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No candy, no flowers, just love the world like Luti does

Last Friday, my girlfriend Luti Gude treated me to dinner and we talked about politics, cats, and always, her children. Luti Vela Gude comes from a prominent, progressive, South Texas family, puros Tejanos (and don't forget it!) with ties all the way to the (current) White House. Even in that family known for their enlightened views and activism, Luti shines because she ran in the Boston Marathon in her forties. She's currently a graduate student at UTSA in Counseling, and from all accounts, teaching them more about the community than the faculty can ever teach her. Luti was also determined to raise her children to care about the world -- and it's working. Her oldest son, David, a spectacular student, attended Brackenridge High School and other public schools in the inner city, becoming a humanitarian, dedicated to giving something back to the world as a physician and researcher.

David's life has not been without suffering, believe me. But last year he got married to a Hindu woman who is equally gifted, and who Luti has embraced as her new daughter.

At our dinner, Luti and I talked about love (what else is there?) and I bragged about attending the wedding-of-the-decade last April between John Phillip Santos and Frances Trevino -- and then Luti told me about the mesmerizing wedding of her son, David, to Nisha. There was David on a horse, and there were candles, fire, Luti dancing better than any Bollywood queen, and echa el grito, the mariachis!

On this Valentine's Day, I celebrate Luti and all the mothers who love their children enough to teach them to love others without measure and to fly far away from home!

The world is waiting for us to love like this.

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