Tears of Memories and Freeways

My Padre Fidencio and nephew Andres

I am trying to cheer up myself with some salsa music, but even this music takes me to the side of my father who is facing more illnesses and hard moments. This is when I ask myself if is worth it to live so far away of the people I love. I am afraid for the infamous “phone call” when I will be informed that my father has leave us, I am afraid of loosing almost 9 years of the life of my father because I came to work into an institution who does not allow me to be myself and keep serving Christ. Has this been worth it?

I have been crying most of the day, remembering those moments of my life with my old man and wishing I could have lots of money to go and be besides him holding his hand and telling him: “it will be ok dad, it will be ok, I am here with you”, just the same way he used to tell me when I had an accident as a kid. I know life is a cycle but honestly I have not been able to release my father whom I love dearly. I believe in hope, yes in life after death, and I know I have been able to be in peace about my own death, but there is a great pain inside of me when I think about the people I love dying. There is the emptiness of their absence that sometimes is really hard for God to help me be on peace about it; not because He can not do it, but because I can not understand it. I cry because of the fear of loosing what I love. I am so fearful not to be close to my parents when their day to depart arrives.

I think the older I get, the more sensitive I become ,because the more time I spend getting to know my Rabbi the simpler my heart is, and in this simplicity I can remember and cry. A monk said, “God sits at the summit of hunger, thirst, and suffering; the devil sits at the summit of a comfortable life”(Nikos kazantzakis). We need to continuously face our own hunger, thirst and suffering in order to keep growing; without these 3 elements life will be dull, boring and stuck. “According to the great mystics, our awareness is both reduced and clouded by self-concern, excessive preoccupation with our own agendas, and with restless distractions, and we lack the purity of heart necessary to experience any God that is not of our own creation” (Rolheiser, The Shattered Lantern).

Moments like this make me stop and realized of my humanity and how fragile it is. If you are an immigrant in this country and your family is back in your country, we face the infamous call when the news of the death of one of our parents will come as a strike to our hearts. This week one of my dear friends has experienced that call and my heart goes with him trying to reach into the deepest of his soul. I wish I could say that I understand his feeling, but I do not. I wish I could have the perfect words to let him know how this news also affects me because it takes me to the moment I will receive the same call. I wish I could have the perfect encouragement. I believe death is a continuation of the on going life, Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh says that there is not birth neither death, so for the people leaving this world life continues, but for us who stay back there is an emptiness in our heart.

In the Christian/Catholic experience there is the hope that one day we will have the same enlightenment of dying and continue our life in the hands of our Heavenly Father and Mother. So death for the one leaving is a joy, for us staying should be the same, but our feelings betray us. We just need to know that death is a continuation because in reality there is no birth no death, we just keep going in this freeway I call life.

“A comfortable old age is the reward of a well-spent youth. Instead of its bringing sad and melancholy prospects of decay, it would give us hopes of eternal youth in a better world.”(Maurice Chevalier)


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