Thursday, July 19, 2012

Remembering Manuel, July 19, 2012

American families have always shown remarkable resiliency.
This resilience is not measured by wealth, muscle or efficiency
but by creativity, unity, and hope.
~Ben Silliman

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you from Northern California where Cindy and I continue our visit with Nathan and Chenda and await our next grandchild.

Genealogy is primarily about people who have died. And unfortunately, it is often about people who have died in an untimely manner. This time of the year we remember several family members whose deaths were unexpected and who died long before they should have.

Today would be the 51st birthday of Manuel Aqui- ningoc, the late husband of Kerri Shepard Aqui- ningoc. Manuel died in San Diego on July 2, 1992, 20 years ago this month, just a few weeks short of his 31st birthday. He left behind a 1 year old daughter and a wife 6 months pregnant. Today his wife Kerri and his daughters Lyndsey and Mandi live in Weatherford, Texas.

The first picture, taken in San Diego in 1990, shows Manuel and Kerri on the right with Kerri's Ggrandmother Nola Shannon Gower in the middle holding their daughter Lyndsey. On the left is Kerri's father Gary Shepard. Baby Lyndsey in Nola's lap was Manuel and Kerri's first child, Gary's first grandchild and Nola's first GGgrandchild.

Manuel's unfortunate death in 1992 continues to remind us that life is fragile. It also reminds us of the power of memory and longing for family members who have gone before and who continue to mean so much to us. Both Lyndsey and Mandi let me know they would not mind me sharing the following thoughts regarding their father Manuel.

Lyndsey: I miss my daddy more than anyone can imagine. I know he's doing nothing but looking down and protecting us just like he would be doing if he was here. R.I.P. Daddy. I love you more than anything in this world and I would do ANYTHING right now to be in your arms! But at least I can say you have left me with an amazing brother and sister and even though bro is hundreds and hundreds of miles away I know he is here for us WHENEVER AND HOWEVER! I have the BEST family ANYONE could EVER ask for! So I thank you mama and dad for bringing me into such a wonderful family! Y'all are what keeps me strong in this challenging life we live! I love everyone of you! XoXo :)

Mandi: I am doing great. Still have my job, it's going good. My dad is very much missed everyday and always on my mind. Every minute every hour of the day. But I just tell myself he's with me in my heart constantly. :) I hope everyone is doing good over there. Love and miss y'all tons! Talk to you soon, uncle Steve!

The second picture, taken earlier this month, shows Mandi and Lyndsey with their mother Kerri Shepard Aquiningoc.
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