Remembering Martin Two Years Later: One Man's Tribute

Time and calendar dates fly by and shift.  Thanksgiving Day in 2006 was on Thursday, November the 23rd.  It was also the date of my friend, Martin Aguilar Perra's death.  I almost forgot...even though I think of him everyday.  I really think of him when I'm in Cozumel, and see something special, even in island terms...and I think, damn...wish Martin could see this...he'd love it.

A mutual friend referred to Martin as a "rescuer." He rescued his family from poverty…he rescued his family members from various "issues"…he rescued his community from lack of hope, and gave many underprivileged children clothes, meals, eyeglasses, and a light at the end of the tunnel.  In retrospect, he rescued me from quitting the dive business, gave me a new perspective, and in essence...allowed me an additional 8 years of helping me to help others to enjoy the wonders of diving and the underwater world.  I can only hope and pray that his efforts spent on me somehow exponentially expanded to allow others to gain a love of the ocean, the reefs, and the marvels of the underwater experience.  I can only hope that they will also pass Martin's legacy on.

There may be some who read this, and have a difference of opinion on Martin.  Like Martin, I have no problem with that.  Martin was always who he was, and what he was.  He made no excuses, and always stood up for himself, and for whomever and for whatever he believed in.  He tolerated nothing less from others than what he expected from himself.  Was he always right?  No, but somehow he always found a way to "even things up."  The only people "slighted" were the ones who are always slighted due to their inability to accept responsibility for their own actions, or lack there of.  Kinda like the old adage...if you can't figure out who the jackass is on the dive boat...its probably YOU!  As for countless others; Martin was a true friend.  He gave more than he got, and never kept a "balance." 

If your travels take you to Cozumel for the first time or back again, I invite you to dive on a special niche at Palancar Horseshoe.  There you'll find a simple stainless steel cross with MARTIN carved in it.  It rests on a large concrete block, nestled between two sections of the reef.  Kneel there in the sand at 50', slow your breathing, and take in the majesty surrounding you.  If you are not humbled and awestruck by the power of the Creator...I doubt you ever will be.  

Should you feel a calming presence, yet one with a beckoning call to follow, explore, see, and smile to yourself in your dive mask...Go!  It’s Martin leading you on an adventure.  Don't worry, he'll take care of you...it’s his calling.  While he's left this life...he'll never leave anyone behind.

Anyway, it’s the date of a dear friend's passing.  Just thought I'd take time to make note of it, remind others, and remember a person of great value.  Hope this Thanksgiving and Christmas finds you hugging a little more, and holding a little tighter.  Bottom line...it’s really for you.  If they remember years from now...it’s just a bonus.

Carberry (November 2008)





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