Thursday, March 26, 2015

Happy Birthday Dad....

He would have turned 92 today.

I got a card in the mail from his dentist yesterday that said, "Happy Birthday Manuel!  We hope it's the best birthday ever!".... obviously, they hadn't heard he had passed away before mailing it.  At first I was sad, until Mike said.. "He IS having the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!"  -- and just like in all things, my husband was right.  :-)

I wrote a few words about my Dad that I had Bro. Tom read at Dad's funeral.  Several have asked me for a copy of that letter.  After much thought, I decided to publish it today... on his birthday.  

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!  I hope you get lots of cake and ice cream.....with extra ice cream. :-)

My Dad…..

I was incredibly blessed to have been raised by Manuel Ramirez.  Being able to call him “My Dad” was such a gift.   I don’t remember him ever raising his voice to me or being cross with me.  Yes, he would correct me when I was doing wrong, but never in a harsh or demeaning way.  It was always in the gentlest of ways…. and his way with me always made me want to do the “right” thing, just so I could make him proud.  

He wasn’t a tall man, (5’ 7” on a good day) - but I always looked up to him.  He got up every day and dressed up and showed up with a smile on his face.  He was a teacher.  A great teacher.  I’ve had so many of his students reach out to me during the last few years and ask me about him.  They always said, “Dr. Ramirez was my favorite teacher… he didn’t just teach us Spanish.  He taught us about life.”   

Well, he certainly was teaching ME until his last breath.  Although his frail body was failing him and it must’ve been such an effort just to get out of bed every morning, his true spirit of kindness, consideration and dignity never waned.   One of his caregivers recently told me, “Dr. Ramirez is the sweetest man I’ve ever worked for.  He never fails to tell me “thank you” no matter how small a task i do for him.  And he always says, “please” when asking me to do something for him. I just adore him!”    Several days later, I heard the nurse at St. Thomas hospital as she instructed the ambulance drivers, “Be extra careful with him.  He is a gentle and sweet, sweet man!”   Then I heard those same ambulance drivers telling the nurses at hospice as they dropped him off, “He’s such a sweet little guy.”  Then I over heard the nurses arguing in the hall over who was going to “get” his room because they all loved him and wanted to take care of him.   Yes, right until the end, he continued to make me so proud to be his daughter.  

He was a dedicated husband, father and grandfather.  His first priority was always taking care of my Mom, me, and my boys.  And he did that until his last breath.  He was my rock.  My protector.  Oh, how I loved my Father!!   But the greatest thing that he did for me, was to teach me to love our Heavenly Father.   He taught me to believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, and to find my identity as a daughter of The King, and not from anything this earth.  

My Father had many accomplishments during his career.  Many of which I never even knew about until the last few days, after he had passed.  We were finding newspaper clippings, letters, plaques, pins, ribbons etc…. all stored away in drawers.  One of the things my husband noticed was that every one of Dad’s achievements was service based.  He was never a competitive man.  He would never seek to “out-do” anyone else.  Instead, he chose to encourage others to shine their brightest.   

He never was a bragger.  He was a quiet man, yet when he spoke, people listened.   He was obviously a smart man, (getting his PhD couldn’t have been easy!)… but he was also wise.  Wise enough to know that all those accomplishments, although wonderful, were not what he found HIS identity in.  He found it in being a child of God.  A man of God.  A dedicated disciple of Jesus.  

So that is how I know, that when his soul flew back up to heaven, he was greeted with these words:

“Well done my good and faithful servant… enter into the joy of the Lord”

I will be forever grateful for the love, guidance and wisdom that my Father passed on to me.  “You look like your Father” was an observance that My Dad and I would both get a giggle out of through the years, since being an adopted child, there was no way I could possibly truly favor him genetically.  But if my actions can make me “look” like my Father… if my kindness towards others can make me “look” like my Father… if my faith can make me “look” like my Father… then that will be the biggest compliment I can ever have.

So Dad, thanks for being an amazing example to me about how to love people and love God.
I look forward to the day I see you and Mom again, but until then… I’ll do my best to “look” like you.

All my love,

Friday, March 13, 2015

He's gone.....

.... and I am heartbroken.

But I'm relieved that he is no longer in pain... and he and Mom are back together again.

He was a wonderful Father... always my protector.

He was the sweetest man I've ever known.... full of life and love.  He showed incredible grace and kindness to everyone, even right at the end when his body was failing and he was in pain.   He never failed to say "thank you" to a nurse who came to turn him or help him with anything, or "please" when asked if he wanted something.  His smile could light up a room.  He was an amazing teacher, and he was teaching me how to love and treat people right until his very last breath.

