Uncle Tony Mirabal… Rope-a-Dope with Cancer

He used to say, “Being a Pueblo Indian isn’t easy… it’s very hard, but I’m not gonna chase you around to teach you. I’m here. Want to know a song, want to know something, just ask me.”

Once again the world has unfolded another ass kicking into my field. Death is for the tired and weak. Life is for those of us who are still strong enough to laugh at our pains and symptoms.

Uncle Tony fought hard in his corner every day for the last year and a half battling the beast of cancer and the heavy gloves of chemotherapy. He lost all his hair but stayed with us long enough to grow it back dark black. He was fearless to the very end – joking with us and teasing us as he went in and out of the pain. Playing hide and seek with cancer isn’t fun.

Tears well up in my eyes as I think of him in a stupid hospital gown, two doors down from where my Aunt Mary had just been a couple weeks earlier. I turned away as he smiled at me, “Don’t cry for me…”

How can you not cry? Especially when one of the strongest men I knew as a boy and as a man had dwindled down to fit in that small gown – stripped of dignity and honor. The cancer beat him down so hard that the littlest pressure to lift his body bruised him. He fought down the pain with morphine and still stood – staggering and holding his fist to an imaginary enemy – as he held his corner. He never gave up, even knowing that he only had two months to live.

Uncle Tony
The fighter man for the waterfall.

I’m still crying a day after my birthday as I think about him. It makes me wonder about my own life. It makes me wonder about all the things i did.

I’m still bouncing around in my own corner, teasing fate with a loosely guarded chin. One day, just like any other day, it will be too late and I will cross left when I should have crossed right, stepping into the last punch from life’s deathly blow.

We all can contemplate what we have and have not done at that time.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to do that! I want to learn from others blood tastings. I will live the life I need today without regrets. I don’t believe in karma. My God doesn’t make mistakes.

If you think you’re living life, think again, as I have while holding the dry, soft hands of the dying while tear drops still stain my kiva blanket. I wish I could hold them all again, rewind to the days when we were all smiling and happy. Those days will never come back. Those evenings as I fell asleep in some wooded camp hearing my mom, grandpa, grandma, aunties and uncles laughing. Those mornings when I woke up to the same sounds.

Those days are gone forever. The light they made for us as children shines through us and burns everyday as we march into the arena of life and death. Meanwhile we all have our own fights, bloodied and knocked around by life’s toil and turmoil – tasting blood mixed with adrenaline, Prozac, morphine, tequila…the only way to live forever is to honor our past by not forgetting their knowledge and passing it on to the ones who will listen. The only worthwhile endeavor is, perhaps, to learn the language of our children – then and only then can we live forever.

However, who wants to live forever? Live now, like tomorrow will never come, laugh, smile and fail miserably in only the way you can.

Maybe tonight someone you love will leave you, pray that you have learned all there is to learn from her.

All my love my fearless warriors.

Yours very truly,

IN THIS INEVITABLE CORNER> The son of a prince….Mystical Mirabal Man…

golden is the glove that knocks you down for the last count.
my corner is forged by all that have passed on.
step away and I step in.
In the end I’m only human not a God,
the moment I dropped down, loosing faith was when I was hit.
give me a love that stains my kiva blankets with tears other than that it’s not enough.
that is the only love I will fight for.

52 thoughts on “Uncle Tony Mirabal… Rope-a-Dope with Cancer”

  1. Robert, my friend, nothing I can say will take away your pain and tears. All I can say is that I’ve also felt such anguish losing my grandparents, both of my parents, and a few others that were so hugely important in shaping who I am today. Sometimes a memory of special times we had together comes back to me like a flood and I cry. Now my grown children are my only true loves and it’s my turn to make sure they know everything I was taught… the history of our family, traditions, even secret family recipes, lol… and that is what keeps me going every day. I don’t know what I’d do without them. My mother and grandmother would say, Remember who you are, remember where you came from. So I say this to you today, Mirabal… Always remember who you are! Always remember where you came from! And concentrate your love on your sweet daughters. As you have said so well, learn the language of our children… and I will add, as they will continue to learn our language also until we are down for the last count. Wado, blessings to you and yours!

