Jose M. Floriano
October 30, 1934 - October 30, 2007
Eulogy Given By Darlene Floriano
As our family looks out into this gathering of family and friends, we see the faces of all of the people that in not one exact way, shape or form, our father, grandfather and husband Joe, had touched the life of each and every person here.
Let us tell you who this man was to us. He was first the much loved child of his parents Manual Floriano and Maria Machado, then a loving brother to his 7 brothers and sisters, Danny, Elvino, Julio, Olivia, Carmen, Filomena and Lucia.
Then he was a man, the man who became the wonderful loving husband, father and grandfather we knew him as. His wife Teresa, His children, Danny, Joey, Rosie and Simon, His Grandchildren, Steve, Jennafer, Michael, Dominic, Katey, Kelsey, Jessica and Gabriel, and then there is the extension of his loved ones, Ines, myself Darlene, Albert, Vicky and Karie who made up the family he was so deeply devoted to.
We all have at least one story that stands out more than anybody elses.
When the honor was asked of me to offer this eulogy I took this opportunity to find out why this was.
These words are not all mine, but from everyone of his children and grandchildren. Essentially you will find they are not all that different. But he made each one of us feel that every moment that was spent with him was more special and different than the time he spent with anyone else.
Katie, Kelsey and Jessica were all thankful for the time they had with Avo. He helped them all with the animals they raised for their 4H projects and the fair. He was always there when they were showing their animals to offer his support. When the girls would spend the night at Ava and Avo's house he taught them how to play cards and they would spend hours playing, laughing and then telling them after he had beaten them at round of cards, that's ok, we'll play again until you win.
Dominic & Gabriel enjoyed this past Spring when we all went to the beach how their Avo played soccer with them, and every time he made a goal, he would laugh, pick up Gabriel and give high fives to everyone.
Mike always loved it when Avo would show up at his house almost every week with a pot of Sopa de Coives. Avo knew how much Mike liked this so Avo made it his special mission, even though he did not make the Sopa, to be the one to deliver it. He got the rewards of Mike's thanks and smiles personally.
Jennafer's favorite memory and times with her Avo was when she had the opportunity to go to the Portuguese Festa's, and family weddings, and he would dance with her. His dancing abilities or lack there of did not matter to him he just loved the attention, no matter how many people he had to run into or knock over to get it.
Steve's favorite memory was when Avo went to the bullfights with him and a few of his friends, Albert Sousa ad Calvin. Steve and Calvin being limited in their Portuguese did not understand most of what he was saying, but his behavior said volumes. Avo was making fun of things going on around him with his humorous gestures and just the way he laughed. There is no language barrier when there is laughter. Since that day every time he goes to the bullfights he remembers him and laughs.
There was also that secret hand shake that he had…… Most of us knew this secret, each of us thought we were the only one.
Vicky has a special fondness for tramose and he knew it. He would bring her a bag from time to time that he made himself, always giving it to her with it hidden behind his back as if he had a secret surprise for her. She would show her excitement and smile and laugh to make sure that he knew how much she loved him for doing that special thing for her.
I think my favorite memory with him was being presented with Anise every time the family would get together at Mae and Pai' house. Every woman that walked through the door received a shot of his home made Anise. Of course he par took in this tradition.
Danny would be called by our father every year to come and help with getting the outside of the house read for the holidays. He would work with him side by side putting up the lights and decorations, then set up the tables in the garage so the family would all be able to sit together during dinner.
When Simon and his family moved into their new house his father was right there to help him put up the fence, planting the rose bushes and anything else he could. Simon who for quite a while raised chicken would find it difficult to remove the eggs that the chickens would start to nurse. So he would see them through until they hatched, them hand them over to his father to raise. His father loved this.
Ines's fondest story is that most every time she would go over to their house he would make her wait at the door outside for several minutes. And as she would call to him to open the door he would yell out, “Teresa there's a kid selling candy outside!” This would irritate our mother to no end but he would do this time and time again.
Albert loved his spirit and the ability to show how much he loved you with a simple hug. How our father was obsessed with time, pointing at his watch every time we had some place to go. You would be proud of us today Pai……
Pai loved to work in his garden and everyone elses. If he overheard one of us talking that maybe perhaps we had some problems with ours you could bet that most often the very next day when we got home from work suddenly our garden was flourishing. Yes, he had been there.
Keri would get a kick over every time we would gather for the holidays he would line up in the middle of the table almost every type of drink you could imagine, from soda, to beer to wine coolers. He made sure everyone had what they liked.
Rosies favorite memory of her dad was him telling her the story of when she was born. He had already had two sons, Danny and Joey and was hoping for a daughter. When her mother gave birth a neighbor came to tell him while he was out tending to his cattle that he had a daughter. He was so afraid that someone was having fun with him and lying that he ran to the house pulled off her diaper and checked. He fell in love with her right then and there.
Joey was so proud, every year no matter how he was feeling we still had our 4th of July party. He could never walk away from this because he knew his father loved it so much. He did not want to disappoint his father by not having it. And every year at the end his dad would say I cannot wait for next year!
As we sat and gave our thoughts of what he meant to us and each one of us contributed our special memories we started to laugh and have a good time talking about him. Then in an instant I somehow felt guilty for doing this. Was I disrespecting him in some way? Then quickly I thought no. This is exactly what he would love, people sitting around talking about him and enjoying the time together.
You see he loved the family being together. The holidays were his favorite time. Having all of his children and grand children over celebrating, this was heaven to him. Nothing could be better than this. When it came to opening gifts…… He loved every single one, even if it was a pair of socks you would think they were made of gold. He would holler out after every gift, Oh, my gosh, and hey mis amiga, Hopa. Then of course slapping his knee! Every gift was gold!
This year in March he celebrated 50 years of marriage with Teresa the love of his life. All of us surprised them with a weekend at the beach on the coast. They had no idea where they were going they were just told to pack for warm or cold weather. When they arrived there you could see they were happy, I snapped several pictures of him throughout the weekend and there was such peace in his face. He was in eternal bliss. He and our mother Teresa received a special blessing in the local Catholic Church that weekend which the congregation and his family witnessed. We continued celebrating with food, games, and a special gift of memories of their 50 years together.
He was a wonderful person who had a great spirit and love for life. And all he desired in life was for his family to be happy. He was a spiritual man who followed God. He also wanted people to love and forgive. It takes a special heart to forgive and he had that.
In closing, as we move into the holiday season the best gift you could give this family is to take with you his lessons in life and love. Don't mourn him in sadness but celebrate him with happiness. As I mentioned he loved the holidays and family getting together. These things are still important. Please don't lose sight of this, as we understand these days will be difficult. Think about your best memories you had with Joe and hold them dear to your heart.
Our father may not have been a man of monetary riches, but he was rich in love. He was the kind of man every one should aspire to be.
Guest Book logs in the Merced Sun-Star for our dad. http://www.guestbookforpai.htm
There will be more to come soon.