today i attended the funeral of Samuel Enriquez Suque. “Mr. Suque” is the father of my very good friend Nathan Suque. Nathan and i grew up in the same hood, and were pretty much best friends from grade school till now.
when we were teenagers, running around and getting into all kinds of stuff……good, and not so good, Mr. Suque quickly established himself as someone to NOT mess with. he was a bad-ass. father of seven children, time spent as an officer in the air-force, Mr. Suque didnt take any shit from us know-it-all teenage boys. he kept us in line. at a time when we were young boyz, constantly testing the limits of everything around us, Mr. Suque let us know very clearly where we stood. he was stern…….and looking back at it now, i needed it.
as i got older, i would see Mr. Suque from time to time. he was straight forward. he would always check in with my life, and ask me very direct questions. “are you in college? are you getting good grades, or are you wasting your time? are you learning how to become independent?” these were the types of questions he would ask me, and i would answer as best i could.
i remember one time, about 15 years ago, i stopped by the house to say hello. Mr. Suque asked me how i was doing, where i was working, etc. i answered his questions and waited for his response. he looked me dead in the eye and said, “you have everything here…….opportunity, an economy, education. don’t waste it! your father and mother have worked very hard to give you this life. don’t disrespect your parents.” and with that, he turned around and walked away.
im 40 years young now. and in a time of “everyone gets a trophy”, “dont say ‘no’ to little johnny because we dont want to break his spirit”, and other line-blurring nonsense i witness every day in this modern life of ours, i feel very grateful and humbled to have known Mr. Suque. he was the real deal. island style. came to this country with nothing, and provided for his family through hard work and determination.
i am proud to have known him.
thankful to have feared him.
humbled to have been at the receiving end of his “tuff-luv”.
rest in peace, Mr. Suque…