When Death Waited for Me

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There’s never a good time to talk about death. Most of us have experienced death at some point in our lives- some more than others. So what happens when death waits for us? And I’m not talking about waiting to die, I’m talking about when death waits for us to say goodbye.

We recently traveled to Brawley, California (about 25 miles north of Mexicali), to visit my great grandpa who was 105. It’s crazy to think about how much you can actually do in 105 years. His birthday was on New Year’s Eve and something told me I had to see him. It had been 7 years. He’s my mom’s grandpa and she adored him. And I knew, since he was 105, he didn’t have a lot of time left.

Miraculously my publisher gave me 11 days off in a row (something unheard of in the world of publishing). So I figured this would be my chance to see him. At the time I was on a budget, so I thought about possibly postponing it. It was a four hour drive. But like I said, something told me he didn’t have much time. So I went. And I got so much out of it.

Three months later, he died.

Death never really waits for us because no one will ever be ready, but when death decides to wait until we say our last goodbyes, it’s worth taking note of.

My mom was sick for a long time. The Doctors thought they could help her. She was back to her old self during her last few months. I used to look at her death with bitterness. I thought I had her back, and then she was taken away from me. I felt angry and cheated. But it was cancer. She was in a lot of pain and although we had high hopes, cancer is fierce and it spread very quickly in an extremely difficult place. As I get older I start to think that maybe I wasn’t cheated, maybe those last few months were my chance to say goodbye.

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[Dianne Lynn Ornelas ‘mama’]

Do you feel you need to see someone soon? Has someone been on your heart lately? Take it from me, follow that gut instinct and pay them a visit. Or pick up the phone and call them. So there’s tension? Bad blood? I think it’s time you get over that. It’s much better than living with a lifetime of regret.

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[Great Grandpa Sanchez on his 105th birthday.]

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