New York Times Portraits of Grief

Jesus N. Cabezas

Jesus N. Cabezas was full of whimsy and scrappiness. At his daughter's wedding, he cast his chiseled Ecuadorean features into a stone-faced glare as he posed for a picture. "He called it his picture face," said his daughter, Blanca I. Bowers, laughing. "You'll see a lot of pictures of him looking really serious. But if you know him you laugh, because he's just being silly."

Mr. Cabezas, 66, of Bushwick, Brooklyn, a cook at Windows on the World, was full of fight even though he was only 5 feet 5 inches tall and 150 pounds. Thirteen years ago, he won a battle with colon cancer. Another time, he arrived home holding a knife that he had taken from a mugger during a struggle, Mrs. Bowers recalled. Mischievously, he expressed regret for not being able to return it. " 'He ran away before I could give it back,' " she recalled him saying.

"He could have killed you," his wife yelled.

"He's not going to waste his time on me," he told her. "Don't worry. I'm going to be here for a long time."