Today I received the devastating news from Sensei David Halprin; that Sensei Homero Navas had passed away on New Year’s eve in Phoenix, AZ. We still do not know the details. We had texted back and forth on Christmas eve.
Too many deaths, I have seen, felt, been with too many deaths, lost too many friends, loved ones. I don’t know how I could manage my life had it not been for Aiki. Sometimes I just don’t get it.
From the moment I met Homero in Seven Star bakery with David sensei – Homero was in the US as an uchi-deshi of David sensei – I felt that connection that I do with good human beings: “I have always known this person” type of feeling which ignites a relationship that flows easy as a Sunday morning.
Homer and I drove around together, we trained together, traveled, ate together. In a few months Homero became a brother, a business partner, a friend, a sensei; it’s hard to come by the likes of him.
We both loved coffee, every Thursday night when I came to the dojo Homero would say “your coffee is ready.”
He seemed to suffer from some sort of an allergy and he smoked quite a bit. Everybody thought it was that – smoking. Saw a few doctors, took anti-biotics, then decided to go to Phoenix, AZ to stay with a friend, thinking dry desert weather would be better for his remaining few weeks in the US before returning to Caracas, Venezuela, to home, to his wife, to his dojo.
“Why not?” he would say to any idea. I have never heard him say “No” or approach a problem with negativity. He was truly an AikiDo teacher.
Thank you David sensei for bringing Homero to our lives and get a chance to rub elbows with him. I am truly grateful for the opportunity. I have learned so much from him – even that warmup sequence with the bokken; that memory will live on as long as I can swing a bokken!
And Homero, my friend, my sensei: Go and rest in peace mi amigo. I am honored to have trained with you, call you a friend and a sensei. Please tell O’Sensei that I said “Hi”, please. Hope to see you again some day, some where, out there. I am so sorry that we didn’t get a chance to buy that property and train even more. We all have been touched dearly with your presence.