Juan Mendiola swayed to the music Friday as family and friends gathered at Valley Grande Manor in Brownsville to celebrate his 106th birthday.
His daughter, Sue Garza, reminisced on his childhood, saying that her father grew up in Mexico on a ranch. Garza believes it was that lifestyle that contributed to his longevity.
“It is very, very special. I don’t have words to express how very blessed my whole family is to have him around,” said Garza.
Despite his age, Mendiola remains in good health. Garza said, “he doesn’t have diabetes. He really doesn’t have any major ailments other than a little bit of Alzheimer’s. He forgets here and there.”
Garza shared some words of advice for other sons and daughters.
“I hope that they understand and they realize how special parents are and as they get older, I hope that they give them more attention. Provide more attention to them. Just love them. Love them like I do my dad.”