Life has its difficult moments. For the past four years, my dad had been going through several health conditions that had been getting worse as time went by, including heart, pulmonary, and kidney malfunctions. Many times throughout those years our family’s life practically revolved around comings and goings to the hospital, and we felt hopeless by the fact that we couldn’t do anything to ease his pain. All we could do was to give him the love and emotional comfort he greatly deserved and, of course, our prayers that God would heal him. This nerve-wracking (and seemingly never-ending) situation only kept getting worse as his doctors in the U.S. were not able to give him a proper medical treatment. It wasn’t until my dad – accompanied by my beloved mom – traveled back to Brazil last year that we found an excellent group of doctors who treated him with all the love and care in the world.

When his health problems were finally stabilized and things seemed to be back to normal, my dad, gripped by a strong desire to be back home, decided to return to the land of Uncle Sam. Even though the family found it completely understandable that he was feeling homesick, deep inside we felt in our hearts that my dad’s return to America would only bring bad news. Despite our constant efforts to convince him to stay in Brazil, he was a lovely stubborn old man and wanted to be back in our home in the U.S., which was also where his beautiful library was built.

Upon his arrival in America, things appeared to be all right until, about two months later, the inevitable happened: he was, once again, hospitalized due to breathing problems. It was mid-January, and I got terribly sick with migraine and nausea. It was like my mind and body were giving me a sign that his death was approaching. He died on January 24th, 2022. My dad had not only always been the pillar of the family but also an inspiration to millions of Brazilians; why did this happen? Why didn’t I try harder to convince him not to leave our home country? Indeed, I was immersed in feelings of guilt and sadness. However, the more I prayed the more I realized there was no room for him in this world anymore – not only because he was the best person I ever knew but also because his philosophical works and the countless souls he changed and inspired in his lifetime will last much longer than the normal length of time for which a person lives. On a final note, words can’t describe how much I miss him, but I do find peace in the fact that his amazing soul and teachings will never be forgotten.

Photo by Josias Teofilo (2019)

Leilah de Carvalho
May 14th, 2022

One thought on “Memoirs of a daughter

  1. I cannot even imagine how wonderful was to live near him, under his teachings and love. You are a lucky woman.

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