Miguelito _ my role model

By Stephanie Ordaz

When I was in high school, I lived in San Luis, Ariz., but since I attended Kofa High School I rode the YCAT to and from school. When you constantly have to depend on getting places on public transportation, meeting lots of new people is inevitable. And you get the full spectrum of various attitudes; some are rude and mean, while some are very kind and talkative. There are the regulars who always go on the bus, there are the new ones who do not quite know how the bus works, and then there are the ones who ride every once in a while. I was one of the regulars. I always had to catch the bus very early to get to school.

Out of all the people I have met on the bus, one elderly old man really stands out to me. His name is Miguel, but he tells everyone to call him Miguelito because he says it "sounds cuter." Miguelito really is unlike anyone I have ever met. He is positive and vibrant.

Miguelito probably was tall at one time, but since he is 92 years old he is on the shrunken side. "My body is old and tired, but my soul is just as good as any of you 15-year-olds!" is what he always tells people. He is slender and looks as if the slightest wind could blow him away. He wears two signature caps to hide his balding head, one of a crab that is decorated with rhinestones and another of a sword with colorful threads.

Miguel's body looks fragile, and he has welcoming, kind eyes. He is always so gentle and nice to everyone he talks to that sometimes I wonder how a person can be that cheery and upbeat at such an old age. He uses the little strength that he has left in his tired body to wave at everyone when he boards, and when he gets off the bus he is extremely polite.

According to Miguel, he was a professional baseball player back in his younger years in Mexico. His team's name was Los Perros, and as he speaks of it his dazzling smile shows his pride. He always talks about how he took such good care of himself as a young adult, so that is why he is in such good shape now that he is 92. He loves to show off the fact that his doctors are amazed that at such an old age he does not have to take any medications.

Miguelito gives massages for a living. I always wondered what the little black bag he always carried was. I thought it contained his belongings because he was a poor homeless man, but he actually carries his massaging oils and lotions in there. He is very nice and likes to make people feel good, so his job suits him perfectly.

Miguelito really is an inspiration to me, a reminder that you always have to be nice to people, even when people are not very nice to you. His positive attitude and contagious smile are just so welcoming. He is a living example of what I want to be like when and if I get to his age.
"I thank God for these wonderful 92 years of life that He has granted me," Migelito said the last time I saw him. "I know he is and always has been with me."

I still see him around at Walmart when he is waiting for the bus, and we always say hi to each other. I am so happy when I see him because his positivity just radiates onto me.

I feel that Miguel and I are very close. Not in a family way or in any way that I can describe in words, but I know that he has changed my way of viewing things. Now whenever I get mad at something meaningless I think about Miguel who at 92 years old, massages peoples' backs with his shaky little hands and is still happy. I am very thankful for meeting him on that stuffy little bus. While many people think of celebrities as their role models, mine happens to be Miguel, an elderly man who has nothing but at the same time has everything.

Graphic by Pam Black

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