  2. Thank you once again Robert. I especially like…

    “Meanwhile we all have our own fights, bloodied and knocked around by life’s toil and turmoil – tasting blood mixed with adrenaline, Prozac, morphine, tequila…the only way to live forever is to honor our past by not forgetting their knowledge and passing it on to the ones who will listen. The only worthwhile endeavor is, perhaps, to learn the language of our children – then and only then can we live forever.”

    I have had to do a lot of looking at self lately, and reading your words and imaginining your perspective has been a part of that journey… along with playing bass for a bunch of baptists every morning, teaching college students what I know about music, raising a stepson who has wound up in jail a time or two (for being a teenager)…. being a part of of the life of his sister’s baby whose Daddy has joined the army, to nurturing and Loving a wife who works way harder than me…

  3. Dear Robert,
    Sometime ago, I visited the Aunt of a dear friend on her deathbed. I believe he wanted me to accompany him because of his grief & his desire to control himself in her presence as he said goodbye (muy macho ese hombre).

    The first surprise was that she was sitting up, looking pretty as a picture in very feminine pajamas. When my friend entered her bedroom and approached her bed, she pulled him to her and gave him a full, lingering kiss on his mouth. Then she looked at me and said, “I’m trying to make you jealous.” (She was full of surprises!) When I assured her she was succeeding, she relaxed on to her pillows and smiled.
    Then my dear friend expressed his sorrow for her as she was passing and asked her how she was – knowing that her death was imminent. She replied, “Let me put it to you this way, it’s no surprise.” After which we all relaxed and had a wondeful visit full of memory and laughing.

    After reading your blog, I listened again to Lyle Lovett’s ‘The Last of the Family Reserve’ and had my own cry for those whom I have loved that are no longer here;
    And there are more I remember
    And more I could mention
    Than words I could write in a song
    But I feel them watching
    And I see them laughing
    And I hear them singing along

    We’re all gonna be here forever
    So Mama don’t you make such a stir
    Just put down that camera
    And come on and join up
    The last of the family reserve

    God Bless You – Robert.

  4. My condolences to you in your time of sorrow. Many do not believe in reincarnation, but if you think about it, our ancestors are reborn every time a new life enters our families. Though the body has fallen away, the spirit renews in each birth, in the eyes of the new baby that looks like our grandmother; in the haircolor that graced the head of our grandfather, in the certain mannerisms we display. One day our traits will pass on to our family to come, continuing the blessed ancestors in this world. Your uncle will reveal himself in your children if he hasn’t already, and in your grandchildren, nieces, nephews. And he will continue to pass on his heart, knowledge and spirit.

  5. i loss my sister not long ago from cancer. so i relate to what you are saying. i never thought about life as our corner. your right we do live in our corner. as i read about your Uncle i keep thinking about my sister. we went through a lot in our life but we stayed close may be because of our struggles in life.
    she too was strong and knew her time was up on this world. it was not something she feared. i sure miss her. i fight back the tears as i write this.
    i lost my husband ten years ago he left this world on our sons birthday. while on the other hand our daughter was born the day after his birthday. he died in the same hospital they was born in at the age of 65.
    all this makes me wonder what heaven is like. i know my family is waiting for me to join them. i am in no hurry they will have to wait. i my heart goes out to you. the strange thing is when we lose one loved one. another is born not to take their place. just to show you God still cares and give you the best love he can, a baby. may God comfort you in this hard time.

  6. Dearest Robert,

    How fortunate you were to know your elders well and to live a long and happy life among them. I did not fare as well: my last living grandparent passed when I was still in college. Now all of my elders, except my father who is 94, are gone…. my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, my god parents… even some of my cousins. I was born to parents late in life: my mother in her late 30’s and father in his 40’s. I spent most of my childhood in California… 3000 miles from my family. You were blessed to live with them, learn from them, retain memories of their laughter and their tears… and finally to hold their hands as they went to sleep one last time. I have already summed up my corner, Robert, as I turn to my children and grandchildren… to give them the opprotunities I never had: to know their elders and to know them well. The mistakes I made in my youth are far, far behind me as I stand, steadfastly, to my morals and become a mentor to my offspring.

    And now your time has come. You know the way. You know what must be done. You have the strength and courage to be the paragon the young people need… you know the language and the culture, the dance and the stories… you’re there, my freind. Embrance your space and share it with your people. Live long and prosper, knowing you have the love of your friends, family and even of strangers. Peace and blessings xxx

  7. Robert,

    You have honored your Uncle Tony in song and in memory. He will fight another day with the elders that have gone before him. Your Kiva Blanket Dreams should teach you that every day is a good day to hug those you love…this cannot be done too much or too often, but should be a testament for those that will someday walk with the living after you have long rejoined Uncle Tony and all those loved ones before you. Allow your tears to give you a gift of clarity.

