For Father T.J. Martinez, the most disappointing thing about dying young was that he wouldn’t be around to mentor the kids he’d nurtured through high school but were in danger of stalling out in college.

For Father T.J. Martinez, the most disappointing thing about dying young was that he wouldn’t be around to mentor the kids he’d nurtured through high school but were in danger of stalling out in college.

So says his friend, David Warden, a Houston attorney, adjunct professor of engineering and economics at Rice University and co-author of “Miracle In Motion: How to Live a Meaningful Life,” Martinez’s legacy of advice for “his kids” at Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory High School, founded in 2009 with the mission of serving Houston’s most disadvantaged youth.

Martinez, the eldest son of Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez and Carol Berryman, was the school’s founding president, renowned for his charisma and passion in advocating for that mission. He died of stomach cancer on Nov. 28, 2014, at the age of 44.

“Miracle in Motion” was celebrated, along with Martinez himself, at a well-attended launch party Oct. 17 at the mayor’s house. All proceeds from sales of the book — available online at Amazon.com — will go to benefit the school, part of the national Cristo Rey Network of college prep high schools.

Warden said the idea for a book came about the night Martinez decided to stop his chemotherapy treatments, expressing regret he wouldn’t be around to help guide his graduates into adulthood.

“We were sitting around and I said, ‘Why don’t you write them a note?’ After another glass of wine or two, that turned into a book,” Warden said.

Next came a detailed outline of what Martinez thought the kids needed to know as they matured. The two wrote the beginning and the ending together, with the middle part a lengthy series of bullet points that would be fleshed out later, Warden said. Martinez gave him all his personal materials to work with — emails, pictures, letters, etc.

The book also relies heavily on the contents of a diary kept by Martinez’s brother, Trey, a Brownsville attorney, during his brother’s last months.

A more complete version of this story is available on www.myBrownsvilleHerald.com