I went to pick up a pen so I could write you a poem my friend and my hand landed upon royal glittery blue gel ink. I couldn’t help but think of your eyes. Eyes sparkling with bursts of loyal vibrancy. A saturated hue to match the flame inside of you,Tommy. Eyes so blue to match, mama Mary’s too. I would assume your spunk came right from her heart and zeal for her sons. I would presume her passion for her children bloomed right inside of your irises. It could never be snuffed out, even in loss or in grief. Your love and connection could reach beyond the firmament of heaven and sky. It floats right by those pearly gates to a place where a luminous crown awaits. You are in the arms of Christ Jesus, Jesus, and Leonard all alike. You are all embracing and no longer have to fight any illness or discomfort. Tommy, you are in a paradise like no other. You are praying for us all along with your father and brother. You are our angelic guardian now. You are protecting your daughters with supernatural love and strength so firey and fervent. We will carry your memory with us proudly remembering the beauty of your spirit. Tommy Joe Zuniga, you are eternally resilient. You were a man that walked this earth understanding the definition of the word “duty.” You truly had a servant’s heart. You knew what it meant to be a part of a greater whole functioning with integrity, no matter the role or assignment. Your alignment knew no obtuse angles, just straight lines and everything right and fair: from your stare of protection, to your firm conviction resting in your angular chin, and your reassuring grin that could be trusted and understood. You had the backs of everyone and you were never lax in reliability. You were a loyal protector and friend that could bare any role or share any load to make the burden bearable or light. With grit and bite you would take it all on like the Norse god, Thor, and still come back for more. Lightning in your hands, heels, and blue eyes. Charity and compassion was the guise that guided your sapphire gaze. The ways of your heart helped you to give, time and time again. The ways of your heart helped to navigate your continued sense of obligation to those you loved. You lived your life giving back to your country in the armed services. Then you continued giving to the kids inside of Juvenile Detention Center. Your didn’t see sacrifice as a bother, the way others did. Your discipline allowed you to continue to give, as you lived a life that exemplified the pride you took in doing the job right and leading by example. The only thing we could ask of you is for more moments to cherish by your side. Now you are sincerely missed, sweet friend. I want to personally thank you for always being a gentlemen. Thank you, for always being one of the most noble and respectful men I have encountered. You were positive, even when you faced the uncertainty of illness. Your willingness to smile and be a light to others was never diminished. And as you finished your race on this earth with less than a few moments left, I was blessed to stand by your side and touch your arm one last time. In that moment I felt the love and pride God has for you inside of my own heart. And I knew with no doubt he would tell you, “Well done thy good and faithful servant,” when he looked in those eyes so blue. He like all of us, takes pleasure in knowing a man as dutiful and wonderful as you, Tommy Joe Zuniga. 10-4, brother, 10-4.
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