    Many Blessings,

    Rob K.

  8. My sentiments go out to you and the rest of the families who are effected. I have seen the devastation that cancer brings to a family. Not only for the one who is effected, but for those who are surrounding him/her, and will miss him/her. My own family has been hit in several places, and I feel a special connection to the words you had set down in this publication. May Uncle Tony walk the paths of the after world with as much strength as he has given in the world. And may he always be remembered for what he has passed on to the minds and bodies of those he has left behind in this world.
    And, may he walk also, with the ones who have preceded him into the eternal future, and suffer no more. And may the tears on your kiva blankets dry up and stain it with good blessings for those who walk the other world.

  9. Thank you for your heart felt and wise words Robert. The world will miss Uncle Tony Mirabal May his memory be always for a blessing and may G-d give you comfort and peace Carrie Yazzie Abrahms- Morse

  10. Mirabal,

    Superb blog as always. I am so sorry for your loss. However, you are not alone in the boat watching a family member fight cancer. My step father has kidney cancer. He has been receiving scans and treatment for the past year in a neighboring city. It has now spread to his leg. At first they could not decide to go ahead with chemo or radiation treatment. They started the radiation treatments 2 weeks ago. Every day for 4 weeks. If this does not work, they will do another month of it. After that, I am not sure what is going to happen. The difference between your situation and mine? My step father and I are not on speaking terms. Our relationship has been on the rocks for quiet a long while. I have tried talking to him. I have done my part. The ball is in his court and he is a proud stubborn man stuck in the days of old. His way or the high way, If you are not like him…he lets you know it in his own way. So now I have mixed emotions. He is the only father figure I have ever known. I pray for him because my mom loves him, and it is the right thing to do. My biological father was a drunk and drowned in the bath tub in his own despair many years ago. So what would you do? Swallow your pride and try again to talk to the man again or leave it be? I don’t know. I felt the need to share with you in hopes to let you know that you are not alone in the boat. Many prayers for you and your family.

  11. Dearest Robert I Can Only Say What A Remarkable And Inspiration You Are To All Of Us ~ It’s Times Like This That We Reflect Back At Our Lives And Wonder What If ~ What If I Had Listened More ~ What If I Had Taken Better Care Of My Self ~ What If I Had Not Taken Those Paths That Had Lead Me Astray ~ What If I Had Noticed Others Ills ~ All These Have Brought Us To Where We’re At Today ~ The Loss Of Family Members Or Life Long Friends Weighs Heavy On Our Hearts ~ Because With Each Passing We Loose A Little Piece Of Who We Are ~ Your Uncle And Aunt Will Always Be With You Because Of Your Faith And Respect For Your Elders ~ God Has Blessed Us ~ With Your Music ~ Your Spiritualism ~ Your Willingness To Help Others ~ So Dance With Them And Set Them Free From All Worldly Pain ~ Letting Creator Take Their Hands And Continue The Dance Of Eternity ~ No Pain ~ No Suffering ~ Just Peace Everlasting ~ So To You My Brother ~ My Friend ~ And Your Loving Family ~ God Bless You ~ May He Keep You Strong ~ May He Watch Over Your Family ~ May He Bless The Path You Walk Each And Everyday ~ Always In A Good Way ~So_Gwi_Li_Ayi_ ~ Walkinghorse ~ Dennis Brugman ~ I Will Always Treasure My Autographed Guitar ~ Signed By You ~ Love And Light ~

  12. Today is my dad’s birthday. My Dad, not birth father. He was a Golden Gloves Boxer, WWII decorated soldier, etc. His last years (10) were spent as a paralyzed bedridden soldier of his post war injuries, surgeries, and life. Just as I recall him, I recall my other relatives that have passed on. My dearest Grandma, aka: Saint Ang, for she was a blessing. My Grandps, who also left this life with post war (WW!) lingering illness. Let us still celebrate their lives and what they mean to us. May our memories keep them special in our hearts, minds, and spirits.

