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From cemetery to grill

One more sad note to record. I went to the cemetery where Paul Green is buried yesterday. It was the one-year anniversary of his death. The cemetery is little more than five minutes away from his widow’s house by automobile.

Paul’s grave is a small tomb. It is above ground, likely made of cement, but it is glazed with a beautiful white, off-white tile. It is the rainy season, so everything is alive and green around it.

Mayela and I went with Irina, an 8-year-old granddaughter that she is raising. It was a bit somber and a time for reflection.

For Mayela, the pain of loss is still real, but dulled some by the passage of time. She called Paul, pollito, which means little chicken, and even had a tiny little bird put on the bottom of a bronze plaque for him. This caused a problem with the cemetery authorities. I guess little chickens are not quite the appropriate funeral thing here in Costa Rica.

But a little chicken is an appropriate memorial to Paul’s sense of humor. He was always joking and laughing, especially at his own infirmities before he died. He called his cane “Barney.”

He was writing prolifically at the end. He said he was in the groove. He had a routine. He would sit at the computer as long as he was physically able. He would rest. Then he would pick up again at his trusty typewriter. He wasn’t a technophobe. It was simply his body couldn’t take the seated posture at the computer for as long as he wanted to write.

Apparently the typewriter kept him in a somewhat different posture using somewhat different muscles so he could continue banging away until around four in the afternoon. At that point, he would adjourn to the patio, open a beer and make preparations for outdoor grilling. Paul was a maestro at it. Costa Rican weather permits it for most of the year.

This year I grilled the pork chops and honored his memory.