OPINION

Rick Sanchez: Miami mourns Jose Fernandez ‘con todo’

Fernandez celebrates with hitting coach Barry Bonds on September 20, 2016 in Miami, Florida.

Fernandez celebrates with hitting coach Barry Bonds on September 20, 2016 in Miami, Florida.  (2016 Getty Images)

It’s Sunday morning and Miami is in what Shakespeare would call “a wretched state.” 

Miami’s own Prince Hamlet has died and an entire town is mourning. Jose Fernandez will not be remembered for this day. He will not be remembered for how he died, he will be remembered for how he lived.

Jose Fernandez lived his life the way he threw a baseball; with everything he had on every pitch, every joke, every smile, every win, every loss, every game and every moment he lived.

- Rick Sanchez

I saw it in the faces of my fellow churchgoers this morning as Father John Pelosi delivered the news. We Catholics don’t usually mix current events into our homilies or devotionals, but today is different. I can only speak of one place, my place: St. Edward Catholic Church in Pembroke Pines — where my wife and I along with hundreds of others kneeled as a rumble came over the congregation.

Miami’s Prince had died and all over South Florida people were reacting to the news. But nobody seemed to know quite how. 

The boat, the wave, the rocks, the age, the ‘who knows what?’— that took his life doesn’t matter right now. All the matters is the image that he imprinted in our hearts and minds. 

Like so many of us, he was an immigrant who came to America and found his calling. Like so many of us he was a Cuban refugee. Like so many of us he played as hard as he worked, sometimes not being able to separate one from the other. And like so many of us he refused to quiet his inner child. 

Jose Fernandez lived his life the way he threw a baseball; with everything he had on every pitch, every joke, every smile, every win, every loss, every game and every moment he lived.
  
All over South Florida, there are boys who are weeping and asking their parents, Why? Grown men with few answers can only cry as well — like Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly, who seemed unprepared to deliver the news as he cried almost uncontrollably before reporters who themselves wiped away tears.

As I write this piece as much to quell my own shared confusion and frustration with my fellow Miamians, I’m obliged to share with you the words that most of us would use when describing Jose Fernandez. It is an inspirational message we bilingual Latinos jot down on the end of notes and emails.    

‘Con todo!’ means literally ‘with everything.’ It’s about ‘giving it our all.’ It’s become the unofficial credo for many Latinos in South Florida; most of who arrive in a new place knowing their success will only be determined by their effort. 

Jose Fernandez embodied those two words. He lived ‘con todo.’   

Rick Sanchez is a contributor for Fox News Latino.

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