He hugged me hard and long.
Mind you, this was a married man. So what prompted this somewhat reserved amigo to hug me like that? Well, it’s because I wasn’t dead.
I guess I should back up. Just over two weeks ago, my friend here at Islandia had to put her dog down. Two days later, I had to do the same, and I told her about it and we commiserated via email.
Now, when I’m in Kino, this friend and I walk each morning and on the walk we stop for a cafecita at La Ramada, a little open-air restaurant operated by my amigo Roberto. I know the whole family and part of the extended family as well.
My walking partner speaks no Spanish and Roberto speaks almost no English. Hence the problem. Mi amiga told Roberto that my dog had died. What he got was “Emilie” and “died.” He teared up.
Mi amiga thought that was a bit odd but having no way to communicate, she let it pass.
The following morning, mi amiga did her morning walk and ended up as usual at Roberto’s for her coffee. He came to her, mentioned my name, and began to weep.
This time there was a bilingual person available, and this person explained that he was really, really upset because Emilie had died.
I died? And I didn’t even know it.
She then clarified that it was my dog that had died, and he ran into his house and soon the whole family spilled out, smiling, laughing and crying for joy.
And when I showed up this morning at La Ramada, Robert hugged me hard and long, expressing over and over how glad he was I had not died.
Postscript: I wandered by there this afternoon, too, and one of Roberto’s daughters grabbed me and told me how very glad she was that I was alive. I expect I will go through this several more times as I run into the other family members.
Ah, it is so nice to be loved!