As I write this post, on this 11th day of August, 2011, I have had a little over 24 hours to come to terms with the fact that the man I called Abuelo for all of my life has perished and returned to the place he came from.
The loss of a loved one is never an easy thing. Regardless of how much or how little time we have to say our goodbyes, there truly is no preparation when its time to let go and finally say it. On July 27th, 2011 my Abuelo turned 90 years old and for a good 89 of those years he was healthy and sharp- probably more than me at 33!
His last year on this earth, however, was not an easy one and I have found peace and comfort in knowing that he is no longer bound to a hospital bed and he is once again able to dance.
I remember as a little girl that the mere thought of knowing that one day this man would no longer be a part of my world would physically make my heart hurt and bring me to tears. You would think that thinking in preparation of this day (for so long) would make it just a little easier- not a chance.
My Abuelo was more than my grandfather; he was my father, my friend, my confidant, my heart. He taught me about honesty, integrity, and hard work. He taught by example and always reminded me to live a life with purpose. His unforgettable and inspiring words will stay with me forever.
He has been a part of everything big in my life and all the small details that have helped make me who I am. I believe that we choose our family well before we come to this earth. I know he chose me- and I chose him. I am so lucky to have had him for 33 years of my life. My biggest wish was for him to meet my first born and he gave me that- what more could I ask for.
As I sit here and get lost in the memory of my Abuelo, I find solace in the fact that he lived a full life and lived it just as he wanted. My prayers and focus now shift towards my mom and the journey ahead of her without her father. The two have always been inseparable- one never existed without the other. Her process in dealing with his absence will be difficult I am sure, but I pray she can find peace in the fact that she was by his side all the days of his life.
When those we love are ‘gone’, I believe they continue to exist- just simply in a different form; forever by our side. I find peace in that fact the most.
Mario Rene’ Diaz 7/27/1921 – 8/10/2011
“Life is nothing but a lease on time and space.” -Yogi Bhajan