Ruben at his crafts “store” in Boca
Rubens journey continues and Monica and I feel it has been an honor to help in some small way towards his well being. The reality is that it has taken many people – such as yourselves – literally a village – to do what has been needed to be done. Let me explain and give you a recap and an update.
For those of you new to this blog, Ruben whose occupation in Boca has been that of a craft merchant with a pallapa (thatched hut) stall on a path near the Casa for many years. He has become a friend of our family and Casa participants over the years, (Monica and the kids have often hung out with him at his stall, conversing, philosophizing, practicing Spanish – he is bilingual) and we always refer people to his stall for friendly conversation, (words of wisdom) and to buy Mexican crafts.
When it became known that Ruben needed heart valve surgery, we sent word out to the “Casa Family” – (that’s you), to raise funds – and the response was overwhelming. It makes me teary eyed knowing that the world is not the way the media would like us to believe, but rather, as our travels and experience has always attested, filled with the vast majority of individuals who are motivated by kindness, generosity and compassion.
The Saga:
After being placed on a list and waiting for about a year for the surgery, the operation was a success. But those of you that have been following know, there where then complications. Internal bleeding developed in his stomach, then when he began to recover from that, he caught pnuemonia. Being all the way in Guadellajarra complicated things further, he was feeling isolated and getting depressed – on a breathing tube to clear his lungs,( a catheter), and a feeding tube – he needed an advocate, someone to be their with him. Things looked shaky – being in Massachusetts we felt helpless.
Again, my heart chokes as I think of all that came together, the community of people. There had already been many friends and people that stepped forward: Chrisitna and Don from Casa Ventana, (on the hill), had gotten him to initial appointments in Guadalajara and would check in on him, nurse Michelle, from Canada, who lives part of the year right near Rubens house, had taken him to surgery and followed up when he had internal bleeding – then, a kind family that was visiting with another patient offered to look after him and co-ordinate with the hospital social worker in the intermittent time that no-one from Boca could be there. Karla from Boca Divers stepped forward and began to co-ordinate efforts. Carolina went back and forth and when she could not go, Lulu went, when Lordes couldn’t go, Jorge went, and his participation was instrumental in turning Ruben around. – All of this time was given freely, but there were many unexpected expenses, beyond the surgery, for travel, medicines, etc. His funds where depleting fast.
Pancho and Lupe organized a soccer tournament in Boca where part of the proceeds from entrance fees and profit from food and beer sales went to cover some of his expenses.
Turning a Corner:
Everybody’s efforts and Jorge’s continued encouragement seems to have given Ruben the determination he has needed to “turn the corner” as Cynthia from Posada Pacifica, (Sunday diners on their roof), put it. Ruben is back in Boca and Cynthia and Pierre have graciously given him a suite with their personalized care at the Posada. We spoke with Ruben a couple of days ago. He was sounding good, so grateful and thankful for everyones care, generosity and loving thoughts and prayers. Cynthia said Ruben has started to eat more solid foods, (those of you that have been here know she and Pierre are great cooks!) and he is slowly getting his strength back, walking a little more each day.
So you see, it really does “take a village”. And all of you through your kindness of thoughts and or generous donations – you are a part of this village – Thank You! !!
In writing this article, and the feelings that came up, I couldn’t help but think of a Casa Blog article I  wrote in December of 2012, “Give the Gift of Happiness”, you can revisit it from that link.
There are still expenses unpaid for Rubens care, (he needs to return to Guadalajara for a follow up, recovery, etc.). Cynthia has kindly offered to co-ordinate the collection and distribution of funds. If you are interested in contributing please send funds to Cynthia s’ paypal directly using her email on paypal:
In the paypal notes write: “For Ruben Borgus Recovery Fund