Ricardo A. Fernandez, Mahkwa "the Bear"
Father, grandfather,great grandfather, brother, uncle; friend to many and surrogate father and grandfather to some. No matter how you personally knew this man, you noticed his extreme charisma, dimples and other handsome features which were inherited by his children. He was the type of person who was both intelligent and quick witted. He overcame a lot through his lifetime.The world was a different place when he was growing up. Not everyone was treated equally or with respect, depending on the color of one's skin. He had personal experience with this prejudice and never completely felt like he could just be himself, as God made him. The world was a crueler, harder place back then; and it's ironic that now that while making great strides towards equality with a long way to go, he was able to see some of the progress that has been made. Now he may have eternal peace. One thing that stood out about this man was that he was a believer in the Lord our Savior and he taught others to do the same. Jesus teaches us to forgive any wrongdoing saying, "You, Lord, are forgiving and good abounding, in love to all that call to you. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins. Forgive as the Lord forgave you."
Hopefully, his passing can bring all of his family and loved ones closure so they may heal and find mercy. May his children feel comfort and as the Bible states "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, no more sorrow, and no more crying; neither shall there be any more pain for the former things have passed away."
Our hopes are that this world becomes a gentler, more hopeful and more accepting place. Perhaps things have to fall apart for us to begin to come together once more. As God said, "Behold, I am making all things new, write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."
Ephesians 4:32 states "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other."
Despite his personal struggles, he held within his heart and soul that his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were his greatest legacy and achievement. He will be greatly missed but surely not forgotten.
He will be laid to rest at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Native American Rights Fund (NARF).