July 12th 2012 was a day that I tried long and hard to attempt and erase from my memory. I truly wished the day could be non-existent, simply a blank gap in my memory. Yet as much as I wish it were true I know that is not the reality in which we live. On that day my Father passed away due to severe rejection of a new heart he had just received in a transplant. The details of the operation are not important, the conclusions remains and nothing can be done to alter the past event. But I made a decision that day, one that has forever altered my life and every choice I have made. I vowed to keep his spirit alive. I made a commitment to myself and to him to keep his jokes going, to spread on his passion and excitement and joy for life. I swore to bring his love for life and family with me on a daily basis and bring light to every room I walk into just as I noticed he would.
It initially began by learning how he thought. This was a very hard process to go through being I no longer was able to ask him questions directly. I decided to start watching the same tv shows that he watched, listen to the same radio stations and the same audio tapes to get a direct understanding of what he was being exposed to on a daily basis. I started with the tv shows. This was an easy route to begin with being I was too mournful to leave the house so I would watch hours and hours of NCIS and Fringe, as well as certain shows on HGTV. During my car rides I switched from listening to my rap and rock to listening to Jazz. I allowed the emotion of the music to flow through me. I imagined myself sitting in the car next to him as he would calmly drive to the trumpets and saxophones from an array of artist.
Lastly there was a particular aspect of his life I never fully understood which was the personal development portion. He spent hundreds of dollars on CDs by Tony Robbins and was very passionate in regards to his religion and growth in becoming the best version of himself. He was very passionate about architecture, one day as he was talking to me and began talking about the process of building a house. He spoke about how its easy for people to focus on the windows, roof, bathroom fixtures, and other minor details all around the house that give the appearance of value and are flashy. How you can have stainless steel fixtures and granite all through the house but if you don’t have a strong foundation your house will come crumbling down. He used this analogy to me when speaking about character. Any great person is created from a strong set of morals and ideas that is held firm to their core. Once a strong and stable base is created then you can build upwards. All great skyscrapers have support beams that run deep into the ground. I knew if I wanted to grow to be anywhere close to the caliber of man I saw him to be I needed to develop an impenetrable base for myself.
Growing up my father cook for my family every day. He had this god given talent to be able to step into the kitchen with a set-up of ingredients that would appear to not collaborate well with each other and manifest meals that would have you at a loss for words. No two meals were ever the same and this created a sense of excitement and enjoyment every day as we sat at the table curious to see what was created. I was blown away by his skills and was always so curious as to how it was all possible without ever opening a cook book or using measuring tools. I watched intently to see what appears an orchestrated chaos of ingredients being combined only to then be amazed by the final result of the dish.
Just last night on October 2nd 2017 something incredible happened. My girlfriend and I went to Costco and purchased an array of vegetables, grains, and fruits to have for the week. When we arrived home I got to work. I stepped into the kitchen and effortlessly began to grab veggies and cut them precisely prior to tossing them into the pan. I did not weigh any veggies prior to cutting, I did not measure to insure specific values of each item were present I simply used that which I felt was appropriate. As the veggies were nearing their completion I felt reached for the fridge door and pulled out, peanut butter, soy sauce, pineapple, mango, ginger, and coconut oil and decided to create a sauce. Without hesitation I began to seamlessly combine the ingredients in perfect matrimony to create a sauce unlike any other and tossed all the veggies evenly coating them in the freshly created sauce. I call over my girlfriend to sample the creation prior to serving and astonished she begins to ask how it was created and I explain how I didnt measure anything during the process and she comments how impressed she is being that no recipe was used.
It was that exact moment that she commented on how I am able to cook with no cook book, tv show, measuring tools and create such an exquisite dish that it hit me on how I have become to man I always looked up to. I have reached the level of expertise in the kitchen to be able to cook just as he would. All my time going back to following his foot steps listening to the music he used to listen to and being plugged into Tony Robbins development audio helped develop my foundation to firm and unshakeable. My passion to want to pour into others positivity and a powerful “can do” mindset grew even greater and it hit me that I am following in the exact foot steps that he left off for me. A sudden rush of euphoria came over me. I reached a sense of nirvana knowing I had accomplished the goal of growing up to be more like my father.
The best part of all of this is that I know I am just beginning the process. The steps necessary to understand my role and my path to take after his death took a great amount of time and was not an adaptation that occurred overnight. This process has led me to realize that our lives that we live on this planet are not our to have. They belong to those we impact. Regardless of the length of his physical life the impact he made on me will surpass the means of his body. He spark a passion in me to now want to pass on the flame he placed in me. He always acted in the best interest of others and because of that he left the world a better place than he found it. All I can strive to do is follow in his steps.
Rest in Paradise Anthony Jesus Torres.
You were the best father, mentor and friend anyone could ever ask for. I won’t give up on taking action towards making people laugh, and spreading joy to every person I come in contact with.
Who can you think of that you can feel their energy radiating when they walk in a room? Who in your life has raised you up to become a better soul? Who has impacted you in such a way that you can no longer see the world the same? Have you told them the impact they have made on you? Are you following in their footsteps? If you know exactly who that person is in your life, I would love to hear from you. Share with me their name and how they have shaped your life for the best. I would really value to hear from you and your change in paradigm.