Last year we were driving my wife’s minivan and rock struck the windshield. I looked to see where it hit because we have insurance to cheaply repair chips but could not find it anywhere. I felt fortunate that it did not chip the windshield and went with life as usual. A few months later we found out where the rock had made its impression. At the very bottom of the glass, right by the molding was tiny chip. We found this little pock mark because there was a small crack pointing to it! The crack was only 3 inches long or so and wasn’t hindering the vision of the driver or passenger. There was nothing we could do about and the windshield didn’t need to be replaced yet.
That was the case for several months… until we went to Pagosa Springs, CO. Some wonderful people from our church allowed us to use their timeshare in Pagosa so we took a wonderful winter vacation. It was beautiful going up there. That evening it began to snow and everything looked like a winter wonderland. Well, it kept snowing. And it kept snowing. And… you get the point. We were snowed in. Everything was frozen and covered with ice and snow. After the roads cleared we made our way back to Albuquerque. As we pulled onto the road our little crack got a little bigger. Then, in a snap, the crack shot all the way across the windshield. Now it was a problem.
We needed to get it replaced but every place we called were going to charge us $250 or more. Not great news to people in ministry. So, we put it off. I asked around and my good buddy Karl told me about a guy in Albuquerque who does it for cheap, and it is quality. Normally I would be very skeptical of such claims but this was Karl talking. Karl is the guy you go to if you need to know something about cars, parts, or people that install or fix cars with parts. His word is solid when it comes to cars. (when it comes to most things actually) He said to give Nelson a call and see what he could do. He also said he was a Dr. from somewhere in Latin America. He told me the details but I didn’t remember them…
A couple of days later I called Nelson. He said he would charge me about HALF of what these other folks charge. Oh yeah, he could also do the job that same day! I agreed and met him at my house. I began talking to him as he changed out the glass. I said, “Karl tells me you were a Dr., what kind?” “I was a neurosurgeon,” he replied. “Wow, why the career change,” I asked.
He goes on to tell me he is an immigrant from Cuba who was a neurosurgeon there for several years. He loved, and still loves Cuba but had to flee because of the government. He was lucky, as he told me several times, because he left with his wife, and other family. He knows quite a few people who left but did not share his same fortune. He talked about the beautiful country, the beaches, the friendly people, the food, and how the Cuban government makes paradise an unbearable place to live. We talked about how much he missed practicing medicine and helping people. He was trained in Cuba so the American Medical Association doesn’t recognize his credentials.
In all of that longing he still had hope that his home would free from the terrible regime that controls it brutally. He could not wait for that day so he could return home. He also was happy that his family was with him in Albuquerque and that his sons have never had to witness the tragedies that he did growing up in Cuba. Nelson is thankful that his business is making money and that it helps people.
I enjoyed my time with Nelson and I think his story is one that needs to be told. So, I told it. Also, if you need your windshield replaced, call this guy. He will surely save you a load of cash.