I received a text from my Mom yesterday:

“Hola mara como estas tengo que darte una mala noticia tu tio Luis acaba de fallecer solo te aviso para que estes enterada no tenemos mas detalles hasta pronto love Mom”

“Hi mara, how are you, I have to give you bad news, your Uncle Luis just died, I’m letting you know, we do not have any details, talk to you soon, love Mom”

Yeah, my day went from awesome to shitty in 2. 5 seconds.

I believe in everything happening for a reason. The sole reason I went to Mexico for Christmas, for the first time in six years, was because my Tio inquired about when I was going to visit again, he was worried I had forgotten the family, in October. He and my aunt just celebrated 50 years of marriage. I decided that shortly after he said that, I was going to ask for the time off. I was shy of vacation time by 8 hours but my boss and I worked on getting me the OT I needed to take as comp time. I was bound for Mexico December 23rd, stopping at my Tia’s in Tijuana; she couldn’t believe I finally made it south of the border. We made it to Ensenada the next day for Christmas Eve; finally two days, two planes and two houses later, I was at Abuelita’s (grandma). Approximately an hour or so later, my Tio stopped by, my Abuelita is 94 years old and is pretty much senile but she is feisty. She started to cry that her boy was there, and he calmed her, took her hand, and said I’m here, it’s okay Mom.

My uncle has always been soft and nice with me, and my Mom. I was awed at his soothing skills for his mother. He came by and visited everyday I was at my Abuelita’s. I went to the ranch for Christmas Day. I was happy to be at the favorite place of my childhood. I would go horseback riding all day everyday I went. Sure enough, at breakfast my uncle told me to grab a horse. I did. I proceeded to grab this beauty.

Old Blue Eyes here proceeded to almost knock me into a watering hole at one point. This was after I had to tell him to keep moving, past the yummy, tempting lush green plants he kept bending down to eat. I rode around, it didn’t take nearly as long as it used to when I was kid. I was around the property and back at the house in 2 hours. That’s when my Uncle proceeded to tell me “subate al cerro…go to the top of the hill” I climbed down to open the barbed wire fence, meanwhile Blue Eyes started walking away but was stopped short when he got his reigns on his hoof and was essentially stuck. He just looked at me with a guilty face of “so maybe I was trying to leave you”. A short while later, I got to the top of the hill, and took this picture:

This is the view from the top of the cerro (hill) down onto my Uncle’s land/farm and house. I was planning on blowing it up, framing it, and giving it to my Uncle. Now, I still plan on giving it the rest of the family. Just kind of as a reminder of all the hard work he put in, how it paid off, and just as a fond thing.

I also decided, oddly enough, that I wanted my Uncle to walk me down the aisle since my Dad is deceased. It’s something I can’t watch at the weddings I attend without sadness and bitterness. My Father will never walk me down the aisle. His anniversary of his death is this coming Tuesday. It will mark 8 years. I wanted my Uncle to walk me down the aisle, because honestly, while my Uncle was having back issues and walking slower than normal, I knew he’d bounce back, and would at least be around to walk me down the aisle in the next five, seven years. Alas, the news of his death, was a blow to say the least. I immediately broke down at work. I’ve also been back and forth all day: happy, sad, shocked. I’m so out of my element, when my Dad died, I wasn’t like this when I was told. I was very quiet, I bottled it up. I took three and a half years to start the anger part of the grieving process.

I had a dream about horses last night. I will forever associate horses with Mexico and my Uncle. I will really miss him. He was a man of few words, and he could be downright mean uncle, but he definitely was loving. I am just super thankful I was able to see him before he passed.

I will miss you, Tio. Hasta Luego.