Flaco Guapo Media/ Jim Sánchez
SAN ANGELO – “Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” (I Corinthians 15:51-53.)
NOTE: Our sister, Rose Sánchez-Samaripa, first a daughter, second sister, along the way a mother, a grandmother, aunt, best friend forever, passed away on March 10, 2012. Her family, the Sánchez, Samaripa/ Samarripa's buried her on a day, March 14, 2012, when the Lord was gracious enough to create perfect weather conditions--partly cloudy skies and cool temperatures for her coronation day.
In the sports world, for those great athletes who became legendary for their transcendent feats on the field, the Hall of Fame was created. I created a section dedicated to those whose lives made a mark within their sphere of influence. I call it the Hall of Faith. One of those remarkable persons to be inducted into God's HOF was Mrs. Rose Samaripa-Sánchez.
The following story was first published years ago. At this time it has been published on my website as a tribute to our sister and daughter of Jimmy and Ermelinda Camarillo Sánchez as a tribute to her life, love legacy she left behind for us to carry on in her honor and memory. Now Rose's parents: Jimmy and Ermelinda Sánchez are reunited together as Mom joined her husband and daughter on July 19, 2018.
Left-to-right: Nora Sánchez, Rose Sánchez, Ermelinda Camarillo Sánchez, Jimmy Sánchez, Sr. and Jimmy Sánchez, Jr. It was our parents' 25th wedding anniversary renewal vows.
On a rainy Saturday morning, March 10, 2012, our sister, Rose, a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, passed away at the age of 56 years and 56 days —finishing her race in this life.
My brother-in-law, Tommy, who was with Rose in San Angelo Community Medical Center’s ICU, later told me that when she died, he called out to her to come back; he remembers it was about 7:36 a.m; in that one last time together as husband and wife, he saw in her eyes that she was asking to be let go. As he was holding her in his arms, he felt her life slowly leaving the body. The official time of her departure from this life into eternity was 7:48 a.m.
For me, seeing her lying there, her eyes closed as if she were asleep, her body still warm as I reached over to kiss her one last time. I gained something greater from her death and a life lived with purpose and with a purpose. I wish to share with you the reader and others as to who this person was that we were blessed to know as our beloved Rose.
Make sure to go to youtube for the song dedicated by me in her honor. The song is Memories by Maroon Five. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_iH2YSaY3U
Rose, a Person of Principles
Our sister lived her life with passion, convictions, and courage. As a young mother, she was diagnosed with a disease, Scleroderma. While she was given a death sentence report from doctors, she never allowed the disease to dictate the terms to her. Instead, she lived life on her terms, to its fullest before her passing. Along the way, she battled this disease, experienced depression, the death of her father, and oftentimes discouragement because of this 24/7/365 demon.
Those three traits, passion, convictions and courage, served our sister well. Rose loved the Lord Jesus passionately as she enjoyed worshipping Him with praise and worship music. With regard to convictions, when Rose accepted Christ as her Savior, she never went back to that lifestyle of partying, drinking and associating with the wrong crowd. As for the third trait, she was one of the most courageous persons that I had the honor of calling my sister and a friend.
Though Rose’s life was brief, 56 years, she lived it as if she were 70-years-old. It was a life that was fully, passionately, and courageously walked out on a daily basis by the grace of God. Our sister, though fragile in body was strong in spirit.
Rose, a Star whose Life Shone Brightly
At her celebration home-going, March 13-14, 2012, Johnson Funeral Home had a standing-room-only packed audience of family, friends, high school classmates and former co-workers who came to pay their respects in memory of a life that deeply touched so many. It was divinely ironic that when we laid her body to rest on March 14, it was three months to the day after her birthday, January 14.
In a later conversation after her passing, I mentioned to my sister, Nora, that Rose’ star (life) shone brighter than we, her siblings. Wherever Rose was, she abounded in vitality, brought laughter, and joy into everyone’s life.
I have attended a lot of funerals with my Mother where we go through the line to pay our respects to the life of someone who’s body “lies in state” and give our condolences to the family. Now I and the rest of the family members were on the receiving end of condolences for the loss of our beloved, Rose.
Rose, her husband, Tommy, first grandson, Isaiah, and mom, grandmother, Ermelinda Camarillo Sánchez.
Rose and daughter, Ermelinda Samaripa at Blanca and Michael Terrazas' wedding in December 2010.
At Rose’ funeral, on Wednesday, March 14, her daughter, Ermelinda, briefly touched on a conversation she had with her mother months before her passing. “I remember asking her that I didn’t know what unconditional love was.” “She told me I never would until you have your own.” “I never knew how much she loved me, until I had my son.”
Just as the funeral concluded I realized that once the casket was closed, Rose’ body was loaded in the back of the hearse and we were headed for the cemetery, that we would no longer be able to see her, call her or talk to her. Now the four siblings had become three.
As we were waiting outside the funeral home for the director and pallbearers to load her casket in the back of the hearse. I took a photo, of it (casket) for memory keepsake, but it didn’t dawn on me until later that her body was now going to a resting place---a new change of address—from 616 Rust Street to Lawn Haven Cemetery, 4989 FM Highway 1223.
Left-to-right: Lupe Rangel and Rose Sánchez-Samaripa.
This was the last photo of our beautiful sister, daughter, wife, mother, aunt, best friend to those who dearly loved her. This was Rose' 56 birthday cake, made by her long time friend, Mrs. Lupe Rangel.
