don quixote and Querida 1963, 17 years old at the Long Beach Nu Pike
The love of my life passed away last month, April 2, from both complications of diabetes and a broken heart due to the sudden death of our only son in January. He was a great son and a guy everyone loved, he must have been having health problems but didn’t tell anyone, he caught the flu, which turned onto pneumonia. As he battled in the ICU in an induced coma we stayed with him day and night for a week until the doctors advised us that his prognosis was terminal and we had to pull the plug. We stayed with him telling him how much we loved him until he died.
My wife and I were both from the neighborhood and I loved her since the first time I noticed how beautiful she was with her laughing smile, her dimples, brown face and rosy cheeks.
At the time of the photo above I was a real mess, always locked up for one reason or another, usually gang related, a heroin user, and going nowhere fast but she stuck with me through thick and thin.
This was our song then, we danced to this at our wedding party, we were nineteen years old, “Sadness will never be” Wow!
By the time I was 22 or 23 I was a father of a couple of kids and husband to a beautiful supportive wife so I buckled down, gave up the streets, and went into the construction trades. Over the years we worked and saved at times, bought a little house in Highland Park and prospered. We were married for 45 years at the time of my Querida’s passing and during those years we had a ball, we traveled all over internationally, went on a dozen Cruises, and really enjoyed ourselves and our family, I sure miss her.
My lovely girl had been battling diabetes (genetics from both her mother and father who passed from complications of this plague), for a number of years but after our son’s passing she just seemed to give up to sadness at his loss. As she became lost in her grief she lost weight, stopped eating and finally ended up in the hospital. Everyone tried to snap her out of it but to no avail, her final days were spent in ICU at the Pasadena Huntington Hospital in an induced coma with pneumonia and organ failure, just like our son had.
After a week of vigil at her bedside, watching all the machines watching numbers and listening to the beeps and buzzers keeping her alive the Doctors told us that she wasn’t going to make it and we had to make a decision about how long we wanted her to endure her ordeal. Saturday April 2 was a day I’ll never forget, she was given morphine and the breathing tubes were removed. Even though she was in a coma her beautiful face got a sad look to it and a single tear fell down her face. I kissed her and caressed her along with my daughter and grandson until she stopped breathing and a smile came over her face just as been the case with our son. Everyone left the room except me and I stayed with her until the warmth left her body. I placed a single red rose in her folded hands a walked away for the last time.
Her funeral was a beautiful affair held at our old neighborhood church “Sacred Heart” in Lincoln Heights, many of the friends and family who filled the church had moved away and were back for the first time in years, generations of family had been married, Baptized, and went to school there, it was very comforting to all.
My Uncle who was very close to my dear wife read this poem at her eulogy, it broke up everyone, as did my other Uncle who played an inspired sax solo blowing “Over The Rainbow” and “Body and Soul”.
by Robert Frost
Out through the fields and the woods
And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
And lo, it is ended.
The leaves are all dead on the ground,
Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow,
When others are sleeping.
And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last lone aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question ‘Whither?’
Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?
Of a love or a season, my hope is that we’ll be together again someday and as the song goes “LOVERS NEVER SAY GOODBYE”