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”


  1. Sometimes when encountering a thing so heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time, all one can do is sit in awe and inadequately thank you for sharing it.

    I am so sorry for the loss of your son and your wife, and envision you surrounded and strengthened by their love for you.

  2. My sincerest condolences on the loss of your wife and son, I can’t imagine what you are going through but please know you have the support of your readers and fans (like me) through this difficult time. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful tribute with us all.

  3. Lo siento mucho hermano tio. Your words were beautiful and I felt them in my core.

    Esta pesado every day, and especially on days like this.

    I hope your dreams are filled with visits from your son and wife.

    If there is anything I can do, just reach out.

    I lost my mom on August 2nd. What is it with the 2nd day of the month?

  4. Aww this is beautiful! It almost made me cry….first of all Happy Mothers Day to her and she mos def is feeling the love along with your son they are right next to you forever in spirit. I love the picture she is so cute and you look handsome as well….You keep strong ma man! you are def one of the wisest authors here on LA Eastside and we are all here for you anytime you need to vent or share. (we all should actually meet someday) Your wife was a lucky woman to have someone like you to cherish her for so many years. Again stay up and continue to post….Have a blessed day =)

  5. Wow – I don’t even know you and I’m crying after reading your story. Thank you for sharing it and please accept my deepest condolences for you loss.

  6. To pen darkness to light…
    Yet share sorrows in sweet lament…
    You’ve lost your son and wife
    Stirring this family in print
    So we circle with arms
    Eyes focused above
    Embracing the pain
    Transcending our love


  7. My most sincerest apologies to you.. This was a very beautiful yet touching post.. Much strength to you in this difficult time.. Thank you for sharing this with all your readers..
    I’m sitting here at the computer teary eyed as I read this and I can’t even imagine your pain but please know that others like myself here respect and admire you…

  8. I echo the above sentiments. Thank you for sharing this very personal and loving tribute to your soulmate as well as your beloved son. Strength comes to us in other people, in memories, in music, in writing. Sending you blessings and good thoughts, and please keep sharing with your online familia.

  9. Amor Eterno – these were my first thoughts when I read your story. That love that lasts beyond a life time, especially for a spouse, when you have been married for a long time. May the memories of your querida & son bring you comfort and hope that you find peace that they are together.

  10. Your beautiful memories are so heartfelt they reach out and touch, even though I’ve never met you. Thank you so much for sharing your soul. May you find strength and peace and know that blessings and support are being sent to you.

  11. With the stroke of a pen you have immortalized your querida and beloved son. May she reign eternal in your heart and in the memory of your readers like me. God’s blessings on you.

  12. Thank you for sharing this beautiful, moving story of your wife and son. We don’t know each other, but I want you to know that my heart breaks with yours. We are sending you love and comfort from a far, there is support all around you…

  13. Sorry to hear about your son and wife, DQ. That’s a nice picture of you and your wife years ago. She’s a beautiful woman. And you look just as cool as I always pictured you. I couldn’t imagine facing what you have in the past few months. I’m at a loss for words. All I can say is thanks for sharing this story that reminds us of the important things in life. Thank you also for sharing the bits and pieces of your life over the years through your prose, and your courage to speak truth to power against those who misjudge the place you call home, LA’s East Side. You’re a great man, DQ. Again, my condolences.

  14. My sincerest thanks to all of you who responded to my post with such kind and heartfelt words, this again proves to me the essential goodness that exists in the human heart and spirit. The one lesson I will take from this life is that it”s true, love conquers all.
    And sometimes in this life a person like myself will get lucky and find a love so powerful that it transforms him and transcends life itself.

  15. With tears in my eyes, and a sinking feeling in my heart, I ask God to give you the strength, and comfort that you will need to carry on, I can’t imagine what you are going through right now, the untimely death of two intimate family members. Most of us think we have problems, or sadness, every day life etc… but they don’t even register on any scale compared to what you went through!! May God Bless you and NEVER forget you…..and I will pray to God to give me the same COURAGE, and DIGNITY, when my time comes, that you demonstrated during this MOST difficult time, …Because, “Lovers Never Say Goodbye”

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