Saturday, June 26, 2010
This week I lost a very close friend of mine, Guillermo. He was more than a friend, he was my brother. We always referred to each other as "almost" siblings because we connected on so many levels! I will never forget how I met Guille, I called him "Guille" (pronounced ghee-yay).
I was on my way to my hair appointment at Elisa's Hair Salon, whenever I walked into the salon it would no longer be quiet, yes I am loud and proud and the gals there loved it when this Cubana madness would walk in with all this hair and all this roar! For some reason, this day I was quiet when I walked in, did not say a peep but hello....
Anyways, a man sitting by the window said to me "excuse me madam are you by any chance Cuban!?" If you are a Cuban living in the San Francisco Bay Area, these words could be paralyzing....there aren't many Cubans if any out here! So I immediately turned to him and said "YES..how did you know?" He then pointed to my car and said that he noticed the Cuban flag on my rear view mirror...yes, I have a dangling Cuban flag there, and I LOVE IT! That was all it took, we talked and laughed and yes, we were HEKKA loud! I met his beautiful mother Olga, who was getting her hair done and whom also became a very special part of my life.
Guille and Olga were visiting from Florida as they had done so very often, each time they'd return we would visit, I would cook for them and when my husband and I went to Orlando, they had us stay with them, I am telling you, we were FAMILIA!
This past Father's Day, I received a call from his best friend Manny, I was first wondering why Manny was calling me on Father's Day? I immediately thought something happened to Olga since she had been ill for years, and perhaps Guille was too distraught to call with the news, but Manny's words pierced me in a manner I could not explain....The news to me was horrifying, not only unexpected news but very shocking news. I will not go into how sick I felt or how my head was spinning 100 mph, all I could think of was about everyone he loved, especially his mother. Guille LIVED for his mother and anyone who knows a Cuban family knows this, MOM is everything! I never met his sister Elizabeth from Holland, but have spoken to her on the phone a few times as well as shared many many stories about her with Guille and Olga. I feel at ease that she is here for a few weeks and when I spoke with her a few days ago, I felt closer to Guille again.
If there is anything I learned in the last few days, make time for those you love, and when you think about someone or think to call them, don't wait until tomorrow, call them today. I would like to share the last photo I had taken of Guillermo in San Francisco's Twin Peaks Viewpoint. We had fun on this last trip with him, we had gone to San Francisco, we had also spent another day in Napa and I am honored I cooked a meal for him and Manny which the movie The Godfather would epitomize! Yes this Cubana can cook a mean Italian gravy and stuff!
Guille was remembered in a beautiful memorial service yesterday and although I was not there in person, my heart was. I feel sad that I did not get to say so long buddy, but Guille, I love you and I will NEVER forget all the laughs, fun and great travels we have shared. Que Dios te cuide (may God keep you in His care), and we will see each other again one day I am sure of it!