  13. My condolences to you and your family Robert… I did my best to find English translation for the poem by one of the greatest Croatian writers Antun Gustav Matoš…..It is my favorite poem… Hope you will find just a little bit of solace in it.. Comfort of hair
    I was watching at you last night. In a dream. Sad. Dead.
    In the fatal hall, in the idyllic of flowers,
    At high catafalque, in the agony of candles,
    Ready to surrender you my life as a sacrifice.

    I did not cry. I did not. Amazed I was standing
    In the fatal hall, full of beautiful death,
    Doubting that the dark eyes were clear
    From where it used to shine a better life.

    Everything, really everything is dead: her eyes, breath and hands,
    Everything I desperately tried to revive
    In blind terror and the passion of suffering,

    In the fatal hall, in grey thoughts
    Only your hair was still alive,
    And it said: – Be calm! In death you can dream.

  14. Dear Robert…

    Thank you for sharing yourself with us so deeply and beautifully. At this time, when your losses are so raw I read the wonderful things written before this and hope you receive comfort from them.

    The physical beings that you love so much are not here with you but the strong, deep memories are. Their spirits are. Their teachings for you, are. You, are.

    Thank you ~ mahalo nui loa for all that you have given us, the land, the plants, the sky … taught well and nurtured well ~ you have brought so much good, so much joy, so much life.

    Take good care ~ heal out there on the land and with the mountain in particular.

    We love you

  15. I’m so sorry to hear about Tony. He was so kind
    To me and treated me with respect even when
    He teased me. He welcome me into their home
    If not temporary and even let me plant flowers
    In his back yard. I will forever cherish all the
    Holidays and feast with them. Please send my
    Best regards to Ka and let her know I’m praying
    For them. Much love to u Robert and ur family
    Be strong my friend.

  16. wow little brother – how beautiful….I have a friend who just lost his wife to cancer…they were married 37 years and have two beautiful sons..I think your words would really speak to him now…I loved the line “my God doesn’t make mistakes….mine either….prayers blessing and comfort to you and may you shine as you always do through your tears my belle ami 🙂

  17. Robert,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is to lose someone you love so dearly. I have lost three family members to various types of cancer.

    My grandfather too was a strong man and the cancer reduced him being physically weak. He fought the good fight but alas, he too lost his fight. That was over 25 years ago and the pain is still as if it was yesterday. It is okay to cry. it cleanses the body and lets you move on to the next day. So let the tears flow because it is a pathway to healing.

    Many Blessings,

  18. Thee kind of real love that stains your blanket, is thee only kind of love to fight for, I believe, we are to do our best, to follow our hearts to where our creator leads us, no matter where that is, we will find our hearts happy & free of the pain we carry, to have faith in ones belief of love, thee love that is to fight for, is to honor our children & what we are needing to learn from them, so all our hearts are thee happiest they are able to be for them, to show them that we have thee courage to be happy in our hearts, will show them, that we hear them………so then we have, how do we get to that place in our hearts, to find thee courage to be happy for our children’s eyes to see & learn from us as well, how to truly be happy within their selves, really truly happy, with the ones we are with & with our past & with our future’s, to live life to thee fullest, no matter how we choose to do so, or sometimes, who’s heart’s we hurt to do so, cause even if our heart’s hurt, somehow they will heal to thee happiness that we all are longing for to feel, thee thing is, we need to show our children, that we are fighting for that kind of love, thee kind of love, that brings those staining tears, that are in fact worth fighting for, because i to, will only fight for that kind of love as well, no matter what it takes…… <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 🙂 ……. this to, is what i believe, all the souls that have passed thru after this life, are also fighting for….. we feel them on our skin everyday & thru our tears they do their best to show us as well, that we need to fallow our hearts & do our best to help others see that they do have thee courage in their hearts to do thee same…… so, smile & know that we are loved……

  19. Wow, After loosing my son, my Mother, my neice, and my husband in a span of four years, every word and thought you wrote were as if those were my thoughts…My son was the worst to grieve for and still is. I had to come to terms with the anger within me while knowing I could not blame God, for God does not visit us with evil..only love.That same God gave me peace and strength in the midst of the anger to walk each step every day. The pain never leaves, not even for a moment. So I try not to live in that space of time too often..I do honor all my peoples deaths and their lives..I too remember all the good times and laughter we had when all were together..
    Robert, you are right, there is now no going back, we must go forward in our own fumbling ways and try to honor those that went before us….
    Pain and death is a hard task master. I guess in the long run we grow stronger as we forge on to the next event of life..

