On the 21st it will be his 24th birthday.

He was only four years old when he died. But every year, with no fail, as his birthday approaches, or sometimes, on the day itself, God has been gracious to allow a message to come down from heaven to me. It’s always been so clear, whatever form the message takes. So clear that I always have no doubt in my mind and heart that the message comes from God and Migi. And always, I am so grateful because it provides me so much comfort in the days leading up to his birthday.

This year the message came early, on Chinese New Year, five days before his birthday.

For those of you familiar with the Disney film “Coco” you will recall that the lead character was a little boy named Miguel who loved to sing. His passion for singing was so great that it fueled a desire in him to seek his ancestors from whom he believed he got the musical

gene. On Dia Delos Muertos, Miguel defies all odds, and manages to travel to the other world so that he can search and connect with the spirit of his great , great grandfather. It is a beautiful, beautiful film and my favorite Disney movie.

In one pivotal scene, his great, great grandfather sings a song that is both beautiful and haunting. It’s the same song he would sing to Miguel’s great grandmother, Coco, when she was a little girl. The lyrics go:

“Remember me

Though I have to say goodbye

Remember me

Don’t let it make you cry

For ever if I’m far away

I hold you in my heart

I sing a secret song to you

Each night we are apart

Remember me

Though I have to travel far

Remember me

Each time you hear a sad guitar

Know that I’m with you

The only way that I can be

Until you’re in my arms again

Remember me”

Yesterday, one of the young friends I work closely with gave me an extraordinary gift. This friend, is someone who is like a son to me. Ironically, he is also Migi’s age. He said he had bought the gift last Christmas but had been hesitant to give it to me because he wasn’t sure if it was politically correct. I recall that he did ask me about this in December, but I had forgotten all about it.

Yesterday morning, he finally decided to give me the much-delayed Christmas gift. It was a Funko POP vinyl figure of the character Miguel from “Coco” dressed in the costume/disguise he used in order to gain entry into the other world!!

“Know that I’m with you

The only way that I can be

Until you’re in my arms again

Remember me”

Thank you Father, and Migi, for such a wonderful reminder this year of how love, no matter how long it’s been, will always be so much more powerful than death. I remember you, each day. You are with me forever.

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