Tribute to Cristina Jill

 

My dear friend Cristina Jill Mosqueda

October 12th 2022 was a somber day, it was the day Kate called, to tell us that our beloved Jill had passed away. Adriana and I screamed no, no, no, as if by denying it we could bring her back. Kate had the courage to stay calm, even console us, when was her who needed it most.

We met Jill in 2001, when I started working with Kate at IBM. We immediately became best friends, yes, that quickly, Jill had that quality, to open her arms and her heart and her house and welcome you into her life. She welcomed me and my whole family.

I had a special connection with Jill. I like words, its meaning, I like writing, literature, and I know Jill understood me like few people. I was honored when Jill gave me pieces, she had written, for me to review and comment. Jill was an intellectual powerhouse, her mastery of the English language, it came naturally to her……her poetry, her short stories, her book, The Nation That No Longer Is, her publications in “ThatIsAllForNow”, her correspondence, it gave me so much pleasure to read anything she could beautifully write, it was inspirational. She was profound, Jill will find meaning in the most mundane acts of our daily life and she would open our eyes to them.

We were connected in many ways, and being Cuban was one of them. Jill felt as Cuban as I feel, even when she was born in Ohio. She was proud of her Cuban ancestry, and she was fluent in Spanish, and she spoke Cuban! She also cooked delicious Cuban food; she was an expert. She was a master chef and was able to cook dishes from the more dissimilar cultures.

Jill was also a true American patriot; she loved America with passion and passed that love to me. She participated actively, honestly, in American politics. Thanks Jill.

Jill had strong principles, political, religious, moral, and she would abide by them, but she would never try to impose to her friends and loved ones. Jill was tolerant and patient with those she interacted with, and those she accepted into her inner circle, could not expect anything but the upmost respect. Jill would defend those principles, no doubt, when the occasion demanded it. She was always ready for a good debate.

Jill was synonym with generosity, she was always giving away her possessions, to everyone she could think needed it more than her, or to someone she wanted to show how much she loved her or him, or them. She also gave her time, by volunteering, and she gave her love, genuinely, of which she was an endless source.

I am going to miss Jill forever, I am missing her already, I am going to miss dining together, spending vacations together, sharing new discovered words, talking on the phone about our family and friends, visiting each other, having Thanksgiving together, I am going to miss her smile, hugging her, receiving and reading a book she recommends, I am going to miss her fine humor, speaking Spanish to her and trying to teach Spanish words to Kate with her. I am going to miss the warm love she always gave us every time we met, every time we spent together, I am going to miss her postcards. I am going to miss waiting for her publishing new prose and poetry, and enjoying the reading.

Jill, me and my family loved you infinitely and we are devastated by knowing that we will not see you again. We are fortunate you were part of our lives and we are grateful for all the memories we built together. At our house, we have the plants you gave us, we have taken good care of them and we will continue caring, you live on them and we would remember you every time we water them and every spring when they blossom.

My dear friend, rest in peace.

Marcial Barros, October 16th, 2022.

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