Health Masters PT December 2017

A Legacy of Generosity



y dad immigrated to the United States from Mexico as a young child. As he grew older, he had a knack for working on cars. Soon, he and my mother

were running their own little repair shop, Yandell Auto Service, right here in El Paso. Though he was an expert mechanic, the operation was what you might call “low-budget.” My mom literally had to hold the shop light over my dad’s shoulder while he worked in the dim garage. The business steadily expanded, but my dad always strove to maintain a lasting, personal relationship with all his customers. I’ve heard from so many people that when you had your car fixed at Yandell Auto Service, you were always treated like family.

Those parties just encapsulated everything about my parents. They were so much more open than anyone I’ve ever known, embracing strangers like they were family. I still have friends today who remember them for all they did — people who attended the party as little kids with their grandparents years back. These days, we try to continue that family tradition on a smaller scale. We get together for a nice meal on Christmas Eve with my wife and two sons, a few friends, and a neighbor or two. Then on Christmas Day, we head over to my sister’s to meet with her, my nephews, nieces, and cousins. She makes mole from a recipe written in my mom’s own handwriting, and we all spend some time catching up and reconnecting. This year, I’m excited and honored to host the gathering at our house. Though my parents passed away a few years ago, they live on in these celebrations. They gave me absolutely everything, so it’s important to me that we’re able to pay tribute to them at least this one day a year. I try to impress upon my nieces and nephews that the success and abundance in their lives grows from the incredible roots that were planted by my mom and dad. I’m truly moved to be able to pass along their generosity of spirit in this small way and share precious moments with the people I love most.

For my mom and dad, that welcoming, giving attitude wasn’t limited to the business. Every Christmas, they would throw a massive party at their house and invite everyone they knew, from family to friends to customers. People who had just had their carburator

Over 100 people would be milling around in their big two-story house, laughing, eating, and coming together for the holidays. It was an absolutely incredible event.

cleaned would stop by with their kids, hang out, and chat with the enormous group of people in attendance. My mom and sisters would make delicious mole and turkey and all kinds of food for the festivities. Over 100 people would be milling around in their big two-story house, laughing, eating, and coming together for the holidays. It was an absolutely incredible event. One of my fondest memories from those annual parties is the image of my grandfather handing out presents to every kid who happened to stop by. It didn’t matter if you were our cousin or just the child of a customer, my grandpa had a small gift for you, wrapped by my sisters the night before.

–Louis Zuniga

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