Family and Friends
Today, was probably my last thanksgiving in Tampa, at least for a few years, and I am currently regretting all the food I ate this day. I normally can control my intake for thanksgiving dinner, but today was a lot harder. I had too many lunch and dinner parties to attend. I addition to my overeating problem, I also had to turn down some invitations. the day was just not that long to attend them all. What a good problem to have. However, more than a full belly, I am ending the day with a heightened sense of gratitude that I would have never imagined having when I look back almost five years ago when I came to Tampa. As I prepare to relocate to Madrid, I realize that my number one item on my “thankful list” is the people around me.
I was adopted by this country, the city and the community. I have met good people these last five years that have made my life in Tampa a lot easier. These families and friends have welcomed me in their homes and offered more than I have needed. Whether it was emotional, physical, or even economic needs, I have lacked nothing.
Since my arrival, I have shared and be part of weddings, births, birthday parties, funerals, meals, football games, baseball, games, basketball games, hockey games, Disney, themed parks, Gasparilla(x3), swimming with manatees, bar crawling, sailing, flying, fishing, concerts, christmas parties, new year eve’s parties, hurricane Irma, house moving, retirements, soccer team, Real Madrid games, drag racing, county fairs, strawberry festival, beach, bachelor’s party, celebrations and many more events that are too numerous to put in here. I have lived a full life with these people.
I am thankful for the Riccios, Allens, Escobios, Marasigans, Walls, Reeds, Bells, Aldanas and many more. It is a challenge to try to describe and count everything that these families have done for me. I do not know why they offered their help or why they were always just so eager be there for me. I don’t understand why I was in their mind constantly. Why so much love? Whatever it was, I am thankful that they are now part of my life.
I came here with my dream to become a professional and be part of something greater than myself. I came here with visions and all of my stuff packed in a little red 2001 Subaru Forester, and now I am living with a bag full of love, encouragement, friendships and families that I will always carry wherever I go. You now all send me off, a better man and with even greater dreams. Tampa has a huge piece of my heart and it will have it for the rest of my life. I love you all.