• Octavio Cesar Martinez

2 Weeks Before She Died, She Called Me.

Updated: Feb 17, 2019


Maria Del Carmen Hernandez, age 18

About two weeks before she died, she called me.

My mother.

We talked for about 30 minutes.

I thanked her for all the ways she helped me, all the sacrifices she made for me, all the things she taught me. I thanked her for everything from birth to prayers.


On the day she passed away, she instructed my sister to give me "my notebook.” She had been secretly keeping a three inch, three ring binder of photos and mementos from the day of my birth until my early twenties. Photos, notes, report cards, newspaper clippings [I made the news a few times in my life] prom photos [you'll never seen them], letters I had written to my mom…so many things I had forgotten, or not seen for over 40 years.


My sister added, "Mom wanted you to speak at her funeral. She said you would know what scripture to share... something about a race?" I did know scripture. Near his own death, Saint Paul wrote a few lines to his "son in the faith." Here is what he said,

...the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

I am thankful for many things my mom taught me.

Her last great act was to show me how to die with dignity, faith and hope.

Happy Mother's Day Mommy.

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