    Just another that shares your pain,


  20. You are a beautiful spirit Robert, and one
    Day your loved ones will return to you
    So you must keep your faith in Our Creator
    Redeemer, Savior Jesus Christ The Messiah.
    And may He bless you always !

  21. Lifting you and your family in prayer, Brother. We love you and keep you all in prayers, always. Uncle Tony was a good man and has taught you to be a good man. Be strong and we are with you, always.

  22. Dear Mr. Mirabal,
    I am so, so sorry for your loss. A part of me cries with everyone who has lost someone so important in their lives, especially the patriarch of the family, the one you look to for their strength and wisdom. My Father is going through that fight with cancer currently. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer almost 3 years ago. He opted to be treated strictly with naturopathic medicine. He had come to terms with the inevitable outcome and wants to live every moment he has left without being cloaked in the ravages of radiation and chemotherapy. I’ll never forget the day he told me, the day I first found out. I grieved so terribly but in that dark, uncertain place a much deeper and thoughtful relationship formed. (with my Father & the world around me) In that moment I truly realized how important it was for me to learn all that I can from this amazing and wonderful man. I have learned to really listen with more than my ears to all he has to say and everything HE has learned and discovered in this life. I have become more open, to see, feel and learn in a much more deeper way. I can now see that I have been blessed before cancer entered into my family’s life & doubly blessed after cancer.
    Prayers to you and your family Robert, & for your Uncle. <3

  23. Robert,

    Thank you for sharing this precious sorrow. Grief, Praise, Endurance, Letting Go all fold into one blink of the greater eye…the eye of God which sees your trembling heart.

    Peace and many blessings,


  24. Dear Robert-

    As I write with tears running down my face, I am reminded of the pain I felt for my lost ones. It seems they are taken from us in groups. First my Mother, then my father and a year later my beloved Aunt and Uncle were taken from me in a car accident. I keep with me the memories and lessons they taught me through the years. I still feel them around me during times of trouble and times of joy.
    Robert, take the all time you need to grieve, don’t be afraid to cry and share your emotions. It is what makes us most human, most connected.
    You are surrounded with light, wisdom and love…..

    Many blessings, Love and hugs from afar-

  25. Dear Robert, My father used to say to me, we cannot choose our time. I am sorry for each loss we feel and hope you will find comfort in remembering. Much love and prayers, Nancy

  26. Dear Robert,

    These past few days I was compelled to play your Uncle Tony’s ocarinas. They are so beautiful and make the sweetest and most magical sounds. I have thought about him daily upon learning of his cancer. 16 years ago my mom lost her fight to the same cancer, she never complained to the very end. She honored each and every day! Her birthday is the day after yours, I celebrate it every year! Now I will celebrate your Uncle Tony as well, by playing his ocarinas to honor him.

    Thank you so much for sharing your life with us! As you live each day, know that he loves you deeply and shines through you. He is very proud of you and knows that you will carry on. You set an example for so many by living your truth. Your loving ways and deep caring reflect all that you have learned and experienced. Your Uncle Tony is in you, he is part of you!
    Be at PEACE, cry, love and be loved!
    Go play one of his ocarinas in your favorite natural spot!
    With love and respect as always,

  27. Bitter is made sweet through love;
    copper becomes gold through love.
    Through love dregs become clear;
    love heals all pain.
    Through love the king becomes slave;
    love brings the dead to life.


  28. Dear Robert,
    Joseph and I send our love to you and your family during this very sorrowful time. I know your Uncle was very special to you and I only wish we had met him too. I’m sure he was a wonderful man and I thank him for all that he taught you; for if you are any indication of the type of man he was, I’m sure he was over-flowing with talent and greatness!
    We will keep you all in our prayers.
    Joseph and Janet (Naperville Pow Wow)

  29. Thank you everyone for your words of blessing and honor, life is and will forever hold hands with death.
    What is most valuable is to find the beauty in both…

    Thank you…rest in peace Uncle Tony..

