Sunday, May 24, 2009

RIP Vivian

I just received some absolutely devastating news, and I have no idea what to do.

As many of you know, I lived in Havana, Cuba for 4.5 months back in the spring of 2004. I lived with 2 different host families. The second was a woman named Vivian, a divorcee with 2 kids, one living in Florida and another named Diosdado who was my age and lived down the street from us. She was an AMAZING host mother, and we were very close while I lived there. She thought of me as a daughter, and I thought of her very much as my mother while I was there. She always took care of me, cooked for me every day, worried about me like a mom, and just generally was a strong source of support in my life during my time in Cuba.

The past couple of years I have completely lost touch with her. She didn't have email, and so our only connection was through her friend's email account, so I'd send emails to her friend, who would then pass them on to her. I've been worrying for years, because for a long time I have not received a response. Still, every few months or so I send a message, just to tell her I am thinking of her and hoping to hear from her soon.

I sent one of these messages about a month ago, but this time slightly more frantic than usual. I had been thinking of her nonstop, and just felt so upset that I hadn't heard from her in so long. I sent a message to the friend, Ada, asking her to pleeease PLEASE send me any information she had about Vivian, since so much time had gone by, and I was worrying about losing the connection forever.

I just walked in the door from a lovely weekend with my mom and Bill, and checked my email, and there was one from Ada saying that Vivian died 3 years ago. She was struck suddenly with brain cancer. By the time she found out, she had less than 6 months to live. Ada doesn't know anything about the whereabouts of any of Vivian's kids.

But she's gone, and I totally missed it. Three years have gone by, and here I have been, living my life, totally unaware. I feel absolutely devastated. I want to cry, but I am just in so much shock I can barely move. I miss her terribly. I hope she knew how much she meant to me.


Vivian and me in our house:



The Didden Family said...

Erica, I'm so sorry about the loss of such a caring and giving friend to you. As we have proven with our own friendship, a lapse in contact that lasts several years does nothing to diminish the love or devotion that two friends feel toward one another. I am sure that Vivian knew how much you cared about her--it's impossible for any of your friends not to know, because you are so genuine and giving, yourself. I love you, and you are in my heart right now!