To My Coworkers:

There are many who walked a similar path before me … but few, if any, who walked my path.  But nothing of who I am today would have occurred without you.

To this day, each of you has had a wonderfully profound hand in my success. Yes, we parted under duress; as if life’s almighty vice had clamped down upon our individual carbon atoms, endlessly crushed, formed and solidified by the often furious times swirling around us.

In one way or another, I managed to create a covalent network with each of you.  Tim, you were my greatest mentor, a person whose thought and caree as both a boss and friend was greatly appreciated. Your insight to management and personnel was inspiring as well as holistic. Like mighty warriors, we rallied our teams, inspired each other to greater good and the fought fights worth the fight.

Katherine, you were a good friend. One who’d listen, laugh and learn. I have not forgotten – probably never shall forget your impressive beauty and honesty. Both Tim and I hoped for a happy ending of our employer. True to form, some days were tremendously long as we rallied to fight for a better educational system. But in the end I failed. And I failed you. But God knows best and now even these three years past, I am overjoyed to learn you completed your Doctorate and proudly manage a department of your own. You provide inestimable service to students near to you.

And to Ms. K., no written words can adequately express my deep, deep love. Both Christ and I know how great you are. If there is any one person who taught me about faith it would be you. Over the past three years, your spirit and wisdom has taught me to be continually in communion. Thus, through you, I discovered a call to the community. Certainly no one could possibly state my discernment process has been easy, but you acknowledged I am part of a greater family. And as I shredded my past, I move from communion to ministry.

Lastly, to the Los Angeles Doctors Hospital in East Los Angeles. If the ‘war on poverty’ has several battle lines, then one can be found right here, at the Los Angeles Doctors Hospital in East Los Angeles. Far away from the modern state of the art technology of elite hospitals, there lay an older bed hospital, encased in an unkempt exterior whose interior walls appear to have been painted approximately nine hundred times.

Walking through these doors, visitors are greeted first by the stagnant musty air, rickety old stained seating, a fish tank with no fish, and magazines from a year or so prior. While these professionals mostly likely vote, each seemingly has forgone the politics, the money and talking points of daily sooth-Sayers from Fox, MSNBC, CNN and others. The decisions made by state, federal and county politicians hold little weight here. In truth, the Los Angeles Doctors Hospital of East Los Angeles is a blend of contrasts, to many they are an outpost on the fringe of humanity and an oasis to the surrounding community.

The owners and staff have chosen to rise above the circumstances. They do not wallow in their lacking, they do not whine. Regardless of the obstacle, they strive toward what they can do. And what they can do is amazing. While it cannot be argued that Christ has overcome death, these professionals are Christ-like. They cheat death daily and celebrate life in every moment. These people are the true good ‘Samaritans’. They love what they do and make me ashamed of my owe personal failings. I am totally in awe.

Still, I know my past with each of you has been difficult. And certainly, while I can hardly be forgiven for the person I was, I can only request your prayers.  We lived great highs and tremendous lows. We suffered in bitter agony and extreme joy. While I know many do not believe in the divine, I continually work earnestly in the light given unto us, that one day, we will once again gather near, raise our glasses and salud.