This is the third part in a four-part series about the Sanchez brothers. Today I am writing about Mannie, Manuel Ignacio Sanchez (for context see previous blogs).
In birth order, he is the third born but in brother pecking order, he is definitely the Alpha male. Mannie, 21 years old at this writing, is active and aggressive. At 6’4”, he is an imposing figure who is always looking for ways to better himself. He recently started a 7 month telecommunications certificate program at a local technical college. He found the tech school lead on his own. I helped him get the necessary documents together ie: proof of being in foster care system from the court, etc. but it was mainly driven by him. He has been going to school for 3 weeks now and he loves it. It has renewed his passion for learning again. And it really shows! This is the most meaningful part of being able to help the Sanchez brothers.
I first met Mannie thru his oldest brother. Cesar was living with me at the time. He had been living here and was ready to go “out on his own”. Mannie called me about 1 month before he turned 18. He asked if I had a place for him to stay, when he turned 18. I told him, yes I did. I had always heard nice things about Mannie from Cesar. Growing up, Cesar got teased a lot for being different. Mannie came to his defense/rescue on more than one occasion.
Mannie moved in with me on his 18th birthday. The first thing he wanted to do was get his driver’s license. The day after his birthday, he went to the DMV to take the written test. He missed it by one question so he went home and studied. The next day he took it and answered all questions correctly. I think we must have practiced driving almost every day of that month. He went back to the DMV and he passed his driving test on the first try. I must admit that I am a very demanding drive instructor and I expected a lot of him (driving is so important). There were a couple of times when the lesson was abruptly over, my doing. Still he persevered thru it all and successfully got his license. I was as proud of him and he was of himself!
For his first flight we went to Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was during the weekend of the Gathering of Nations, the last full weekend of April, every year. It’s the largest Pow Wow in the country, attracting thousands of dancers and drums from all over North America. It’s was quite a sight and sound experience. We also visited the Skandia Peaks ski area above Albuquerque.
Mannie had tried different professions during his 9 month stay with me including: vacuum cleaners sales, magazine subscriptions, busboy, stadium sales, etc. It has been a valuable learning experience for him.
He met a woman here in San Diego. She was from Phoenix so he decided to move out there, to be closer together. He ended up living in the Phoenix area, for about 2 years.
After his time in Phoenix, Mannie made contact with his dad, Arturo. Mannie ended up living with him in Santa Ana. He got a job there. It was right after that time together that I noticed a subtle change in Mannie. He was more attuned to his gentle nature.
In the past Mannie could be aggressive, sometimes overly. To experience this change to his gentler side is amazing and beautiful to behold !
Back to today. Mannie likes to travel. He has flown to and stayed in Atlanta, Georgia and Denver, Colorado. He has an adventurous nature.
The offer on the table is a trip, to a country where a passport is required, upon successful completion of his Telecommunications certificate. We will start the application process for a passport 3 months in advance of his expected completion date, Sept 11, 2015. It’s important for him to have goals. If I can add an enticement at the end, all the better.
I know that Mannie will be fine, at whatever he does.
Here is my cheer and my prayer for you. Always balance your beautiful gentle nature with your aggressive side. Keep the balance.
Best wishes in everything you do my friend