A Promise Made...

Lou Cabral By Lou Cabral, 11th Jul 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/a7ou11-8/
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Bereavement

Sometimes we make promises that need to and must be kept simply because, as a dear, sweet old man once said, "Always keep your promises, I won't forget!" Manuel Medeiros Cabral was born to very modest circumstances and a life of hard work that would shape his almost ninety one years. He left us just short of his ninety first birthday on January 25th, 2010.

A Promise Made...



Sometimes we make promises that need to and must be kept simply because, as a dear, sweet old man once said, "Always keep your promises, I won't forget!" Manuel Medeiros Cabral was born to very modest circumstances and a life of hard work that would shape his almost ninety one years. He left us just short of his ninety first birthday on January 25th, 2010.
Having lost his father at the age of three, Manuel Cabral learned the value of hard work and family early on in his young life. His adolescence is of particular interest because this is where he begins to collect a series of stories and adventures that he would tell and re tell over the years, as always, with that twinkle in his eye. His close circle of friends included fishermen, laborers, musicians and his comrades in arms that made sure respect and order were maintained on behalf of their family and neighbors. Manuel Cabral was the final member of this circle to make the long journey home.
Upon marrying Maria Margarida, he had a loyal partner in building a better life with hard work and grinding poverty being facts of that life. With the birth of Diamantina and later Emidio, he proves himself a good partner to his wife and a good father to his children. His sister Elvira arranges for Manuel, Margarida, and Emidio to emigrate to the United States. The little family begins their life in "America" with the help of Elvira, Corina, and their families thus making for ties that have lasted to this day. Margarida would later become an American Citizen and bring Diamantina and her family to the United States.
The thought of "home" and one day returning to the old place was never far from his thoughts. He would often say, " No matter how poor it may be, that's where we were born" to his grandchildren gathered around him. Listening was important when Manuel Cabral held court, not doing so could result in a loud lecture on respect and not interrupting. Those of us who endured numerous sessions figured out that he never got past the point of yelling. He raised his two children and watched seven grandchildren grow without ever lifting a hand. He operated on the fear factor, which worked just fine.


Like so many of his generation, Manuel Medeiros Cabral never learned to read. He could, however, sign his name because Margarida patiently taught him to do so many years ago. I was present when he proudly became an American Citizen and when he voted for the first time. He did not have had these and other opportunities growing up in Portugal. Many of us received our first driving lesson at the hands of Manuel Cabral, which almost always meant driving up and quickly walking back to the house before he could make his return!!!
He returned "home" several times, but things were no longer as he remembered. The people and places he knew had changed and certainly not for the better in his opinion. He was saddened by the fact that so many of his friends were gone and that the "work ethic" he knew had suffered with the ensuing generations. At a certain point he resigned himself to the fact that he would never go home for good for the fact that the world he knew was now a distant memory.
Manuel Cabral taught us all lessons in respecting your family and respecting others. Those are values that he impressed upon his children and grandchildren and will now be passed on to his great grandchildren. It now falls to us to pass on the stories and the values he shared with us so long ago. The spirituality he passed on to his children and grandchildren is probably the most treasured memory he could leave us. He taught us that someone mightier, not man, created all that we see around us.
This is my promise kept, in part, to a dear sweet man that we all learned many life's lessons from. Along with a good dose of humility and a lot of hard work you can make life a little better for your family. He's with his friends and comrades now, may he rest in peace....................

Tags

Azores, Family, Family History, Family Influence, Family Life, Freinds, Grandfather, Grandmother, Home, Humility, Portugal, Respect, United States, Work Ethic, Working Man

Meet the author

author avatar Lou Cabral
Currently live and write in rural Wisconsin after spending over thirty years in California. Writing,politics, music, family, and the Azores are never far from my thoughts.

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Comments

author avatar Denise O
29th Aug 2010 (#)

What a sweet story, thank you for sharing it with me.

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author avatar Carina Fagundes
11th Nov 2010 (#)

Thanks Lou! This story really hit home! Brought tears to my eyes!!! Great family we have!!!

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author avatar Retired
19th Dec 2010 (#)

Excellent

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author avatar LOVERME
19th Dec 2010 (#)

the only success about promises is
one must remember
two things
first

to live upto a promise made upto peril of ones life
and
second
never make any promise at all
ever to anyone particularly to ones SPOUSE
FOR u never know
when some one will
u so really arouse.

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