The death of Jose Fernandez at the end of the 2016 MLB season caused a tremendous outpouring of grief in many circles. The baseball community grieved the loss of a fantastic pitcher and one of its brightest stars. South Florida grieved the loss of a role model for that community. Cubans, both in the United States and in Cuba, mourned the death of someone who showed how good things can get.
Of course, loved ones of Fernandez lost someone close to them. If there’s anything positive we can gather, it’s that the love and support of strangers in South Florida, the United States and throughout the world has been felt by Fernandez’s family. And, at least in the case of his mother, Maritza Gomez Fernandez, it’s helped her get through this unbelievably challenging time.
“I’ve been sustained by your love for my son,” the late pitcher’s mother said in The Miami Herald. “As his mother, thank you for that blessing. On behalf of my family, especially my mother, thank you for your prayers for him, Maria, and my granddaughter in her womb. I want to thank the community for supporting us in this, the most difficult moment of our lives. The love we’ve received helps us cope with this harsh reality.”
Those are lovely words. Her words are completely heartbreaking but at the same time, wonderful to read. It’s good to know that the outpouring of support is not only reaching Fernandez’s family, but it’s helping.
The remainder of Fernandez’s letter is certainly emotional and absolutely worth reading.