|My friend picking a sugar cane for my enjoyment|
I found out about my friend's death the other day. I had been looking to seeing him to tell him that a plant growing in his garden was none other than jicama. I didn't get a chance. He died before the New Year.
His death hit a lot of us who knew him, very hard. Those of us who were blessed to have him befriend us, and that was almost everyone in our little community garden, felt a special connection to him; like he really cared about us individually.
Then came the news that he had died alone. It was a couple of days before someone found him. That news just about broke my heart. The last time I saw him was before Christmas. Again, I was looking forward to seeing him again. I had so much to share with him.
He was the kind of man who was very generous not only with his things, the vegetables he grew in his little plot, his knowledge but also with his time. He went out of his way to reach out to the new gardeners. He made us feel welcomed and happy. In return, he liked to have a ear to listen to him.
I have some regrets. I wish I had thought to give him a Brown Scapular. I wish I had listened to him more. I wish I could have been as generous with the stuff I grew as he was with me. I wish I had reached out to him more, regardless of the fact he was a very private man. I wish I had thought to ask him if he wanted the anointing of the sick.
The fact that he died alone was haunting me until I remembered through God's grace, that he did not die alone. He had St. Joseph there, the blessed Mother, Jesus, his own guardian angel and who knows who else was there when human family and friends could not be there.
I miss you deeply my friend. You were a true gentleman and a noble soul. I hope you are now in heaven or will soon be. The masses I will request for you will make sure of that.
Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord,
May Your Perpetual Light shine upon him,
May he rest in peace.