  30. Robert!
    So sorry for the loss of your dear Uncle Tony. I met him 8 years ago, when I was trying to decide whether we should move to Taos or not…I visited the Pueblo, and he was so warm and welcoming and quite positive that we belonged here…I could say he was pivotal in our decision to come to Taos!
    Much love to you and your family in this time, and always…

  31. Dear Robert and the Mirabal Family,

    This is Inge here; I used to write on your original message board as blackforestwalker.
    I want to convey my heart-felt condolences to you and yours on the passing of Uncle Tony. I was lucky to meet him in his shop and purchase a little item he had made. I have a really nice snapshot of him standing in the doorway in the shop. He was nice to us and I liked him right away. I treasure the little item that I bought; it has horsehair in it and it reminds me of being in Taos and at the pueblo and especially of Uncle Tony.

    As someone once wrote in a song, “You are always in my blood.”

    -Inge in the Land of Shells

  32. Dear Robert and Family.

    My utmost condolences to you, and your family. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve re-watched “Painted Caves” over the years; sharing it with many others, and always enjoyed listening to your Uncle Tony at the end. I had always hoped one day to purchase one of the ocarenas that he made; now that will never happen. Such a great loss to your family, but not surprised reading of his strength in your words. His strength of his spirit showed through even in the video of him. Again, my condolences to you and yours. May the beauty-filled memories of moments you shared bless you as you move forward.


  33. My mom, brother & I have had cancer. ( whole family) I ask myself many times why is it only me who won the battle to be so alone in this life….. than i receive your writings pop in your CD and …. well my BROTHER Thank you!

  34. From so far away all i can offer is the gentle surrounds of a few words… so little in the face of such loss.. but sent with love to gentle the soul…

    Even the strongest of us can well tears of bitter hurt…
    All the power in the world cant help that moment..
    But all the beauty and power can also help to heal after…
    Cry for your loss..
    Open the well of sadness and let it run out in the river of your tears…
    Then close the gap…
    Seal the wound…
    And let the magik of the music the drums the flutes.. the voices in songs bring back your hope…
    Peaceful Blessings BY Awaikeena Winddancer Rainwolf

  35. Thank You Robert for sharing this, it was very touching, made me tear up and cry!! I always do tell the people closest to me that I love them everyday because it is true, you never know if its gonna be the last time you see them or speak to them. With that said, my condolences Robert, love you!!

  36. Robert
    I just recently spent time with you when you graciously shared your gifts with many at a Pow Wow in Chicago. It is difficult to embrace death. I once was told that I now experience the fear of abandonment. However I was also gifted with some words of wisdom. That our Loved ones will be greeted on the otherside. And many of those that touched my life and are no longer suffering put their trust in me to walk them to the other side.
    What and honor. And to come to a place of acceptance and worthiness. God is awesome. He brings others into our lives for just a time or season to teach us. And if we pray and trust he will bless us dearly. Even when we are in the valley. Feeling broken. I have also learned that if you are always giving to others and not yourself then you might not have the strength needed when you face your own battles. I cry many tears. And I also find healing. One day I was drumming and chanting and was given the name APENIMON.
    And I thank you for sharing your corn. We all have a purpose. Love is a powerful thing! God is not the author of confusion. The closer we get to God and completing his work – we experience more spiritual warfare. Call on those from the otherside. Angel’s want to protect us. We know the truth. Hope to see you in New York in February. In the mean time be strong. Chant and breath and Praise and share your wisdom. Tonia

  37. Ocarina sing my song of appreciation.
    Bring it to the hands that made you.
    Tell him thank you for being a pillar in the life so many.
    Ocarina sing to him every time I play.
    Travel with the wind to his doorstep.
    So that he knows he made a difference and always will.
    Ocarina sing to him, sing to him!

  38. Wow the tears were blinding me towards the end and bless you for saying what we all know, enjoy and hopefully give to the young ones just half of what we got for our most favorite elders and even the ones who scared us.

  39. Robert ….we spoke of these things when were together during the Pow Wow . Uncle Tony is in a much better place . At least he has escaped the prison we are in…,still love you .,,

