Tío Johnny passed away on Wednesday morning. These are the ways I’ll remember my uncle:
Playing guitar with dad at numerous parties and camping trips when I was young. Tía Susana even brought out the guitar so we could sing to him on Tuesday night. We sang his favorite Beatles songs as well hymns typically sung at funerals and wakes.
Playing guitar and jamming with the Marcianos — the band that formed out of their church youth group — at his 50th birthday party in 2005. Dad always said they called themselves Marcianos (Martians) because they “were out of this world.”
As the first person in the family to run the Los Angeles Marathon a couple of times. I remember thinking it was so cool. Dad displayed his brother’s finish line photo proudly in our home. During my first marathon, also LA, I got some strength thinking of tío Johnny and wanting to make him and Grandma and Grandpa proud.
At big and small Mosqueda family events for anniversaries, birthday parties and holidays.
Surrounded by a bunch of Marcianos (he’s in red, sitting in the center of the first row). I know they’ll all come out to sing for his services.
As devoted husband to tía Susana and father to their son, Johnny.
Cracking jokes and having a good time with his brothers.
I don’t have photos showing tío Johnny’s talent for massaging away aches and pains. He learned/inherited the gift from Grandpa Bartolo. I was lucky not to get injured much, but I know mom needed his help pretty often.
I definitely don’t have photos of what I’ll remember most. Whenever I saw tío Johnny he always asked, “What book are your reading now, mija?” I went from answering Babysitters Club books to educational theory books in grad school. I loved that he didn’t just think I was the bookworm in the corner.
Love you, tío Johnny. Rest in peace.