As we dealt with our battles within our immediate family, we started watching things going on with the Hernandez family. Lewis Hernandez was my Grandma Romero’s brother (my great uncle) and my Godfather. Tiahna Hernandez was my second cousin. We took notice on Facebook there were some complications and hardships going on.
Uncle Lewis was always the presence that lit up the room. His infectious jovial personality was awesome, and it was easy to love him from the moment you met him. What was cool was he would always make a point come up to talk to you and make you feel special. I remember one of the last things he told my Mom and me that he felt God had a special plan for myself.
With as big of an emotional heart he had, unfortunately, his physical heart started to give up on him. Being the fighter, he was, he tried to make through episodes but unfortunately, he just grew tired and his body and soul decided he was ready to be with the Lord.
Lewis G. Hernandez – October 26, 1943 – April 26, 2019. 75 years old
I will never forget the first time I met Tiahna. Growing up I was a bit older than her so in family gatherings she was usually with the younger cousins. We were at a family event and she was quietly sitting by herself enjoying herself. I was friends with her on social media and could see now how her sweet personality glowed. We talked for a bit and she fit the model of my original assumptions of her kindness.
What was amazing was her fighting spirit. Tiahna battled craniopharyngioma. Craniopharyngioma is a rare type of brain tumor that grows near the pituitary gland. This can grow pressing on large parts of the brain that control vision and hormone release. I remember reading about and having minimal conversations with her family about it. The went many times to have surgery and hospital visits to try to get it fixed. One day I read that she went with the Lord due to a combination of the tumor and the effects of surgery.
Tiahna Reis Hernandez-Clark – July 6, 1998 – August 12, 2019. 21 years old
Both were amazing spirits and had a true love for life. Each one fought their own battles and leaned on their faith, family and sometimes themselves to get through the next steps. I just felt for the family so much and knew what it was like losing such a big family head figure as well as could not fathom what was like to lose a daughter at such a young age. I felt called that I needed to run for them.
A lot of our big family gatherings always center around holidays so it felt natural to do the local Gobble Wobble 5k centered around Thanksgiving. I woke up the day of the race feeling well-rested and the weather was nice. Being in Haysville I was familiar with this route as it was close to my house and felt the preparation for the race. This was the first race where I knew what pace I wanted to stay at and focused on it. I was shocked that I beat my last personal by a couple of minutes and was staying under the 40-minute mark. The Hernandez fighting spirit was going through me for sure
11/2/2019 – Gobble Wobble 5k / Walk – 55 of 94 – 37:03
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith – 2 Timothy 4:7