Our last conversation was this:

Me: "I love you Dad"
Dad, nodding and smiling weakly:  "Love you too.  Thank you."
Me:  "You are the sweetest man."
Dad, smiling a little bigger:  "I know"

Then a long pause and he looked me in the eyes and said: "I believe it's gonna be ok."

Yes, I believe it IS going to be ok, Dad.  Mainly because you taught me that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is looking out for us all.. and to trust in HIM... and His will be done.   And we WILL be together again someday.  Oh yes, I do believe that!!

... and I also believe that when your soul took flight up into the heavens, you were greeted with these words:

"Well done good and faithful servant;....Enter into the joy of your lord." (Matthew 25:21, NJKV).

Dr. Manuel Ramirez    March 26, 1923 - March 16, 2015

Well done Dad.... well done.    
I'll love you forever....
Your daughter,

Only hours now.....

Life will never be the same..... My heart is breaking.  Thank you all for your prayers.

Monday, March 9, 2015


Thank you all for your prayers, good thoughts, concerns, and love all aimed at my sweet Daddy.

Many of you are asking questions and I just don't have any answers yet.  Hopefully we will know more later today.... but here is what I can tell you right now.

He has many health issues that are plaguing him.... but the biggest issue is that he has lost an alarming amount of weight over the last 3 months since his fall on Christmas Eve.  He weighed in last night at the hospital at only 81 lbs.  No wonder he is so very, very weak.  :-(

We are currently at St. Thomas Midtown, waiting on doctors to come assess him... then we will determine what treatment options we have within the realm of his advance directive.

I pray God guides me as I help him make the right medical decisions.

Love to you all,

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February 2015.... update on Dad, upcoming shows... and more.


It's truly hard to believe we are into February already....somedays I yearn for time to move slower... and then I realize that no matter how hard I try, I can't control the universe (yes, I'm in therapy for that as we speak... control issues, maybe?  Ha.)  So, since I'm not in control of TIME, I must just tighten my grip and hang on for the ride of my life.  Lately, it's been a bit bumpy, but still incredibly rewarding.   So.. here are the latest deets 'round here:  

THIS GUY.... is doing much better....

After a fall on Christmas Eve, two stints in two different hospitals, and 3 weeks in rehab... he is finally back home at his assisted-living facility and enjoying all the hugs and kisses from everyone who was missing him there.  He is so sweet and appreciative of everything that anyone does for him. 91 yrs old and still showing me how to treat people kindly, even in your most difficult circumstances. I learn from him daily.  :-)

I squeezed in a trip to Los Angeles for a show with my buddy, Christopher Cross.  If you haven't picked up a copy of his latest CD, "Secret Ladder", you are missing out on an incredible piece of work.  GO GET IT NOW.  

Singing w/Christopher Cross at "Spaghettini's-The Dave Koz Lounge" in LA
I also got to sing with one of my favorite Nashville bands, "The Big Greasy" for one of their shows.  That is one groovin' band.....  lawd, that was FUN.   If you are in the Nashville area, you need to check them out!  

Now for what's coming up in FEB:  

Tickets go on sale for our Bluebird show on Monday, Feb. 23rd:  Go to tickets and more info.

... and on Friday, Feb. 20th at 3rd and Lindsley... come get your "Dan" on with

Make sure you check out for other shows and events..... 

Love you all and this incredible gift of life that we are living together!   Hope to see you soon.... M

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Update on Dad

If there is one thing I know.. it's that my Dad is very loved by MANY.   I can't thank you all enough for the prayers for him during these last few weeks since his fall on Christmas Eve (when he broke 2 ribs).   At 91 yrs of age,  he's obviously very fragile, but man... is he ever stubborn and strong-willed!!   As his doctor said, "Your Dad still wants to be here."  "Here" being on this earth.  We are so grateful that he has such a strong desire to live and be healthy... at this rate, he could see triple digits!!

So the latest update is that we got released from the hospital and we transferred him to a very nice rehab facility where he will stay for awhile.  Because it's the weekend, they don't have the full staff right now and I can't seem to get an answer as to how long they think he will be there.  But I imagine a week or two.  I'm sure it will depend on how well he does in PT.  We need to keep him up and moving so that he doesn't have the congestive heart failure bother him again, or even worse get pneumonia or blood clots.  

I know he is anxious to get back to his home, and we fully expect him to make that transition back after getting a bit stronger.  Each time I stop by to check his mail at his assisted-living apartment, I have several different ladies stopping me to inquire about him.  Apparently he has several of the female residents quite charmed where he lives and they are missing their little man.  :-)   I had no idea he was so popular with the ladies there, but I think I know now why he's so anxious to get home.  Haha!

Again...thank you all for your prayers, phone calls, texts, FB messages etc.... it really warms my heart to know that so many are rooting for him to stick around awhile longer!  He is a special, special man!