Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Farewell to a Friend

Before I ever stepped foot in Colombia, I had a friend waiting for me. 

Adriana was the wife of Mariano D'Angulo, a salesman that works for PetroTiger with Roger.  She not only offered to be my guide in Bogota, but to be my friend.  Within the first 10 days that I arrived, Adriana and Mariano gathered their family together for lunch to meet Roger and me.  A few days later, we spent a wonderful day together as she helped me get a cell phone, boots repaired, and prescriptions filled.  Over lunch we talked about the love we had for our families, and the heartaches and challenges that made us who we are.  She was gracious, polite and I loved her "can do" attitude.  The fact she could confidently drive throughout the crazy streets of Bogota only increased my respect for her.

When we hugged each other goodbye, we made plans to spend more time together.  I had truly made a friend, and it made starting off again in a new city a little bit easier.

Ten days later, she died suddenly from an aneurysm.  In her wake -- a devastated family and friends with her funeral a testament to how much she was loved.  The church was packed to the rafters and the violins and vocalists brought me to tears.  The moving eulogies by her heartbroken husband, her son and her best friend transcended the language barrier and I shared their pain. 
Mariano and Adriana looking lovingly at their granddaughter
I didn't know Adriana for long, but I was grateful to be her friend.

To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.
Thomas Campbell, "Hallowed Ground"

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