It is with a broken heart that I tell you that our dear friend Comanche died yesterday. I am in shock at this sudden and very unexpected loss and find that I don’t have words, but feel the need to reach out. He was a tree cutter and was on a job when he fell out of a tree, broke his back and punctured a lung. He was rushed to the hospital but died half an hour after the accident. I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that he’s gone. I’m sure that tomorrow he’ll ride up to our house on his bike and kiss my kids and call them “guapo linda” as usual. Then he’ll wrap Jon in a big bear hug, lifting him off the ground and laughing uncontrollably when Jon does the same for him. He’ll give me a kiss and ask how I’m doing and it isn’t just a formality with him; I know he wants the truth and he cares. But it wasn’t just for us that he poured out this kind of love. It was for his family, his neighbors and really every person he came into contact with. He personified love. He was the heart and soul of Brasilito, and as we walked with his grieving daughter through the streets of Brasilito yesterday after she had given us the news, you could see it on everyone’s faces. Everyone was out in the street, mourning and grieving, touching Estefani’s arm as we walked by. It is intimidating to try to comfort and grieve with someone in a different language and culture, but praise God the language of tears and hugs is universal. I’m the type of person who wants to DO something to help a loved one, and so it was an honor to have Comanche’s granddaughters over for dinner, crafts and a movie last night. They hadn’t heard the news yet because their parents couldn’t bear to tell them and have them see all the mourning family, so they came to our house. And then today, we had them over for lunch and swimming all afternoon at a friend’s pool. It feels good to be able to channel my love and grief into a tangible action. But in the quiet when the day is done, my heart feels like it will burst with the sadness. I have the words of this song ringing in my head: “when we all get to heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be. When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory.” Yes. And I will look forward to Comanche’s bear hugs and kisses and proclamations of how much he loves me and my family. We love you too, Comanche. Oh how we do.