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Inspired by Greg Ludwig’s story in this week’s paper, I want to express my deepest gratitude to important peo­ple in my heart. For some of you who have a slight idea about my life (or maybe not so much) I will start by telling you how everything started.

Jose Jimenez Barragan and Luz Maria Espinoza Malfa­von, my parents, decided to start a family from which they had five children; two boys and three girls. My brothers, Arturo and Rodolfo Jimenez, even though we have our disagreements, have given me their protection, care, great sense of humor, the biggest and most sincere laughs with no restrictions but over all honest love. To my sisters, Hilda and Isidora Jimenez, I have no words to describe how proud and thankful I am for their uncondi­tional love. For you ladies, I only have pure admiration, respect, and love.

Following the story about my parents, they decided, after hard work and dedication to my siblings and my well being, to move to the United States and start a new chapter of our lives. A year after arriving, my mother died from terminal cancer. Without hesitation, Tony and Debbie Sanchez offered us a home and a family. To these angels, I just have to say thank you for everything you have done for my siblings and me. Your love and given selves have taught me to love unconditionally. After being part of their family for a couple of years, we discovered my dad had cancer too. Doctors gave him seven months to live. My old man, not giving up on him­self or us, lasted for almost eight more years after his diagnosis.

During this hard time, I met Leslie Hummel, my busi­ness partner, and her wonderful granddaughter, Siana. I don’t have enough words to describe how delightfed and grateful I am to know these wonderful women. Thank you Leslie not only for giving me my first job when I didn’t even know enough English but for guiding me through the hazards of having my own busi­ness and becoming an important part of this community and its members.

Also, I want to thank Anne Bennett and Aaron Wein­traub for providing All That Good Stuff, my future busi­ness, a safe and sound home. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to flourish to my full capacity as an entrepreneur in one of your many wonderful buildings.

To Jan Pallazola and Flick MacDonald I would love to thank for the warm hearts and always making sure I am doing good. Also, I would like to thank uncle Joe MacDonald who has offered me his home as my home for over three years with an open heart.

Dawn Ballantine has showed me so much, especially the way to care for myself even when I was not willing to do so. Pilar and Liz Echeveria: thanks for always being there for me when I needed you the most, always giving me the smile and drive I needed to go through the day.

Thank you so much to my unconditional friend who has been there for me through the good, the bad, and the ugly, Soledad Baroza. I love you! Also, during these hard times, I met the Mendoza family. Thank you for always supporting me and helping me through the roughest times.

Nowadays I have someone who has given me so much without expecting anything back — his name is Noe Benavides. I am grateful for having you in my life and for giving me the chance to be part of yours. Even though I haven’t mentioned lots of names, I want to thank everyone who has given meaning to my life. This includes but is not limited to my teachers, friends, rela­tives, etc. With a humble heart and a big smile I thank every person who has made a difference in my life for the best! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 

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