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Hilda Salguero: Sept 13, 1925 - Sept. 11, 2009

The Dolphins lost a big fan today. My mom, Hilda Salguero, passed at precisely 4:59 this afternoon. She would have been 84 years old on Sunday.

You've perhaps read on this blog the past couple of days that I was out with an "injury." Well, that is partially true. I've been suffering from a broken heart.

After I was finished with a radio show Monday evening, I called my mom with the intention of checking in and telling her I was going home to watch the Hurricanes. Normally sharp and cheerful, she was unresponsive on the phone. I knew right away something was wrong. When I arrived at her apartment, I knew it was bad as she had fallen and was dazed.

She had suffered a massive stroke from which she did not recover.

I know this is a football blog and I hesitated to post these facts on here. I know you come here for news. You come for entertainment. You come for analysis. You come because you enjoy my work. And some of you come simply because you love to hate me.

No matter the reason, all of you come here to read what I have to say. And I need to say this:

All I am and what I do is directly a result of my mother and father. And even as they are now both departed from this world, the reason I am here is because of them.

In 1967, my mother and father went to the Havana Airport to bring me to the United States. It wasn't about them. They could adapt to a new government. But they just didn't want me growing up in a terrible communist dictatorship. That day at the airport that regime showed its colors even as we were boarding our flight to Miami. They checked me in, and then they told my parents, both of whom had exit papers, that only one would be permitted to board the Eastern Airlines jet. Only two of three Salgueros, they had decided, would be allowed to leave that day and for a long time to come.

My dad stayed behind. And my mother brought me to this country. She didn't know the language. She didn't have a cent. All she knew is she was saving me for a better life. And that was the theme of her existence for many years after that.

She worked two jobs so I could be enrolled in private elementary school.

She saved for a coat to wear during New York's harsh winters, but used the money to buy me a TV instead. I learned to speak English watching that tiny black-and-white TV.

When my dad was allowed to come to this country in 1970, he came home to a nice, furnished New York apartment -- nothing grand, but respectable.

My mom never graduated high school. When I came home with homework I didn't comprehend, she couldn't help me. But she would encourage me to read the problem through over and over. She would pray I would get it. And most of the time, that worked.

She woke up at 4 a.m. every day to walk me to a sitter. Then she'd take a bus and two trains to work. She'd get home around 7 p.m. and start the routine all over again the next day. One time, when I was 7, the sitter had taken me grocery shopping with her kids. While her kids didn't carry any of the groceries home, she forced me to carry two one-gallon milk jugs -- one in each arm.

Later that night when I complained to my mom that my arms hurt, she asked me why. When I told her, she went looking for the sitter to confront her and curse her out.

I was always the smallest kid in my class because I skipped second grade due to some higher test scores. This one kid picked on me constantly and I became afraid of school. My mom asked me why and when I told her, she took me to school the next day, found the kid, pushed him up against a wall and warned him not to ever pick on me again. She also gave the kid a note with her name and told him to tell his parents what had happened.

The kid's mom, a strapping giant woman who dwarfed my mom, showed up at school the next day as did my mother. I'm not exactly sure what transpired between them, but for some reason that bully stopped picking on me after that. In fact, for a while he became kind of my bodyguard, keeping all the older boys from picking on me.

Oh, and by the way, I didn't need a body guard very long. My mom took me home after her confrontation and enrolled me in boxing. She warned me never to allow myself to get bullied again, otherwise, she said, she would whip me and then search out the bully to allow him to whip me.

Never had that issue again.

The Dolphins were my mom's team. She loved them because she loved me. I once explained to her that when the team won, my job was easier. The players are friendlier. The stories are generally better. Everyone is more cooperative.

So she rooted hard for the aqua and orange. She watched every game, partly, she said, hoping for a glimpse of me in the press box. We'd talk after every game and she'd either complain about the plays and players that led to a defeat or celebrate those that brought the victory. The last couple of years, she told me she couldn't watch some games all the way through because the ebb and flow of the action was too much and caused her chest pains.

She loved Jay Fiedler because, she would say, he was such a fighter. She loved Ricky Williams because I explained what he is like and she decided he is his own man. That is something to be admired, she would say. Last year, she decided Ronnie Brown was also among her favorites because he triggered wildcat and she recognized it was different and bold. And she loved different and bold.

My mom would have been 84 years old on Sunday. The scheduling was troubling to me because her birthday coincided with the Dolphins' regular-season opener at Atlanta. It wasn't a great choice for me because I knew I would have to miss one or the other. I had decided to miss my mom's birthday, because she understood work is work.

Now, I'm going to miss both. 

