American in Spain

Ramón Hidalgo Caballero, 1920 - 2011

December 2, 2011
Abuelo with Sparkler

My third and final living grandfather passed away today. He wasn't my grandfather by blood, but by marriage and an immense amount of mutual respect and love. A month ago, he lost strength on one side of his body. It sounded like a stroke, but the doctors claimed it wasn't, yet didn't really know what had happened. He spent a few weeks in the hospital and was finally feeling well enough to go home. In an amazing demonstration of strength and spirit, he chose to make the 90 minute trip to our house last Saturday to see my parents who were visiting. He seemed sad and weak, but very appreciative of the gifts my parents gave him, including a lovely portrait of my daughter, Nora.

Visiting Bisa in the hospital

On Monday morning, he didn't wake up. They took him to the hospital and he was said to be in a coma, although he was breathing on his own. My wife, Marga, drove to see him and whisper her goodbyes to her sleeping grandfather. On Tuesday, he briefly gained consciousness, and on Wednesday he was awake and lucid. Not only was he now conscious, but he had been semi-conscious for much of the time he was in the coma, able to recall who had visited him and what they had told him.

Nora, Bisabuelo and Marga

This is the last photo taken of Nora with her bisabuelo (great-grandfather). It really makes my heart ache that Nora will most likely not remember him at all. Hopefully the constant exposure to my photos will help.

Ramón and Erik

Te quiero muchí­simo, Abuelo. Soy mejor por haberte conocido. Nunca jamás te olvidaré.