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Sunday, March 07, 2010

 

remembering in Medellin


remembering in Medellin - Bea, originally uploaded by plastictaxi.

A few days after I arrived in Colombia, Bea's mother - Julia de Maria Auxiliadora Echeverri Pizano - died. She was 81, played golf, and survived her husband by 2 decades. She was Bea's aunt, but adopted her after her birth mother died when Bea was 2.

It was a long journey to the end for Julia: she spent the last five years in a home for the ageing, as she began to succumb to Alzheimer's. She was a good mother.

The photo above was taken the day after she died, after the funeral service. We were with Bea's cousin, who lives in a 16th floor apartment on the side of a mountain. The last few days I have met a couple dozen of Bea's cousins, as we shared the weight of Julia's death, and I struggled to keep up with what they were saying.

Living in a valley creates a particular kind of culture - you are always aware of the city, it's always around you, and the world outside is a distinctive step away towards something foreign. I can't quite get my head around it, but I feel like it affects the culture here.

...hm. Maybe I'm needing something to think about while we are remembering.


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