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"Mike" Miguel Julio Riviera

1935 - 2009, Santa Barbara

July 8, 1935 – December 21, 2009

Dearest Mike,

It has been a year since you soared into the heavens like an eagle with its wings widespread - a year of incredible journeys and firsts without you. I thought I would never see a bird flying through the sky without crying, but each day I get stronger and am more able to gather my strength to move forward. When you showed me your Santa Barbara (Coyote Road and all your special places) you were proud and strong and free – just like the eagle. Now you are soaring in the heavens, making new friends every 5 minutes, laughing, dancing and breathing without pain.

I feel your presence in all that I do and I know what makes you proud of me and what doesn’t, what makes your heart sing with joy and pleasure. I can laugh knowing you are sharing in my laughter, I can sing knowing you are listening and loving the music.

Thank you for being my husband, my lover, but most of all for being my best friend for over 20 years. You came into my life like a bolt of lightning, which was magical, but after you captured my heart you left softly and gently.

Everyone in the family has missed your presence, your laughter, your joie de vivre, your gift for making them smile and laugh; the stories we share are endless. Your friends (oh, you made so many, many friends) reminisce and tell “crazy” Mike stories. Your children, Joseph, Julie, Mike, Terri and Randy; your 13 grandchildren; 3 great grandchildren; your brother Leo and your sisters, Annie, Josie, Tommie and Eleanor; Christina Rivera and all the cousins, nieces and nephews continue to keep your spirit alive in their hearts and minds. We all miss you deeply, but realize you are just a memory away.

We thank God every day for blessing me with the gift of knowing you and growing with you. Your spirit is strong and free - keep soaring beloved man.

Your loving wife, Marilou Fenton Rivera and the entire Rivera family

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