Today, some words about my uncle

We with him.


Dear Caminoheads,

9 years ago, on a day like today, one of my fathers (my uncle, who in fact was my real father) passed away literally in my arms. I realize that this line sounds very intriguing, but it is not, it is quite simple.

My uncle, Ruben, was the person who raised my brother and I since we were little. (His wife -my aunt- was my mother’s sister.) We went to live with my grandparents, and my uncle and aunt had their house in the back of the grandparent’s property. My grandmother died 6 years after my mother, and after she passed, we moved “full time” with my uncle and aunt.

My uncle and aunt had quite of a life story and love story: my grandfather was a milkman and was a friend with my uncle’s father, who was also a milkman. My uncle’s father passed away suddenly at around 50 years of age, and my uncle, with just 15 years old, being the oldest of the siblings, took over the milkman role his father had, and my grandfather knowing all of this, took him and cared for him as if he were his son.

This is how he met my aunt, and after 8 years of dating, they married on a 7th of February on 1964. Fast forward to February 2013, I was in San Francisco, CA for work and got a phone call from my brother saying my uncle had fell and hit his head on the floor; he said he was ok and assisted near the beach where they lived.  He said I should not worry because likely it was nothing, “you know how he is”, he said… and yes, I knew: just 40 days before that day, he was working on the roof of one of his properties in the beach.

But I also have a brain that thinks in medical terms, and somehow I knew what had happened: he had a stroke, fell and hit his head on the floor. It seems his speech was affected. He then was moved to a hospital with more complexity (900 km from Buenos Aires), and I took a flight to return to from San Francisco to Argentina. I was there the following there 12 hours after landing.

I went to see him as soon as I got there, he was in IC unit and I was allowed to go in and see the CT scans: there was almost no brain in the images, it was all one big spot of bleeding, yet when he saw me, he asked of I had gone to the Golden Gate, and he even asked me what color was it. I never figured how he could do it, because he couldn’t speak well and his tall body was paralyzed on one side all along.

The thing is that he made it to the  7th of February 2013, and because I was the one staying with him overnight, I watched this scene: the nurse came like at 6 AM, measured his vitals, gave the medication and changed the saline bag. The saline bag had written in a sharpie “07 Feb 2013”, he saw it and with impeccable language told the nurses: “today marks 49 years since I marry”. The nurse looked at me, I nodded, and they brought him balloons and cake to share with my aunt.


How could he remember with such accuracy, no one knows. He died 3 days later, but they celebrated the anniversary.


I will leave the post here and write more soon.


Yes, hug your love ones, loves


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