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Updated: Jan 2, 2021

Nieves Cortes Torres (Abuela). I think of my Abuela and I can envision so many little things. We use to watch Friday night TV together. I would lay on the floor and my Abuela would sit in her corner on the couch. We would watch Knight Rider and Golden Girls. I did not realize that she suffered many of the symptoms related to Lupus, Fibromyalgia and Raynaurd's. She was medically retired by mid 40's due to Rheumatoid Arthritis. Among other things, she was fiercely independent, patient and made Colombian foods by scratch. Her last days were spent in a hospital. Richard and I would spend hours watching Spanish game shows with her. We said our usual goodbyes. I thanked her for all the help, love and support throughout the years. I gave her a huge hug and lavished her with kisses on her cheeks and forehead. Her spirit left the room less than 30 minutes of our departure.

Years later, I was having an excruciating episode where no-one and nothing could touch me. I was lying in bed, screaming bloody murder. My body felt like I was about to explode from the (fever) heat and (nerves) electricity. My mind seemed to split because I did not feel the pain anymore. I wasn't asleep nor was I awake. I saw my grandmother. She was younger and looked so healthy. I held her hand and begged her to let me go with her. I told her that I belonged with her. I could not and did not want to keep going with this suffering. She responded, in Spanish, by telling me that it was not my time. Curito, (pet name) I love you and I am with you. At that moment, I felt this huge whoosh! It was a force of air that took my breathe away. I got up and stretched. I lacked pain. I forgot that feeling of health.

I hugged my husband, who has been cleaning the house (his nervous habit) since my flare-up started. I hugged and kissed my three kids then my parents. Everyone looked so confused and relieved. Richard proceeded to bring me a coffee and then the family began a new game of Monopoly. I can't explain it. When my spirit leaves the room, hopefully many years from now, I know I would be missed.

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