A former high school classmate and cherished old friend when reconnecting with Roger through Facebook quoted the old saying: "When God closes a door, he opens a window." The years have seen a number of life changes for us that make that adage ring true. After being blessed with good fortune, a wonderful son and great experiences, we decided to look out that window and prepare for more of what this wonderful life has to offer. We hope through our blog to share our journey from this point forward with family, with friends and with many others. Hopefully we'll make some new friends along the way. We hope you find our tales of some interest, even amusement and perhaps an inspiration for you to treat each and every day as an opportunity and an adventure to share with those who are an important part of your life.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Vaya Con Dios, Mi Amigo!

Two of our fellow bloggers from Cuenca have made mention this week of the passing of Will Lacy. Several others in the Cuenca community have made mention of this event online on their or on expat Facebook pages. Today (Saturday, April 28) there was a celebration of life for Will in the historico centro of Cuenca with many expatriates and a number of Ecuadorians in attendance. For those of you aspiring to come to Ecuador as regular visitors or as ex-patriates, I think it's appropriate that you understand why the loss of this man so deeply touched us. It is my belief that each of us who knew Will and who had made the transition to living in Ecuador not only saw a little of ourselves but also a part what we wanted and aspired to become as a result of moving here.

Will was the equivalent of an ex-patriate energizer bunny. He was always on the go...always seeking and exploring something new in his adoptive land, often inviting and organizing trips or exploratory jaunts with friends. He also was always involved in contributing something back to his new homeland. My first knowledge of Will and his wife Val came from one of the regular blog reads I undertook become first coming to Ecuador. The blogger, Ed, showed photos and described a trip he, his wife, and the Lacys took to deliver charitible gifts to school kids in the rural area north of Cuenca. It seemed like Will was always involved in some form of charity ranging from volunteer work at the Feria Libre school to active fundraising for the Messengers of Peace Orphanage in the Yungilla Valley. While showing us some of what Cuenca has to offer after we had arrived, Will once told Suzanne and I: "Ecuadorians are different culturally than we are...that can take some adjustment and getting used to..but the first thing you should come to recognize and love is their capacity to give generously of themselves to their family, friends and, yes, even to us gringo newcomers, even when they have little left for themselves. It's important for us to be a part of that and give back to them and the community at large whenever we can!". Will was one of those people who was always giving something of himself to those he knew and met in everyday life. During our two month trial visit last summer, Suzanne and I were blessed with welcome and help from more people than we could count. We continue to cherish those people as friends and, in acknowledgement of their help and kindness, we try to follow the tradition of helping and advising newcomers as best we can. We were most fortunate to also have Will and Val Lacy as our neighbors for those two months. Despite their being nearly overwhelmed with a major remodeling project in the historico centro, they became more than just good neighbors. They became our mentors, guides and guardian angels. From finding a great map of the city to sharing how to use the local bus guide, from our first symphony concert to clapping hands with us as the resident ladies of a Cuenca nursing home danced in period costume, from discovering great almuerzo restaurants to taking the bus to a Texas hold em poker game, The Lacys were helpful, kind and inspiring. Despite the fact they loved condo apartment life, they encouraged us and even took us to local homes when we expressed a preference for becoming homeowners. In short, they helped us learn to love and cherish what Cuenca, Ecuador had to offer. Will's love and enthusiasm for life here was always evident and was highly, highly contagious.

In Texas hold em poker, Will loved to go "all in" putting everything he had in chips on the line. It became his nickname at poker games and when he won the first Texas Hold em Charity Tournament on behalf of his beloved Messengers of Peace Orphanage, he signed the trophy Will "All In" Lacy. Will was always "all in" in his committment to friends and things he loved. Perhaps that is why each of us who attended his celebration of life service felt such a sense of loss at his departure. His "all-in" approach to living here in Ecuador made us feel better about our own experience. He also made us want to do more, to invest more and to give more as part of that experience. We became better people for simply having known and been around this man and that, dear readers, is the best measure you can make of what someone's life has meant to you.

If you come to Ecuador and you choose to live here, look up some friends of will benefit from knowing them because they benefitted so much from knowing Will

Will has now gone "all-in" on the biggest adventure we all face. Vaya con dios, mi amigo....go with God, my friend. Surely, you are destined to show the angels in heaven how to go "all-in".

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Rodger, that was very well put. We will miss him very much in Cuenca.