Vol 4.4 "Woody" April 19, 2005

It is 12:30pm April 19th, 2005.

On Saturday, April 9th shortly after one o’clock Eastern my wife’s father,
George Thomas Woody passed away. I was at Fisher Island (Miami, FL) having
just met with a client, on the phone with my wife when we both heard the sad
news via her cell phone. On Thursday, April 14th we said our good-byes to a
great man.

I still remember the first time I met Woody (that’s what all his friends
called him and everyone that met him quickly became his friend). It was almost
two decades ago’

Woody (on his phone from Jamaica Queens NY): ‘Hello?!’

Me: ‘Is LaTeace there?’

Woody: ‘Maybe she is, maybe she isn’t! Who are you?’

Me: ‘Well’..um I’m a guy that is interested in dating your daughter.’

Slam!!!! dial tone’..’If you would like to make a call please hang up and dial

again.’

Ring, ring’

Woody: ‘Hello, who is this, why are you bothering me?!!!’

Me: ‘Um, sir’..this is Fred Cuellar. I think we accidentally got disconnected.’

Woody (irate): ‘It was no accident! Are you slow boy? Don’t you know the sound

of someone hanging up on you?’

Me: ‘Well, um, I wouldn’t say that I was’’ Slam!! Dial tone.

I went on to call Woody over ONE HUNDRED times (not exaggerating), over the
next few months before he put me through to LaTeace. Woody was very protective
of the ones he loved. And he really loves LaTeace. I say that in the present
tense because I know he’s looking down from heaven watching over us, loving
us. I’ve learned in life that true love never dies, it just changes form. It
was noted at his funeral that Woody volunteered for the military in 1942
because it was ‘the right thing to do.’ And that’s how Woody lived his life, a
young black man from Virginia dealing with racism and prejudice. He did what
was right even when it put him in harm’s way.

At his funeral (being that we were family) we were the first ones to arrive.
Before the funeral started there was a viewing so his family and friends could
say good bye. After I had another chat with Woody’(it was the longest I ever
talked to him without being interrupted to hear about baseball, church, or how
much he missed his wife Betty that had died shortly after their 50th
Anniversary)’I sat in the first pew and watched loved ones say goodbye. It was
then that I truly began to have a real appreciation for how this man had
touched so many lives. The story was in the faces of everyone that stood by
his casket and became transfixed. Even in his death he spoke to everyone; and
they spoke to him. Each face all told its own unique story. Each person that
came by was reminiscing about their very own Woody memories.

During the service, my wife unexpectedly asked me to say a few words. While I
don’t remember everything I said I do remember this. ‘Woody, I’ve always
admired the example you set for me, what it is to be a man, to stand up for
what you believe in and not be afraid. As I look around the room and see the
faces of your loved ones and friends, I hope I’m half as much loved as you
were. When the memories fade of the names and places in our life, if we are
fortunate we will be surrounded by faces of the ones we loved. I noticed from
reading the obituary that your 59th wedding anniversary, to the love of your
life, Betty would have been in two weeks, on April 28th. Being such a selfless
man, I’m sure you realized that and wanted to surprise your wife so she would
not have to wait a minute longer to continue your lives together. I love you.’

Talk to you next time.
Fred.

The founder and president of Diamond Cutters International, is one of the worlds top diamond experts, as well as a three-time Guinness Book record holder in jewelry design.
Fred The Diamond Guy
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