Thursday, May 8, 2014
Chapter 13, "Friend's Deaths Resolved At Last."
Friend’s Deaths Resolved At Last.
For the three years that I had been living in the Baja, I had returned to Ajijic and San Miguel de Allende each May to renew my FM and visit friends in both towns. But in 2013 since I was in a wheel chair and recovering from my broken foot, I could not fly back. So I renewed my residency in Baja California.
In May of 2013 my best friend, Laurie in Ajijic died of breast cancer and I would have been there to hold her and be with her at her death bed. She did not tell anyone she had breast cancer, not her friends in Ajijic or San Miguel de Allende. But if I had been there she would not have been able to keep it from me.
She had made the decision to change her diet and life-style and to not have any medical treatment. She got involved with a cult group in Ajijic who convinced her that they had cured her. She believed it so much that she bought a house in Ajijic and did not even tell us about it. All her friends in San Miguel de Allende thought she was planning to move to San Miguel de Allende because she had always said she would.
I spoke to her every day on the phone the week before she died and she told me she had just had surgery on a spur in her neck. But what she was saying to me made no sense. Then two days went by and she was not answering her cell phone, skype or land line. She had not posted on Facebook nor answered emails. I contacted Chicago in Ajijic and asked her to stop by and see if she was alright. Chicago did not know that she had bought a house and had moved, so she could not find her.
Then on day three Berkley called me and told me that she had died. Berkley knew only because her office had called her because she and her boyfriend both had an investment account with her. Berkley was shocked and called me right away to tell me the news.
As the facts came in from Ajijic we found out that she had died at the clinic with the cult around her and they buried her immediately and did not include her friends in the memorial service. Later they held a public memorial for anyone who wanted to come. The girls in San Miguel de Allende had one at the same time. I could not attend and they all agreed that we would have a six-month Memorial when I got home. My friends in Ajijic and San Miguel de Allende knew I was planning my escape to return home.
On the six month anniversary of her death, which, as far as I was concerned, was actually murder by this cult, we met at Arizona’s house in the country while she was in California. Since she did not drink, loved the outdoors and yoga we had a day time picnic lunch. We had most of her closest friends and even Austin was with us as he had just moved to San Miguel de Allende. He was a friend of hers and her husband as long as I had been. Every one wrote about her and read what they had written. I had made a Catrina alter with photos of her and her deceased husband. We all brought flowers and food for the alter, a custom in Mexico to share with the deceased their favorite food and drink. Austin, Berkley and I, as her longest friends, all toasted her. Then we all sat around sharing fond memories of her and crying. I read the Chapter in my book “A Single Gringa in Mexico” that I had written about her and her husband.
The court case of our other girlfriend, Bling Bling, was finally scheduled in Houston soon after I returned home. Her husband had murdered her in May of 2010. He had many appeals and was pleading innocent on the grounds of insanity.
During the week-long trial I spoke every day with a friend in Houston about the case. She went and sat with the family every day in the court room. Bling Bling’s husband was convicted of murder and given 99 years in prison. He will spend a longer time in jail than if he had been sentenced to life, as he won’t be up for parole as soon. Her Mother has asked me not to write about the case more than what I have written since he has started an appeal. So what I will share is what I read at her Memorial in San Miguel de Allende in May of 2010:
Our leader at the Longhorn and I were talking the other night and he said he gets asked by people what is a real cowgirl like, and he says take a look at Bling Bling as she is the real deal.
Yes, Bling Bling; lived her life by the cowboy code of ethics which are;
“To live each day with courage; when you make a promise, keep it; remember some things aren’t for sale; and always finish what you start”.
Many don’t realize that she was a fraud investigator for the oil business, owning her own company called Foreign Operations. She built and financed an orphanage in Nepal.
She is a native Texan who grew up in South Texas on a ranch, before moving to Houston and finally to San Miguel de Allende.
She also led Houston's chapter of the Traveler's Century Club, an elite organization for people who have visited more than 100 countries.
Her love was horses, riding in barrel racing as a child. She served as a committee member on the Speaker committee for the Houston Live Stock show.
She survived the Tsunami flood in Asia and came back bringing her Chihuahua named Tsunami after her life was spared. Many are wondering what will happen to Tsunami. Charro C is bringing her back to Mexico to live with him.
She moved here two years ago. I met her, her first day here, in the Jardin, for Day of the Dead with Tsunami dressed up like an alligator in green. She carried that little dog with her everywhere she went.
She was fearless and was prepared to die. She even wrote her own wishes for this Memorial, and gave them to her mother for me, in the event her husband murdered her. At her request we are celebrating her life by following the traditions she helped create for the San Miguel “Sisterhood,” where we always had a rose, either pink or yellow, and lit a candle to the Virgin of Guadalupe, and then in a round-robin talked about things in our lives that we wanted feedback on.
In this case Bling Bling asks that we instead remember the happy times with her and celebrate her life and toast to her, her favorite drink scotch & water. We are playing songs that were her favorite songs, songs that she loved to sing, and for me those memories watching her excitement, singing and celebrating with the girls are my favorite memories, whether during a girls fellowship or on a road trip. Some of those memories I cannot share as she always said, “What happens on a road trip stays on that road trip and is vaulted.” Bling Bling believed deeply in tradition, was religious and was a creature of habit. She lived life to the fullest. She was generous and kind to a fault. So let’s celebrate her life tonight.
In 2013 another girlfriend was murdered by her adopted daughter in San Miguel de Allende. The justice system works more quickly in Mexico and the daughter admitted it and was convicted in a very short time. She and a friend brutality stabbed her mother many times in her home while they were robbing it.