Carlos Mora 8/16/39 – 6/3/2014


I shared Carlos’ passing here but couldn’t bring myself to write about it until now.  I felt like it was a goodbye that I wasn’t ready to say.  I’m still not ready to say it.  I want to cook him a meal and sit at the dining room table with him and watch his face light up in happy surprise when he likes it.  I want to hear him say “Sarita” a hundred thousand more times.  I want to see him and Lou sitting outside deeply engrossed in a conversation, knowing that they would both choose to be nowhere else in that moment.  As anyone who has lost someone knows, there are moments when it’s ok and then other moments when the finality of it all hits like a brick wall right in the face.


Carlos was with us for 18 days, a far shorter time than we expected or hoped for.  The last week he was mostly unresponsive.  But he found ways to let us know he was with us still.  And then finally, he let go.  I was in my office working, Lou was outside working on a home project.  I randomly decided to check on Carlos and found him still, not breathing.  At almost that exact moment Lou came inside, for a reason he wouldn’t understand until later.  I came into the kitchen and told him I thought that Carlos had gone, tears in my eyes.  Lou came into the room, put his head on his dad’s chest and all was quiet.  And then all of a sudden Carlos took a giant gasp of air, scaring Lou nearly to death.  He jumped back, shocked.  I burst out laughing, I couldn’t help myself.  We can picture Carlos wagging his finger at us saying “I got you”.  We held his hands, we told him we loved him, we laughed and cried.  He took one final breath and was gone, to the sound of our laughter and love.  I don’t think I could imagine a better ending to his story, it was perfect.

But I can’t say goodbye, or I won’t.  Instead I’m going to write about some of the things Carlos taught me.  That’s what he’d prefer anyway.  And of course, more of the photos from his time with us.  (There are even more on Lou’s site if you’d care to see)  Thank you again for all of the kindness during this time, it’s been such a tremendous comfort to us.  xx- Sarah  {more after the jump}

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CARLOS / MAY 22, 2014


It’s been a week since Carlos, Lou’s father, moved from Florida to live with us here in Palm Springs.  As I shared here, he was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer, cancer that has spread throughout his body like a fire.  I’ve decided to share bits of this journey we’re on with him here after the response on the last post was so incredible- the way you all opened your hearts to us and shared your stories, it was just so beautiful. And Carlos read through all of the comments.  It’s given him a sense of purpose in these last days, to know that I am sharing his story and that positive thoughts and love are spreading because of it.  He has such a huge appreciation for what Lou and I do, he loves these photos we’ve taken so much and sees our work as part of his legacy.  I don’t think we could ask for much more.

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Here’s the first thing I’ve learned in this process:  caring for Carlos has been, I imagine, similar to the experience of bringing home a newborn.  All of a sudden life seems so much more fragile, we’re consumed with worry, all of our priorities have taken a wild shift to revolve almost exclusively around his comfort and happiness, our hearts have expanded by tenfolds to accommodate this change.  I feel like my heart now lives outside my body, on this man whose balance is so fragile, whose happiness and well-being rest in our hands.


We’re getting up throughout the night, so we have the tired weariness of new parents and when I look at Lou I see the exhaustion that I feel. I’m also overwhelmed with love.  Watching him care for his father, watching him give him everything he has, it’s one of the most extraordinary things I’ve been lucky enough to witness.  And my heart is full for Carlos, a man who is so sweet and full of beauty himself. {more after the jump}

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