Hasta la vista, Andres

On August 29, a friend died. His name was Andy. He often left comments here on The Moon using the name Andres until four or five years ago, when he stopped. I never understood why. We continued to communicate fairly frequently, but via email.

I thought of him as a friend although we only saw each other in person one time when he rode a bus to my mountaintop town, and we sat on the central plaza with cafecitos. I later joined him for lunch before driving him to the bus station to return to Uruapan, the city where he lived for 15 years about 35 miles southwest of here.

That was some years ago too.

Andy and I had lots in common. We were born in the same year. We graduated from high school in the same year. We were in the Air Force at the same time though in distant bases. We both moved to Mexico alone. I came in a plane. He came in his car, which was stolen about a week later. He never bought another one.

Andy didn’t have much money.

We both grew up in Florida. He became a social worker. I almost became a social worker too, surprisingly.

He had serious respiratory issues (COPD) due to chain-smoking for decades. He quashed the habit two years ago, but that was not soon enough because the Kung Flu shoved him over the edge.

A week before he died, he emailed me that he had awakened that morning feeling much better after days of a high fever and that he’d also had trouble breathing. He thought he was on the mend.

I asked if he’d had a covid test, and he said no, but he suspected that was the problem. He said that if he had not quit smoking two years ago, he would probably have died.

In the following week, I emailed him a couple of times on other matters and asking how he was doing. I received no reply. The week after that, I emailed again, and I received a reply from his email but from a Mexican friend who told me Andy had died. He was 76 years old.

—–

Initially, I planned to end this post with a list of Gringos and Canucks I’ve known here, both in person and online, who have died since I moved to Mexico. I started to list them on a sheet of paper, and I was surprised. Were I to include them here with a few words about each, you would be reading nonstop until tomorrow.

Most, of course, were retirees like me. But I stopped working early at age 55, and most did not, so their time in Margaritaville was briefer than mine has been.

One day I’ll be on that list, but someone else will write it.

I hope Andy is doing okay.

23 thoughts on “Hasta la vista, Andres

  1. My condolences to you and to Andy’s family. I hope that you are vaccinated. If not, this would be a good time to discuss the plusses and minuses with your doctor.

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  2. My sympathy for the loss of your friend Andy, and others before him. Yes, we all get “there” at some point in time. That’s why we should try to make every day our best day.

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  3. Sorry for your loss, señor. We are at that age where looking around always finds someone we’ve lost. And we get reminded we are on that list of those who will be leaving.

    Thought about being a social worker, huh? Wonder how that would have turned out. It would certainly have been different back in those days compared to the current climate.

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    1. Ricardo: As I entered my final year at the University of New Orleans, I took the state civil service exam for that occupation. You will not be surprised to know — well, I was — I got the highest score ever recorded. I would have been hired immediately were it not for the fact that a degree was required. However, by the time I finished the degree, a year later, I had been hired at the New Orleans newspaper. The rest is history.

      Social work runs in the family. My daughter did it, and so did my sister. We’re just a caring bunch!

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  4. You write the most beautiful epitaphs. I’m sorry for the loss of Andy, but I hope his last years in Mexico were wonderful, final adventure. Sounds like he was an adventurer and enjoyed his life to the fullest.

    May he rest in peace.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Ajijic, Jalisco

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    1. Kim: Apparently, he died rather quickly, which is always the preferable way to go. His Mexican friend told me he was with him when he died, which would not have been the case had he been hospitalized. Patients hospitalized here with Kung Flu are not allowed visitors.

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    1. Carole: Yeah, like someone else I know, yours truly. Andy’s wife, a Filipina, died of cancer before he moved to Mexico. He had twin daughters whom he mentioned now and then. I don’t think they ever visited him him. Mine hasn’t either.

      Life goes on.

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  5. Some of the northern visitors are prone to call this bit of Mexico’s Pacific coast “paradise.” I don’t. I think of it as God’s waiting room.

    I once started a list similar to yours. I quickly abandoned the task for two reasons: 1) it was a long list, and 2) my memory would not conjure up information adequate for me to believe I had a somewhat-complete list. Another fellow, a permanent party, died last week of a heart attack while I was in Oregon. You would have liked him — or, at least, his politics. I liked him because he was an Oregonian. Those of us who have fled that misbegotten state tend to stick together.

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    1. Señor Cotton: You’ve put quite a number of RIPs on your website. I believe this is my first. As for Oregon, how great that you have fled, although I read that a big chunk of the state wants to secede from the loony end, the smart chunk, of course.

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      1. Yup. There is a strong movement in the eastern two-thirds and southern portions of the state to join Idaho. If all of those counties were allowed to make the shift (and they never will), Idaho would have a Pacific seaport at Coos Bay.

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      2. Don’t forget Al Kinnison. Or that woman who died of complications from falling off a ladder. I’m sure there are others.

        Cheers,

        Kim G

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        1. Kim: Jeez, man, are you and Ms. Shoes in some sort of dark-arts society? Well, first off, Kinnison was not here on The Moon. He was on my previous website, plus it was 16 years ago. And the woman who fell off the ladder was a passing acquaintance at best. I don’t even remember writing about her, but since you remember, clearly I did.

          I’m going to have the authorities keep an eye on you and Shoes.

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