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Have You Ever Seen the Milky Way?

My wish for you is that you have the opportunity one day to witness such a beautiful sight.

I did this week while camping in Ocean Cove near Jenner, California. It was a beautiful clear night, our camper parked next to the Pacific Ocean, the campground dark except for the small flames coming from the fire pits of other campers. It was an extraordinary night made more meaningful because I thought a lot about my family, especially my Tia Dora, my aunt. She was in a nursing home and no one had been able to visit her since March because of the pandemic. Tia Dora passed away sometime between last night or early this morning. I will forever associate the Milky Way with my aunt's passing.

I lost my mother many years ago, and my aunts have been like my second mothers. Tia Dora was extra special because she took care of me for six months when I was a baby. She has always held a special place in my heart. That night looking at the sky, the stars, the faint ribbon of the Milky Way, I thought about my Mom and prayed she'd help Tia Dora. My Mom died peacefully in her sleep, a blessing from God. Tia Dora had been in the nursing home for a while, survived two hospitalizations and had her foot amputated. She had suffered enough and needed to rest. I prayed to the Lord to take her. He answered my prayers, and I know she's in a better place. I will forever be thankful to Tia Dora for all the kindness and love she always gave me. I will never forget her tender smile, the last time she made me laugh because she confused me with another woman in the nursing home, our last hug. Those last few minutes with her were extra special, and I thank God for giving me the opportunity to be with her those few days.

Happy days with Tia Dora. She was so much fun and she loved Jose. The center picture was taken during my last visit to her in the nursing home. She loved the glasses I gave her.

Tia Dora with my other aunt, Tia Mencia and I during our last visit with her.

When my Mom died, I dedicated the song SOMEWHERE OUT THERE to her. Today, she will share that song with Tia Dora. Even though we are far apart, someday we'll be together again, beneath the pale moonlight. May Tia Dora and Mom be looking down on us and praying for all of us left behind.


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