Whether you believe that "it takes a village to raise children" sounds corny or not, fact remains that I'm personally very grateful for SAMOHI's excellent AP-Chemistry teacher, Mrs. Martha Diaz-Chacon, who turns out to have played indirectly an important role in helping me spend 2 great weeks with Tina before she died.
Back at the end of the first semester, she had compelled her students to prepare for the finals by studying in pairs or groups. Gabriel teamed with Alex. This spark triggered a chain reaction of practice / study sessions where Gabriel and Alex forged great bonds of friendship. That bond was strong enough for Alex to offer driving Gabriel to the airport on June 30th. Less than 1/2 hour later, Tina said:
"I miss Gabriel already"
I felt really good about being there. Had I followed my fatherly impulses and driven him to the airport, Tina would have been all alone at home and in her heart. Instead, I spent the evening with Tina at home; an "odd couple" of sorts. I managed to spend the following week at home with her. She had improved so much from Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus thanks to Dr. Bergsneider's treatment at UCLA that it felt as if I had spent a lot more time than just a week. Gabriel, Tina and I had managed to have breakfast outside for the first time in years.
Yesterday, Gabriel spent the night at Alex'. He was jet-lagged for sure and I'm glad he didn't wake me up. Organizing a birthday/memorial get-together party the way Tina-la-vecina would have wanted it is a challenge. My Tinazinha was a tough, demanding cookie. I'm glad that Gabriel had a tough, demanding AP-Chem teacher at SAMOHI this year.
Thank you Mrs. Chacon.