A Letter To Eugene

by Eddie Torre, contributing writer

February 21st, 2019

This letter to Mr. Eugene Fabiero is what we hope to be the first of many from our community. If you are interested in writing a letter than would be shared on The Brave, please visit Room 234 or email mbartelt@bosco.org.

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Dear Eugene,

A week ago today when I visited, you and Karin were together for Valentine’s Day—not in the most romantic place but rather in a place of healing called Cedars-Sinai hospital.

A week ago today your eyes teared up when you saw the get-well card your Bosco students and band members signed for you.

A week ago today we were making plans for when you got better to go to Gerry’s Grill in Cerritos—and, break bread together with other Bosco colleagues on the condition that you would not eat any Filipino food. Ha!

A week ago today your eyes teared up when you were informed that many members of the Bosco community were making donations to assist you and your family—and, especially when you heard that one of your band members donated $47 of his own money to you.

A week ago today we laughed at the time you brought a humungous apple fritter from someplace called Donut Man.  Your treat from Donut Man made me a larger man. 

A week ago today your eyes teared up when you were informed that some of your Bosco colleagues were giving up their sick-days to help you and your family during your time away.

A week ago today we laughed again about Bobby’s rice-cooker that was left in the band room over Christmas Break—and, the whole rigamarole that I experienced in trying to get two-week-old rice and the associated smells disposed of…somehow dumpster diving was involved which included actual drum sticks.

A week ago today your eyes teared up when you were told that a Prayer Service was being planned for you.

A week “from” today, I can never more say “a week ago today” we shared, experienced, laughed, or cried over this or that.

I miss you…you were a friend and a brother to me.

I tried not to cry when I heard the announcement today…moments later, I could not hold back my tears.

You helped others create experiences, feel emotions, and ultimately feel alive.  You were alive and epitomized the cliché of living life to the fullest. 

I only got to know you through your hiring at Bosco (definitely one of the Bosco’s best hire’s in my humble opinion).  Although you lived a long commute away, whenever you were on campus you were fully present with the students as well as with our faculty/staff.  You demanded the highest standards from your students especially the band members.  You accompanied them—like any good Salesian—to away football games as well as to band tours far far away (well, I know you took our band to Northern California!). You did not bark out orders, you walked side by side with the band…you even played the tuba with the band when you got a chance.  Indeed, your accompaniment with students was recently affirmed by one of Bosco’s best, Juan Aleman, SJB’18 and freshman at MIT…

My absolute best to Mr. Fabiero. I have already sent my prayers and will continue to every time I hear the wonders of the world he helped me realize!!!…

…He helped me appreciate music to a further extent, and I want him to impart that same love in others. My continued prayers sent his way 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼

As a friend to many on our faculty/staff, you mostly made us laugh with joy as well as grateful for your talents and sacrifices in directing our boys through the gift of music.  You were one of the three moderators of our Filipino Club (the three E’s!).  You opened up the band room to our pot-lucks.  You opened up your heart to all of us and that is why you are beloved. 

I was one of the fortunate ones that got to break bread with you often…usually some sort of Filipino food.  You were a friend and a brother to me.  As I get older, I realize it becomes more difficult to make new friends…let alone friends who are like a brother.  I want to call you my brother—I can only hope I was one to you.

Regardless about my brotherly hopes, feelings, and gratitude for you, I am most saddened by your passing for Karin and your two children (Elsa and newborn Bastian).  God and Karin shared you with us—and, it’s heartbreaking that Elsa and Bastian will have a void in their lives that no one can fill but you.  One day, I want to share with them the stories I have of you…and, I hope and pray that those stories can somehow bring a slice of the joy of life you brought to so many.

A week ago today, I saw you smile and that is the lasting memory I will have of you. Amen brother.

Your colleague, friend, and brother,

 

Eddie 

 

“Eternal rest grant unto Eugene and let perpetual light shine upon him. Amen.”

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