A letter to vince from your brother

Dear Vince,

I don't know how the Earth could have spun for 365 days without you.

It was always obvious that you made people feel good about themselves.

It never seemed to matter to you who they were or what they looked like. You made friends everywhere you went.

Even at work.

You were like an invisible glue that held us all together.

You just knew how to have fun.

With a side of mischief.

I like what Monica said at your service...

“My name is Monica and I am the guest of honor’s little sister. On behalf of my mother, my father, my auntie Virgi and the rest of my family I want to thank you for coming this morning. My brother answered to many names. He was born Vincent, but we called him Vince. When he was young only our grandma could call him Vinnie. He is the Vegas legend known as Cashmere Rubberhead. Whatever name you want to use, before the mass begins I want to share with you a little bit about the many loves of my big brother.

He loved music. He had a room full of albums when he lived in Las Vegas. His apartment in Fullerton had more music cds than our public library. Because of this passion for music, one of the things he loved to do was karaoke. I know the singing was actually a challenge he gladly accepted. He liked improving but what he loved was the music, the people he met and to entertain. He loved encouraging others to sing.

One night he noticed his name was not getting called in the rotation. He decided to put in the name ‘Sammy’ to see what would happen and sure enough Sammy was called and the name became his. His smile and love of life put strangers at ease. His kind nature made him a great friend to have, and because of karaoke he found a very large second family.

He also loved sports. He had an apartment, but he lived at Larry’s pizza. That is where he watched his teams. He loved the Angels, the Lakers and the Rams. My childhood memories include him dominating the television during football season and being dragged to Servite basketball games when it was Vince’s turn to babysit. Because of him I can make a bank shot, execute a lateral pass for a quarterback sneak and am not afraid of objects of any size being hurled in my direction. (Talk about his guilty pleasures of Days of Lives and political debates.)

He was not a talker; he was a doer. He was hard working and loyal and I can only guess it is because his greatest love was people and being connected to people. No matter where he went he would recognize someone and engage in a conversation. He loved being silly. He would do almost anything to get a laugh, but not because he wanted the center of attention on himself but because he wanted to see that smile on someone else’s face.

He loved his family. Saturdays were for Auntie Virgi. Breakfast at Nick’s, trips to the 99 cent store, thrift stores or the smelly fish market in search of snails or a new uncle. He kept in touch. His phone is filled with the numbers for cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. He was always the first one invited to any family function. He would make plans to pull us all together.

Wherever there is friendship, music, sports, silliness or family we won’t have to miss him because he is there.”

Now there are only memories. Cherished though they may be, they can't replace the joy and life you shared with us, with me.

I know you wouldn't want us to not be sad and that it might get easier over time. Even though that seems impossible.

Thank you for sharing your life with us for this little while. You taught me that it's okay to have fun, that friendships make the world a better place, that reaching out and touching others is good for them and good for us and that even small kindnesses can change the world.

I see you in the smiles of your friends. I hear you in the words of their songs. And think of you whenever I see people start dancing spontaneously or laughing un-self-consciously.

I miss you, brother. Say hi to everyone.

Until we meet again.

With love,


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