A Lesson From The Girl in Apartment 201

Giving Thanks


Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.

-Omar Khayyam-

Just a few days ago most of us living in the United States of America celebrated Thanksgiving.  I hope you took some time to give thanks. Things may not be perfect, we may not be perfect, and the people in our lives may not be perfect, but thankful still we are.

On Black Friday I took advantage of the 60-degree Mid-Western day and took my motorcycle out for a 3-hour tour.  I didn’t go far, I just toured the Chicagoland area and took in the sunshine.

I found myself in Lombard, IL, a suburb just minutes from my home, and as I rode along Roosevelt Road, I happened to pass an apartment complex.  From the looks of it, the complex has probably been there since the early 70’s.  No central AC only window units, outside entrances, and wooden stairs.

While this complex may hold little significance for most, not so for me.  You see, my Friend Elizabeth Carmona lived there back in 2002.  I thought about Liz, as we called her, and was thankful for having met her.  I uttered the words, “today I’ll live for you, Liz.”  You see, Liz passed away in 2004 after being killed by a drunk driver.  Liz was 25 years old.

Liz was a very giving and fulfilled person.  I would say that she lived a lifetime in her short 25 years.  I know that she touched countless lives in her community and her church.  There were many times that Liz left me speechless with her generosity.

In 2003, when my Dad was losing his battle with Caner, Liz was there to offer support.  When the company she worked for didn’t have the cash for everyone to get paid, Liz didn’t cash her paycheck.  When a young women needed a place to stay, Liz rented her a small place in which to lay her head.

Today I’m thankful for life, family, and all that I have.  I’m grateful for the good times, the bad times, and the in-between times.  Today I’m thankful for being alive, and I so wish that Liz were her to do the same.

I hope that you’ll take the time to live life for someone who is no longer able to.

Live, laugh, love and be thankful.


Tino Hernandez


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