El Guapo in DC

I am El Guapo. The most Guapo man in all of DC. Mucho Amor

Monday, March 06, 2006

Losing with a Smile

Today, I had an amiga who lost her abuela back home in Guatemala.

In times like these I've found it best to say little and to listen.

"El Guapo, she was 95, she lived a long, fruitful life, and she went in her sleep. Peacefully… I just never got a chance to say goodbye."

It's hard for me to explain to my American friends what it is like to be far away from everything you know and love. To go to bed every night knowing that the closest you’ll be to your flesh and blood is through pictures or a telephone call.

I remember when my abuelo passed away when I was in the 5th grade. Mi padre told me the news and I looked outside to see my mother looking into the nothingness of the world through her closed eyes.

When she came back into the house I kissed her and hugged her. I was a child and asked her if she was sad.

“Si mi hijo. Mami is sad.”

I’m going to miss him.

“Yes baby. I know. I’m going to miss him too.”

You didn’t even get to say goodbye to him mami. That’s sad.

“I said goodbye to him baby.”

“You did? How?”

“I did. He said goodbye to me in a breeze.”

I remember understanding, but not understanding this back then. All I knew then is that it made me smile because that was something my abuelo would do.

My friend sat silently looking into her thoughts. Then she smiled.

“El Guapo, there is something that makes me smile about my abuela dying. She died one day before my abuelo’s birthday. Mi madre said that she must have wanted to spend his birthday with him.”

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

12 Comments:

At 11:47 PM, Blogger Veronica said...

"He said good bye to me in a breeze."
Magical. I loved this post.
Veronica

 
At 12:04 AM, Blogger Siryn said...

Lo siento, El Guapo.

Seguramente puedes oirla en la brisa también.

 
At 7:32 AM, Blogger theinebriantgrape said...

:)

 
At 9:22 AM, Blogger Christopher Robin said...

You're a good man, and a smart one to know that it's best just to be there and say nothing. Your friend is lucky to have someone like you to call a friend.

 
At 9:53 AM, Anonymous marie said...

this post really hit close to home and brought tears to my eyes. wonderful and touching.

 
At 7:45 PM, Blogger Aleida said...

"I remember understanding, but not understanding this back then."
Isn't it beautiful the way children understand things so differently, but in some ways so much more completely?

 
At 10:29 PM, Anonymous MappyB said...

What great imagery - a breeze. Thanks for sharing.

 
At 11:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful post.

 
At 2:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got the call about my grandfather at work one night. June 30th, month end close. Work wouldn't let me go be with him, because he was "only a grandparent." But they would give me time off for his funeral.

He was cremated and his ashed scattered in the Pacific Ocean, and now every time I am near the ocean, I am near him.

I just wanted to say that some Americans do understand.

 
At 9:36 AM, Blogger michael the tubthumper said...

great story.

and te thing about being away from your family. the only other part of that is that if you are really enjoting where you are you wish that they could all be there with you rather than you going back home

 
At 4:26 PM, Anonymous a southern belle said...

My brother died when I was eight. For me, every warm breeze since that day has been a hug from him.
And yes, listening truly is a magical skill. Kudos to you for having it. :)

 
At 7:47 AM, Blogger Facinacion said...

si... cuando mi abuelito murio fue super super triste, aunque no lo habia visto por an~os

 

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