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In Remembrance of Jonathan David Rodriguez

1989 - 2012

Jonathan “Jugga” Rodriguez was the world’s gentlest giant. His heart was too big for even a guy his size to have the strength and capacity to hold. His insurmountable kindness in a world that could be so cruel was one of his greatest attributes, yet a curse to him just the same. Even with the pain he held inside, he woke up everyday with a mission to make people smile. Whether it was cooking for the whole neighborhood, his stupid dances, or cheesy laugh, he left footprints in everyone’s heart through his talent of spreading happiness and laughter. I only wish we could have done the same for him. But he has proven angels exist even to the most skeptical and has watched over all his loved ones since he left this earth.

Some may think the way he left was selfish. Well, I think he finally deserved one selfish decision after all his selfless acts for people, even some who didn't deserve them. He deserved his own peace. He fulfilled his purpose in life which continues on in death. A lot of us grew up the day he left, became wiser, and more appreciative. He made us understand that nothing is forever and to appreciate the people we have while they’re still here. He reminded us to always tell the people we love that we love them and to never take life or another person for granted.

Some of us changed our lives or pushed forward harder with more motivation to succeed. His sister has become an exceptional woman, fulfilling her goals in the name of her brother. I am so proud to be able to call him my best friend, my brother from another mother. I can’t wait to see you again when my time comes, my love. Until then, rest in the peace you were always searching for, always deserved, and finally have. Thank you for the laughter, friendship, and impact you made on all our lives. I love you to the moon and back, big guy. 

Goodbye may seem forever,
Farewell is like the end.
But in my heart is a memory,
And there you’ll always be.

- Fox and the Hound