December 18th. Maricelma's letter  Table of Contents  December 25th, The end of the day  
21th of December - I mailed the Christmas Card today

Photo from 1995

My Christmas letter will be a sad one for I write it alone.  Neila, my beloved wife of thirty-five years, succumbed to cancer in the early morning hours of November 9th as the family watched anguished and helpless.  She fought for every breath until her failing body overcame her will.  She will be in our hearts and minds until we meet again.

This season Christians remember the promise we have of life and renewal, and in our time of grief and sorrow, nothing could symbolize that promise better than the birth of twins girls to our daughter Claudia.  Neila saw and held the twins, and thus lived to see the cycle of life come full circle.  I cannot tell you that I have accepted the parting of Neila at too, too young an age; but I am eternally grateful that before leaving us she knew what wonderful children and grandchildren we brought into the world.

Photo: Neila and "Murphy" her pet suffed gorilla,
aken in 1995, the first year of cancer