Monday, September 19, 2011
LET ME TELL YOU WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE A YEAR OLD...
A simple dream
About two years ago I lost my job as a dragline operator. I had decided to move into heavy equipment after I made a conscious decision to leave the funeral industry due to my observation of what I felt was a very greedy and corrupt industry. I really did not want much to do with it. I found myself really disliking people who worked in the industry, not because of what they did, but because of who and how they did it to people. I care a great deal for people and want to help as much as I could, but I also found myself working for people and corporations whose main concern was how much can you bring to the table when you make arrangements with a family. It was all about the numbers.
I spoke with my Mom in depth about what I could do, she said that I should do what I was good at, helping people to bury and grieve over their loved one. I sat down and wrote up a business plan, for one year I spent time putting together a small business that I felt could do better than those around me and be humble enough to not make a family uncomfortable with what I was trying to do for them. I knew a few people in the industry and one suggested I go talk to a man by the name of Tony Cerillo, Tony is the owner of "Serenity Mortuary Services". Serenity is the facility I use to do my family's cremations. Tony has been in the industry for 40+ years, and he was voted the number one funeral director in Arizona in 2009. I could not think of a better man to seek guidance from, and that's all I wanted, I really wanted to do this on my own.
We found two or three locations at first, one always seemed to give way to the next until finally I found myself in the west valley. Goodyear then Avondale, I went through the motions of petitioning the city of Avondale to open in the "old town" district. I hat to go through a 4 month process before I could open. The location I found was the old "Western Avenue Baptist Church" on Western Avenue. It needed a bit of work, ok, allot of work. But we did it. I remember when I was out and about picking furniture for the funeral home people would ask what I was doing with it, I would tell them, "I'm opening a funeral home". They thought I was crazy. I had so much furniture and equipment stored in my garage at home that I had to rent out a storage unit.
All the re-modeling we did by ourselves. We didn't want to go "over the top". We were on a tight budget and we wanted the place to be like as if you were at your own home. I think we succeeded. People always say that when they come in.
Ours is just not one of them.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for allowing me to help you, serve you, guide you. I promise I will not let you down and we will always be here.
With much heartfelt respect,
Miguel A. Legaspi,
Owner, Avenidas Funeral Chapel
Oh! Semper Fi (Always Faithful)