Vincent James Valdespino

Born August 11, 1988 ~ Heaven Bound July 19th 2006

 

Vincent’s story has a likeness to all of the other stories.  He was a healthy 17 year old who within hours lost his life to meningococcal septicemia. So instead of sharing with you a story about his death, I’d like to share with you about his life.  Vincent’s oldest brother, Eddie, captured the true “Vinny” in the writing he did for V’s obituary.  Here are his brother’s words.

Vincent James Valdespino Vincent James Valdespino died suddenly in Athens, Greece on July 19th 2006, just shy of his 18th birthday. Vincent, or Vinny as he was known to his friends, lived more of this life than most people do. From the time he was born until the moment that he died he was moving. Never one to sit still for an instant, he was always on the go, whether it was climbing a tree, cruising on his skateboard, jumping off cliffs or scaling a wall, he just couldn't sit still. As a kid, V was an amazing soccer player with an uncanny natural talent. Even years after he gave up the game, when he couldn't even remember all the rules, he ran circles around his brother David who has always been good and still plays regularly. That's how easy it was for him. In high school, V's interests turned towards skateboarding, role-playing, video games and hanging out with his friends. He would skate all over Austin, come home play video games and then stay up all night hanging out with his friends. There just weren't enough hours in the day for him. Naturally charismatic, he was always able to bring a smile to the faces of both his friends and to the faculty of his school, which he charmed so well that he was able to get away with more than any high school kid has the right to. He had a brilliant mind, so brilliant in fact that he couldn't be bothered with the mundane day to day busy work that was assigned to him in school. Vincent would rarely turn in homework or complete in-class assignments, yet would show up for the test and ace it without even breaking a sweat. At seventeen he was reading the philosophical works of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche and explaining things about them to his older brother Eddie who has a degree in philosophy. Vinny found in these writings a passion for life that he could identify with. For Vincent, life wasn't about going to school or getting a job to make money; it wasn't about nice clothes or nice cars; it wasn't about being popular or famous. For the V-man, life was about living. It was hanging with friends at Barton Springs, it was skating around Austin, it was all night role-playing sessions, it was parties, it was traveling Europe with his brothers. Vincent had an exuberance for life that shone through in everything he did. He was a special little kid that had grown into an amazing young man and he touched the lives of everyone that he came into contact with. He will always be missed.

Vincent never did like “traditional” and always focused on the positive with his friends.  His obituary reflects both of these about him as do the words that showed up on a memory page his friends created:

I am watching over ya’ll mocking you at times, but I am still there, wishing I could trip you, jump on your back, be my useful annoying self.  But alas, I am not, just remember me.  I am gone but as long as you remember me I’m here! My occupation, Guardian Angel

We will always love and remember our “Vinny”

Love, Joan, Mom to HBA, Vincent

 

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The music here is called, "The Dance" by Garth Brooks

The Words

Looking back on the memory of
The dance we shared beneath the stars above
For a moment all the world was right
How could I have known you'd ever say goodbye
And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance
Holding you I held everything
For a moment wasn't I the king
But if I'd only known how the king would fall
Hey who's to say you know I might have changed it all
And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance
Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain but I'd of had to miss the dance