Just recently, two people I knew passed away. One was here in Cali and the other in the US. In Cali, the father of a friend of mine, Natalia Restrepo, died. I spent last Christmas eve with the family, Natalia, her folks, and two other friends, Javier and Sarah. We read the Novena and shared a great dinner together. It was a nice evening. I knew that Natalia’s father had cancer. He was in good spirits that evening. The photo was taken that evening with him and one of the family’s two small dogs. Then, last week, he was in the hospital again for tests and treatment and then died suddenly. It was sad. He was only about 52, I think. I went to the funería, or wake, at the funeral home. I spent the time talking with other friends and Natalia and her mother. We finally left at 12:30 a.m. The following day was the mass and burial. I was waiting for a message regarding when I was to be picked up to go, but I fell asleep before noon and never got the message. I was exhausted. I missed the final events. I wanted to be their to support my friend. It has been a sad time for her and her mother, but not totally unexpected since he was suffering. He is at peace now and Natalia and her mother are at peace, knowing that they will be reunited again some day. Also, last week, my Aunt Ethel passed away. She was my dad’s only sibling. She was 101. She had lived a long and good life. She lived 44 years longer after her husband died. I’m glad I got to see and visit with her last year. I remember her telling me that she was tired and ready to go. Her mind was still sharp. She hadn’t lost much of her memory, unlike my dad. She continued to be surprised that she had lived so long. This photo was taken last year when she was 100. She will now be reunited with my father, his wife, her husband and their parents. I don’t understand everything clearly, but I believe I will, someday, join them too. That will be a great time. As I get older, I realize that my time could come at any time. I’m thankful for the many things I’ve experienced in my life. I’m thankful for the many friends I’ve made all over the world. I’m also excited about new experiences waiting in my near and distant future. I’m excited about new friends to make. And, I’m especially thankful that these two people touched my life.