Rest in all your strength and rejoice, precious Patitas

por Juan Pablo Anaya

Mayra Roffe Gutman, my partner, died on February 8, 2023. On Thursday, February 9, she was cremated. Mayra had asked us to choose a tree in Parque México, near the duck pond, where our son, Ilai, could go to remember her. Parque México was always one of her favorite places. There she learned to ride her bike and had a tree that she said was her home. Many times she told me how, as a child, she would cross the park to go from her mom’s apartment to her dad’s, or back; and the excitement she got from the activities offered there on Sundays, such as painting pottery. Even though it was not the closest park to our house, she often preferred to go there. At her request, we went to that same park to see the ducks and eat potato chips a few weeks before she passed away. To get to the tree we chose, if you are facing the duck pond, and behind you is the Lindbergh Forum, you have to walk to your right. When the path forks, take a left. In front of the bench that appears almost immediately, there is a young tree with a very green top.

Thanks to those who have written to my whats, email or facebook. I’m sorry I can’t answer all your messages. I have received them with love. As I have told many people, when May was told she had cancer we made an agreement to be happy despite how difficult it might become. We also agreed that we would not allow the intolerable side of the treatment to become tolerable. Despite the cancer, we were very happy for a year and eight months. Mayra had an incurable cancer and we knew that death was around. The last four months of treatment the cancer progressed and what we feared happened. The health effects of this process took a good part of our lives. Despite this, when she found some energy, she never stopped joking, laughing or hugging Ilai. Palliative care medications made the last two months lighter, but cancer did not stop. Two days after she told us she no longer wanted to continue with the treatment, Mayra died. At home we are in peace with the fact that the intolerable is over and she was able to rest. For me it is important to know that she was able to die when she decided it was time for that to happen. I feel that Mayra left us a heritage in which dignity is a synonym of joy.

Rest in all your strength and rejoice, precious Patitas.