Friday, January 25, 2013

He asked me to marry him...

Carlos Martinez was a sweet man, not just because he asked me to marry him at a time I needed either a laugh or a feeling of being wanted, but because he truly did care about others, and I appreciated that about him.

Carlos Martinez, a Colombian friend.
He is the father of Gabriela and Claudia and step-father to Martha and Louisa, but he was the patriarch of all. I met him at Corasoma, the finca in Barichara, Santander when I first arrived there several years ago. I had heard about him before I actually met him, because he was at that time living in San Gil, almost an hour away.

But with declining health he built a small house and moved up to Corasoma where he lived with his daughters and granddaughters for almost two years. During that time he was without a car, and when I was in Colombia I had one, so he would join me on my trips to San Gil and we would go to lunch in some obscure place which never failed to be a terrific meal. Then he would ask to stop at his favorite 'vivero' (garden store) where he would buy plants or trees for Corasoma.

Carlos appreciated good food and knew where to find it!
I was grateful that Carlos allowed me to stumble along in my Spanish, but he spoke English very well and also enjoyed our conversations in that language so he could keep up his skills. On our jaunts I learned the names of plants, got history lessons, met many of his friends and the people who had the best fruits and vegetables in San Gil. He helped me to appreciate Colombia more.

After I turned him down for marriage, he would refer to me as his 'fiance' when people asked who I was... our private joke. But the last time I was at the market and saw the grocers, they asked about him... "Su novio, como esta?" I didn't have the heart to try and explain in Spanish that he wasn't my boyfriend, because I did rank him as a dear friend and knowing he was critically ill, it seemed complicated to 'break up with him' in their minds at this point. Instead I took a photo of them standing all together waving and wishing him well and sent it on to his daughter to share with him.

I didn't really know Carlos for very long or really very well in the long scheme of his life of 80+ years, but I wanted to acknowledge him today as he has taken that long walk through the Green Door leaving behind a legacy of caring, and to acknowledge he touched my heart while he was here.
Sunset at Corasoma: rest in peace dear friend and I thank you for being.


  1. We're very sorry for your loss, honey.

  2. oh, dear sandy,

    what a lovely tribute to your friend, senor martinez. i am so sorry for your loss, i know you will miss him dearly. one's heart is filled to overflowing with gratitude for having had such a beautiful soul to bring grace and laughter to our journey on earth. i dare say, it's bliss to be simpatico when hearts are joined in living life fully and well, with liberal doses of adventures to new places and feeling contentment just being with them. i am gald you had that with such a special friend. thank you for sharing some of the delightful memories you made. i hope they bring you comfort and a smile.

    love, XO,

    karen, TC

  3. Isn't it wonderful that we don't have to marry to have a kindred spirit?

    1. Dear Birdie, It is indeed wonderful. I was asked today if I was crying about his leaving and I said "No, I feel joy for him because he was so ready to go, and I believe he was missing his wife greatly who went on ahead some years ago." How could I hold him back in any way; I have doing Reiki for his family and for him to ease their grief and his journey.

  4. I am so sorry for your loss Sandy,may your dear friend rest in peace now. How wonderful it is that during our lives we meet such generous and warm people that impart your heart with gladness that you have known them. I am pleased you are not sad, just pleased you met this special person.