This is a post I wish I didn’t have to write. But I do.
A couple of days ago I had just parked my car and then popped open my smartphone to check email and Facebook. I was stunned to see an update on my friend and former co-worker’s status. It was the announcement of his death. He had quietly passed away in his sleep at 33.
It’s not that I knew Allan extremely well. I worked with him for four years at Cafe Deluxe in Tysons Corner. His beefy presence behind the bar was a welcome sight. I like and admired the guy. He was real. He was genuine. He had a quiet dignity to him…a inner strength and a maturity that belied his age. He was a class act.
One thing that stands out in my memory about him. He had gone on vacation to his native Nicaragua where he took tons of pictures. When he brought them into the restaurant, he wanted me to see them. I loved that because I have a curiosity about the world and i was honored that he wanted to show me his homeland. He was proud of his Latino roots…as he should be.
I don’ t know how old he was when he came to the States. I do know however that he had fully integrated America into his persona. He was a devout Redskins fan, driving around with those little flags/banners rising 3 feet from the front of his car while he was driving . He also loved anything about the Maryland Terrapins.
One thing that I thought about him over the past couple of days. I say t his from my own experiences and observations in my life. While he never had the opportunity to become one, Allan would have made an excellent father. His heart, his smile, his devotion to his family, and his work ethic tells me so.
I don’t know of a better compliment I could come up with from my own observations.
Rest in peace, Allan. We’ll all miss you.