  40. Robert, These are times when we wonder if we can go on again and again watching people leave us in whatever way it might be. My brother should never have suffered that awful big C, he was younger than me, shouldn’t I have gone first? My close wonderful friend Raven, who I wanted to spend many more years with, flirting and laughing, left us way to soon. He was a wise elder whom everyone loved, and miss.
    We just go on, because thats what we are supposed to do. we remember all of those wonderful times, and as we get older, those memories seemed to become more vivid as if they were yesterday. You are inspiring in your battle to move on. Your performance at The Grove was emotional and so full of sharing. Everyone I talked to felt you deeply. We are so grateful to you for sticking with us and performing as you did. Your a good man, and whatever crosses you might bare we are all with you, helping you. Your Uncle Tony and your grandma, and your mama are also with you. Remember when you think you are falling they are holding you up. There are many wonderful things coming to you, as they do just embrace them, and move through the door to a brighter side. All of your loved ones will follow with you to guide you. My friend Rob of our flute circle has a Tony Mirabal ocarina. Please check out Healing Earth facebook to see it, and see him play in honor of your Uncle Tony. He did very fine work. Dear Robert, my love is with you and I thank you again for coming out to see us. Blessings dear Robert, and may your days be lighter as time goes on. Aho!

  41. Dear Robert

    Bless you in your grief and in the continuance of your life. Thank you for all that you willingly give to us.

  42. Daanzho Robert, Yes I lost a couple of dear friends Dennis and Melvin many years ago, then my father, then my oldest sister Barbara, then my brother Herb. It is a hard road to walk sometimes just waking up to the reality of not being able to laugh with the ones you used to share good thoughts with and many, many hearty laughs with. All of the blessings my brother

  43. Dear Robert,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Uncle Tony was a very special person. Every time I went to the pueblo, he was the first one I would visit with. I have a picture of him and me. It has always been special to me and will be even more so now. He touched many lives.
    Tonia Pena

  44. I have also felt my share of pain Robert. I have also had loss and the one that was the hardest to understand was the loss of my 21 year old son who passed in a automobile accident in march of 2009.He was 2 days from turning 22 and i have spent many sleepless nights and lonely days just wondering what i could have done or did not do. It took a long time, struggling with my self and my True Faith in God, to finally find peace,not that i don’t still have days when i just need to cry or scream or both!! But i have truly learned a lot about myself and how precious life is and that we should always be thankful for every momemt…and also Love Like There is No Tomorrow!!!
    GodBless You and Thanks for sharing your Heart once again!

    Paula R Abalos

  45. Robert I know the pain first hand!! We hugged in the parking lot at the Grove and both talked about our loss!! I believe that my parents are together and Uncle Tony is with his loved ones!! Faith is all we have and the trust that we have in Creator! We will all be in His glory some day!! We need to live our life to honor our loved ones and make them proud while we are here on earth!! Our reward is waiting for us!! Live to love the day!! Cherish every moment !! My heart and love are with you and your family!!

    Peace and Faith
    Geri Jo Duda from the Grove!!

  46. My wife and I just “met” your Uncle Tony earlier tonight as I watched the “Music from a Painted Cave” DVD that you sent us the other day. I felt the same things you described when I recently lost my Uncle Bob. I am sorry for your loss…

  47. That was a beautiful and very touching post, thank you for sharing. The photo of your uncle moves me also. What a kind soul I see. I can feel your lose. Reminds me of my Gram that I was not able to be with very much because of distance in miles. We will see them again don’t you think?

    These words also hit me ringing true in my life. I would like to quote you in my journal. “I’m still bouncing around in my own corner, teasing fate with a loosely guarded chin. One day, just like any other day, it will be too late and I will cross left when I should have crossed right, stepping into the last punch from life’s deathly blow.”

    I don’t write as often as I would like. Much work in my job, chores and distractions not to mention rest. I appreciate reading what you write. Your website is pleasing to the eye and very calm. I purchased 3 cd’s on your birthday. Hope to listen soon.

    I am surrounded by spirits of native and celtic energies. You are now part of that for me.

  48. I am so sorry to hear about your Uncle’s passing. He was a good friend to me when I lived in Taos. I remember stopping by his shop every time I visited the Pueblo. He had a great sense of humor. I am praying for you and your family.

  49. Robert…….I just read this story….The leaving part of ones before us is truly not forever.Ine day you too will leave,rejoin all relatives.I know this to be true.Since i was little i was comfortable seeing spirit…My grandfather after leaving ,took him two months to show himself in spirit.I take care of elders(20+ years) Held their hands as they left and to my surprise it happened with some of them too.I know there are more than on side,places where we will go when we leave.Learning as much as you can from those still here is so right on,very necessary and important.Things I believe will be grand when it is your time to meet up will all you cherish again one day.The love/connection of the ones you speak of is too great for it not to be.Peace Robert.

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