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may GOD BLESS YOR MOM'S SOUL AND HELP ALL OF YOU TO COUP W/ YOUR LOSS W/ HER LOVE FOR YOU AND ALL.

THE WORD MOM IS BEST WORD IN ANY LANGUAGE ON EARTH .

That was beatifully written and thank you for sharing. I hope the heartbrek eases with time for you. I'm 26 and still fortunate to have my mom and don't even want to think about losing her sometime in the future.

Sorry for your loss.

Glad you wrote it. It made the connection for me between love of family and team. Your a class act and you will carry on the legacy of her purpose and spirit and in that way she will always be by your side. G-d bless A.

David M.

Sorry for your loss Armando, your mom sounded like a wonderful women...God Bless her soul

Very sorry to hear of the loss - I hope the coming days go as well as possible for you and that the great memories give comfort.

Thoughts and prayers.

Wow, we are sorry to hear about your loss Armando. May your mom rest in peace and wish all the best

MEN WRITES THEIR BEST WORDS AND LINES WHEN THEY ARE SAD B/C THEY WRITE FREE OF THINKING AND TRUE TO THEIR FEELING .


Mando,

My heart goes out to you, your mom (R.I.P,and your whole family. Just know shes in a better place and she will ALWAYS be looking down on YOU and her fins.

PS Hope the fins have a great year and make your mom proud.

GOD BLESS

Armando, my sincere condolences.

I wish to convey my deepest sympathy's to you, Mr. Salguero. Even though I have never commented, I read your blog daily and think it is the best Dolphins blog on the net. I hope you come back soon and continue making your mother proud with your writing.

Armando,

Sorry to hear that. We will pray for you. I lost my dad in January and my father in law in May; kids lost both grand dads four months apart. Time will ease things a bit but the first year will be tough.

Dolfandave

Your mother was obviously a great lady, and an example to everyone in how to make the best of life, even when things were tough. She clearly had excellent taste in football teams as well. Heartfelt sympathy on your loss, Armando.

Cherish knowing she lived a good long life and seemingly raised a good son.
I bet you made her proud whenever she spoke of you.
May God ease your pain and help you cope with the grief.

God Bless

I don't normally read the comments on your posts and don't comment, but I do enjoy your writing, and wish to offer my sincere condolences on your loss.

Thanks for sharing and G-d bless you and your family.
D

My thoughts are with you and your family. As a fan my heart weeps for you and this season should be in remberance of your mother. Thank you for shareing your wonderful memories.

May God bless your Mom and your family. Keep up the great work when you get back.

Sorry for your loss, I'm sure that you mother is very proud of you and will continue to root for you and the fins.

Armando,
Sorry for your loss!
It sounds like your Mom was a great woman.
May God rest her soul!

Armando-
Your mother would be proud of the man and writer you have become as well as that post. My sincere condolences.

Terribly sorry for your loss. Be proud that your mother was able to watch you climb to the top of your profession.

Dear Armando:

I wish to extend my deepest sympathy to you and your family. I share you sorrow and I thank you for also sharing a part of your life with us. Yo must have been extremely proud of your mother as she must have been an extraordinary person. God bless her and your family always.

Sorry for your loss.

Armando:

God bless you and your family. Thank you for sharing your story and thank you for always giving us the best information on our beloved fins. I am sorry for your loss and i will be looking toward the sky during the kickoff on Sunday.

This is the best blog I have ever read. Thank you for sharing and God bless.

Armando,
You gave us all a gift there-a heartfelt account of a man who loved his mother for doing what great mothers do...take care of their children. Your story parallels of lot of ours, particularly those, like me, who went through very similar circumstances. Although I'm in Cali and haven't lived in Miami for many years, I'm a die-hard Fin fan and a regular reader of your prose due to your poignancy and relentless attempts at humor and wit while covering the team I love. The pain is there and will never quite dissipate, but it's not really supposed to. It simply becomes a bit easier to cope with as time goes on. Thanks for sharing. I'm sure she's read this and ever so proud of you for dedicating it to her. Jose/Irvine, CA

I am so sorry for your loss Armando, I send my condolences to you and your family

Armando, my condolences. Your Mom must have been an amazing woman.

God bless. I'm sorry for your loss. Que dips la cuide.

God bless her, Armando. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Armando,

I'm very sorry for your loss. It's a sure thing that your mom is going straight to heaven, and hopefully you will find comfort in knowing that.

Armando-
God bless her soul. She sounds like she did a good job raising you. I lost my mother when I was 3 months so I'm not going to lie an say I know how you feel. But the way your words were written made me know what a mother is worth.
Just know that she will still be rooting for you and the Dolphins but this time without the chest pains.