Rose, a Giving Person who Remembered Everyone’s Birthday
Rose was the person in the family who always remembered everyone’s birthday. When the New Year entered, she would get a calendar and place the name of every person she could remember. Two things I vividly remember of my sister’s last few weeks of her life. The first involved the day of her birthday. At midnight on January 14, after she had gotten through with dialysis my Mother and I were with her just spending time together. Rose proceeds to lift her hands and use her two fingers like a music conductor to lead us in singing to her Happy Birthday.
“Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday, dear Rose, Happy Birthday to me.” It was worth staying up late to hear her unique way of celebrating. That image will always be embedded in my memory file.
The other memorable moment of her conquering spiritual life—she asked me to get her a card for her niece, Kristina (brother, Jesse’s daughter.) I mailed the card which included $20 for Kristina. It wasn’t until after I had mailed the card that I found out Rose had given away her Birthday money. Even in her last days of dying, that was the kind of person she was—a giver.
Rose’ Coronation Day
The day of the celebration funeral (Christians don’t mourn the death of a loved one, they celebrate their life) was a perfect day. I believe when God welcomed His Beloved daughter, Rose, into His presence He determined how that day for her home-going would be. It was partly cloudy and unusually cool, in the mid-60s—a perfect day to coronate the passing of a virtuous sister. My sister was dressed in a royal purple dress, a necklace around her neck with matching earrings, a white-laced handkerchief, and pink rose.
Later that evening, a friend of the family, Juanita Cortez, was outside of my sister’s home; Juanita was looking up at the evening sky. It was perfectly clear. As she pointed upward, I saw two stars, one larger than the other one, close together—as if both were intimately connected. This angelic being, Rose, walked from the corridors of this earthly domain into the hallowed hall of eternity and into Her Father’s Love. No longer did Scleroderma have its death grip on her human body/soul; now her mortality was veiled in immortality.
Rose with one of the Los Lonely Boys.
Rose, our gift to a West Texas Community
Rose, had something in common with two other famous celebrity females—Whitney Houston and Donna Summer. And it was not their celebrity status. Other than their passing (death), Whitney on February 11, 2012, and Summer on May 17, 2012, the commonality they shared, was first, that their lives were brief. And second, all three had shining stars that burned brighter than others.
You knew when Rose entered the room she was there because she made her presence known by her laughter. Another thing Rose had in common with Whitney and Summer, she was a fashion girl. My brother-in-law, Tommy, said one of his nieces once asked Rose, “are you a fashion girl?”
Rose, proud grandmother of her grandson, Isaiah Nicholas Samaripa and newborn, Elijah Jaden Jones.
Post anniversary thoughts of our beloved, Rose
Rose was a proud grandmother of five handsome grandsons, all loved and disciplined the same. Nicholas Isaiah Samaripa, age 11, the first grandson of Rose’ grandchildren still missed her deeply as evidenced by the tears he shed when I spoke with him. I asked about his relationship, but the one about discipline stood out the most. How did you feel about it when your Grandma Rose disciplined you? “I didn’t like it . . . Grandma said spanking me would make him a better person.”
Albert Samarripa, Jr. who was corrected by his Tia Rose, spoke about her impact on his life as a boy. “Before I just saw it as spanking, but now as a father you correct them because you want them to do right and that’s what Tia Rose did.”
I asked Thessalonia Samarripa, what was it that was unique about her Tia Rose. “She spoke her mind, very much. . . she was a leader, not a follower.”
There is an interesting dichotomy between Rose’s son, TJ Samaripa, and her daughter, Ermelinda’s memory of what their mother instilled within them that left an indelible legacy. For Ermelinda she experienced unconditional love. TJ, on the other hand, his memory of her legacy she left him with was in the area of discipline. “It was the whole discipline part. Mom was the disciplinarian between her and Dad.” “Sometimes you get the ‘bad guy’ label for it but as you get older you understand more.” “She would always tell me, ‘one day it’s going to pay off and I do this because I love you.”
Nora, fondly remembers her sister. “Rose was the kind of person who loved people, she enjoyed talking, she enjoyed life." "She turned out to be my best friend after we had got married and had our children.”
I asked my sister why did she spend so much time with Rose? “Spending time with her began way before she was diagnosed with the disease.” “56 years of her life was not enough time. It seemed so short,” she concluded.
As for my personal fondest memory of her, it was when we were little. There’s a photo of me, Rose and Nora. All three of us have on cowboy hats that our parents bought at a carnival. Looking often at that picture, prior to her death, those years of our innocence seems so long ago—decades. In one moment of time, the years became fleeting. The moment we are born, the sands of our hourglass life begin to run out. Our life is but a moment, a vapor. While we are here on earth as mortal beings, we must choose to make it count because we only get one chance to make a difference. Our beloved Rose made her life count, evidenced by the multitude who came to honor her life on March 14, 2012.
Maroon 5 Memories lyrics
"Here's to the ones that we got
Cheers to the wish you were here, but you're not
'Cause the drinks bring back all the memories
Of everything we've been through
Toast to the ones here today
Toast to the ones that we lost on the way
'Cause the drinks bring back all the memories
And the memories bring back, memories bring back you
There's a time that I remember when I did not know no pain
When I believed in forever, and everything would stay the same
Now my heart feel like December when somebody say your name
'Cause I can't reach out to call you, but I know I will one day, yeah
Everybody hurts sometimes
Everybody hurts someday, ayy ayy
But everything gon' be alright
Go and raise a glass and say, ayy
Here's to the ones that we got
Cheers to the wish you were…"