By Tommy Rush
Recently I conducted a memorial service for Mario Quiros. I’ve conducted many memorial services over the years, but Mario’s will be one that I will not soon forget. He passed away on May 1 at the age of 70. Some would describe his life as “special” because he lived his entire life with Downs Syndrome. Personally I would describe it as special because his life was lived full of unimaginable joy and unprecedented love!
What a blessing to hear his family share their “Mario” stories. During the service a cousin shared of his love for competing and winning medals in the Special Olympics, she described the joy and excitement he had for attending NSU football games, symphony concerts and musicals. She told how he loved making hospital rounds with his mother and “helping” at the Pediatric Clinic. Mario was a lover of life, a collector of hats, an admirer of flowing water, a dedicated coffee drinker. He loved sipping coffee with his Papa and hanging out at home with his best friend Pearlie Mae. He was a devoted brother, a cheerful uncle, a beloved son, grandson, nephew and cousin. He was described by his family and friends as the happiest, most gentle loving soul on earth.
Following the death of his mother, Dr. Wilhelmena Wise in 2007, Mario returned to the Galbraith Community on the Lower Cane River to live with family members and later to Houston to live near his younger brother, Dr. Antonio Quiros. His journey of life was a very special journey! I’m sure it took him through more obstacles than most and he likely experienced more questions and stares from people who didn’t have eyes to see all that he had to offer. But I’m equally sure that Mario was blessed with a beautiful life! He was made in the image of God like all of us and we could just see it better in his “special” life! All who had the blessing of knowing him witnessed how his life displayed daily the amazing goodness and grace of God.
You may be a father, mother, sibling or other family member of a relative living everyday with a special need. If so, you probably don’t need me to tell you that your family member is a God ordained blessing. Psalm 139:14 says, “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.” Yes, we are all made in the image of God. We have all been created by God and for God and in God’s eyes every life is created to be special! Sadly, some people just never realize it. The next time God brings a special person across your path, I encourage you to take the time to make eye contact, smile wide and thank God for His goodness and grace!
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