I am sorry for your loss, your mother sounded like a fun and wonderful mom. I'm sure she loved you very much. Your families story of coming to this country sounds very much like what's my family did to have a better life for the ones they love, god bless.

I feel you brother my parents made the same sacrifice for me. Thanks for writing this. Our parents were a special generation to have endured with so much dignity and humility.they took it upon themselves to ensure we would live the kind of life that they deserved but did not get a chance to fulfill. We made them proud we made their sacrifice worth it. It's th greatest gift we could give them. I hope that will help console you in time. What you feel never leaves just becomes subdued over time. Just keep making them proud.

Rest in peace. our hearts are with you

Armando,

I am sorry for your loss. This was a wonderful tribute to your mother.

I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Stephen Stanley

Armando, please accept our condolences for the loss of your Mother.

There are no words any of us can offer which can possibly comfort you in your time of bereavement. However, instead, it is my sincere hope that God's loving hand will now guide you in this period of your grief, and that his healing light will soon bathe you in his warm embrace. And it is also my wish that your thoughts of loss will, in time, be replaced with those of thanksgiving for the many blessings and joyous memories bestowed upon you by your dear Mother.

With Our Deepest Sympathies

Sorry for your loss Armando. It's inevitable, but never easy losing a parent.

Armando...my deepest sympathy...after reading your story I understand the relationship, respect and admiration you have for your parents. I too have Cuban parents who sacrificed a great deal to come here. Your homework story especially got to me because I went through the same thing. I'm sure your mother left us being very proud of you and what she helped you become. May she rest in peace

The relationship you had with your mother, is why Mothers Day was started by a Cubano. God bless.

Your loss is our loss, my friend. May the memory cf her life remind and comfort you and give you strength now. I speak for the Dolphins family of fans everywhere in passing on our heartfelt condolences and prayers to you and the Salguero family. Peace and God Bless.

I am truly sorry for your loss. They say behind every great man is a great woman. Well, it seems that you are a great man because you had a extremely great woman behind you. God Bless!

Sorry to Hear of your Loss....Best to You and Your Family in a sad time...Take Care...
Jim

long time reader from Canada... sorry for your loss bro.. you're very good at what you do, thanks for everythin man

Armando,
I am truely sorry for your loss. Your mother sounds like an outstanding woman. Be thankful for the time you had together.

, we are sorry to hear about your loss Armando. May your mom rest in peace and wish your family all thw very the best. like you said we have grown over the years and i love to hate you. but in all in all its a sad day and may god be with you and ur family..

Very eloquent. I am so sorry to hear about your loss and my thoughts and prayers are with you.

This is a wonderful, heart-warming tribute to an obvious hero. And it is a great American story. In time the pain will subside, while the memories will not fade. You are not alone. God bless you.

Thoughts and prayers to you and your family, Armando. RIP Hilda.

Armando,

Deeply sorry for your loss...just know your mom is in heaven right now, looking down on you..you will be with her again one day. I read your blog everyday and I love it...

God bless you,

in Jesus's rightous name

Amen

My heart goes out to you and your familly... U have really touched me with this story... Sorry for your loss everytime u watch the aqua and orange just rember her spirit will always be with u... God bless and take care...

Tu Madre se merce una gran celebracion de gusto y alegria. La Familia primero, SIEMPRE

Armando,
I post once every 2 years. What an exceptional woman your mother was. She's got another 50 years in her if her message get's passed on to your children.

Armando i never comment on here...but i just wanted to extend my condelences. im sorry about ur loss. i know what ur going thru..and u can find some comfort in knowing that shes in a better place. we are all selfish in wanted our love ones here all the time. but unfortunately thats not the way life is. again im sorry for ur loss...may god bless u, ur family and ur mother. take care man

Armando,

That was a beautiful tribute to your mother.

It brought tears to my eyes, especially so since she seemed like my mom, who died 4 years ago, and your story was in several ways similar to ours.

It is obvious that you made her very proud.

I know this is one of the hardest times in a person's life. Take solace that you both were blessed to have such a close relationship.

Keep letting the feelings flow and use this raw time to see the big picture. Don't rush back to the rat race.

Peace,

Michael


Armando,
Sorry for the loss. That was a wonderful story about a wonderful Mom. Always Write from the heart and you can't go wrong. My prayers are with you and your family. Hopefully on Sunday you can look up to a star and say this win is for you mom - Go Dolphins and God Bless you.

Hey Mando,

I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom. From the Christie family, Our sympathies go to you and your family.

Sorry for your loss! There have been many times I wanted to respond to your blogs but have been too busy. This stopped me in my tracks. Condlences

Be strong. Have faith. Suerte.

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