flowers around me. In the scent of soft earth and fresh-cut grass -- the scent of warm afternoons spent in your garden. And in all the peaceful moments when I wonder at the beauty of nature. In every time I press the shutter to photograph a flower.
I know you are with us, always.
Happy birthday, Papa. Much love to you.