Home Records Obituaries Donald L. Varela

Donald L. Varela


Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

February 3, 1966 — November 14, 2020

My Dear Family,

I am so grateful to have this chance to write to you, to share some memories, and to thank you for all you have done. Before I begin, please know how much love I hold in my heart for each of you. You brought so much joy to my life. We truly are a family, not bonded by blood, but bonded by a higher purpose in which we served. Thank you for so much.

So, where do I begin?

As a child, I remember going to the movie theater when it was still located on Main Street. It was so much fun to sit in that big theater, have the lights go down, and watch the show. I must admit sneaking in food was also pretty fun and a habit I continued into adulthood. I remember tagging along after some of you when we were kids. I always wanted to be a part of your group and see what you were up to. Some of you would tease me, even trying to make me eat dirt, but as we grew up, we became friends and shared that friendship throughout our lives.

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As I grew older, I remember working at Furr’s Cafeteria and loved inventory night! Everyone else hated it but not me because I knew a strawberry pie (a thank you for my hard work from our manager) awaited me when I was done. I also worked at a medical supply store and enjoyed helping the parents with their child’s monitors. I told them to call me day or night and I would be there to help them. It was a scary time for those parents and I knew they needed someone to talk with. I was glad I could help.

My last job, and by far the best job I ever had, was with Tobosa Developmental Services. You know how people say that the best job in the world is the one you love doing, and can get paid for doing it? I found that in Tobosa. I worked for Tobosa for over twenty-one years and Tobosa became my life. You may ask what makes Tobosa so special? It is the people. They are the heart and soul of Tobosa. At Tobosa, we are a family and I want to thank my family for everything they have given to me; beginning with those I had the honor to serve.

You welcomed me into your homes and into your hearts. We quickly became a family and created some wonderful memories. There was the time we went to see Jay Leno perform. We had front row seats and laughed so hard that Jay Leno asked to meet us after the show. There was also the time we went to see the Dallas Cowboys play. I’m not a football fan, everyone knew that, but Tobosa trusted me to go so I could take care of you, and that meant a lot. Other memories have nothing to do with meeting celebrities or taking big trips, instead, they are much simpler but just as important. I remember the times when we hopped in the car and went for drives. We seemed to always stop for hamburgers or ice cream as we cruised through town. We would talk and laugh and turn up the music really loud. I also remember painting your fingernails, helping you complete art projects, and teaching you how to dress yourselves. Simple, sweet memories. Sometimes things were harder. Some of you became sick and needed my help. I remember sitting together quietly while you recovered. Sometimes we would pray together and ask the pain to go away. Sometimes all we could do was hold hands as you took your final breath and I told you everything would be okay.

Thank you.

I also met some amazing parents and family members while at Tobosa. I remember how nice it was visiting with you. We talked about your loved ones and I knew how important they were to you. Several of you invited me into your home and together we would celebrate the holidays. Your kindness was appreciated.

Thank you.

And to my coworkers. Wow! What an awesome bunch of people. You truly make a difference with the work you do and I hope you know that. I can remember working side by side through those long days and nights. We would talk about everything under the sun and the stars. You would share with me your happiest moments and your darkest fears. You trusted in me and I in you because we are a family.

Thank you.

Finally, there are so many others that have impacted my life. You know who you are and please know how much you meant to me. Thank you for all the times we shared together as a family.

Thank you.

So, as the time draws near and I must say goodbye, I hope that you will remember that I will always be with you. You will see me in the smiles of those you love, you will hear my voice within their laughter, and you will know I am with you, now and always.

We are a family and always will be.



Donald L. Varela is the author of his beautiful tribute.

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