There is something about death that makes us think about our mortality. When a family member dies this feeling is compounded. The death of my Aunt Clara has put me in a situation where I had to really think about life, death, and the all this importance that we place on menial things. I have been a tad bit derailed by this.
We all knew that she wasn’t feeling well. We all know that the cancer in her body was taking it’s toll on her. I remember when I told her I was writing a book and how I wanted it to come out in the fall of this year but I wasn’t sure of when, she had a genuine look of joy because I was going to be the first author in the family. Clara was the aunt that would tell you exactly how she felt. So, not only did I know she wanted to read this book but she would also ask on several occasions when I’m going to marry my girlfriend and add new children to the family.
Not to say that these were requests of a dying woman because I knew she felt, as we all did, that she would beat this thing but I felt compelled to make sure that this book came out before she left us. I was indeed successful. It was around my book signing in October that she started getting worse. Titi Clara had all intentions on going to La Casa Azul but her body just would not let her. That fact was not lost on me and I said a silent prayer hoping she would be ok.
She made a turn for the worse a week before Halloween and I knew that we were going to lose her. I knew that this horrible thing called cancer was going to win but it did not take her spirit. When I saw in the hospital she recognized me and gave this smile. She asked me how the book signing went. I told her that is went well and she gave me a thumbs up. “You did good,” was something she would always tell me and I know that’s what she meant.
I was there for her last rites. A week later she let go. She is now pain free and with God.
It was a beautiful day when they buried her. I think it’s because this little feisty Puerto Rican woman with a big personality fought the heavens to give us one last day of warmth in November.
I am derailed because as much as I can write about the things in the book and this blog, death is something that is hard to articulate and deal with. The finality of it is such a smack in the face. The days are the same but yet different. Who am I to complain about such small things like television shows or NYC speed limits?
I almost stopped some of my book marketing. I felt posting another quote on my Facebook page was too much but something told me to keep going. I thought about where I am in the second novel and what direction I should take and something told me to keep writing.
Being derailed does not mean I should stop. It means I need to get back on track. I’m sure Titi Clara would agree.