He died peacefully on Wednesday January 8th, 2003, around 6pm at his home in Panama. My Dad's, brother, Uncle Dick, his son, Roger, his grandson, Little Roger and his wife, Tichi where with him.
The last time I saw my DAD was in mid December. Ana, Roger, Carlos, Tobias and myself took turns going to Panama to be with him. I was with my DAD for several weeks in November, December, both in Panama and at the Mayo Clinic in Florida.
In Panama, I sat with him in his room at his house in La Cresta for many, many hours. Sometimes we talked about ordinary things, how bright the sun was, how cool the Panama breeze was in the afternoon, headlines from the newspapers, what he wanted for lunch or dinner.
Sometimes we spoke familiar words, our attempts to recognize and celebrate the life long bond we developed as Father and Daughter after my MOM died in 1974. Sometimes we held hands in silence, the oxygen machine our constant companion.
All of those days, everyone of the hours forever in memories that I treasure. He knew that his children loved him deeply and we knew that we had been blessed with an amazing Father. Dad I miss you everyday.
All week the breathing labors. The oxygen machine
a gospel choir, sometimes hymns, sometimes hummingbirds,
no one keeps track. Always nearby the oxygen blue,
the oxygen Pacific, as Spanish prayers fill my stomach.
The curtains drawn between three and four create
shadows, small wings that rest on his chest, he says
they're yellow canaries visiting. On the nightstand nearby
a stiff handkerchief monogramed, "Rogelio" guards our memories.
His body beneath the sheets, desert ridges and canyons,
the Cajon Pass mountains meeting the Mojave.
Inside his chest and mine invisible boulders pound,
lifetimes of gratitude racing to be spoken. Treading alone
in Panama waters, the black of his eyes are magnets
pulling me and an old caboose, slowing, almost still.
|Doing what he loved, being an amazing Surgeon !!!!|