Written 9th of August of 2010
"Rufo came to my house unexpectedly. He came to ask me for money. He told me he was very embarrassed, but that he needed 700 dollars. I wrote him a check and he thanked me and left.
It had been a long time since I had seen Rufo. He was my former wife's uncle, a simple guy born in a small town. He didn't have much of a formal education, but he was smart and had a natural grace. He never cussed, had very good manners and loved opera. He was very young when he married Rafaela, a peasant woman several years older than him. Rafaela was husky, with stevedore arms and a big fat, rosy face. I liked Rufo and Rafaela, and I liked their sons, Rufito and Serafín.
Rufito had a talent for fixing broken electrical appliances. He could repair a toaster or a refrigerator. It's a shame he didn't study. Serafín was also smart, but he didn't study either. They were both good-looking kids, with their parents' height and physical strength and their soft, friendly personalities.
My former wife called me the day after Rufo's visit. She told me I should have not given any money to her uncle. She said Rufo had become addicted to gambling. The dairy where he had worked for many years had gone out of business and Rufo had received over a hundred thousand dollars from his pension plan, but he had gambled it all away. He was now jobless. My former wife told me that Rufo would probably lose the 700 dollars I gave him in gambling and that he would never repay me. I told her I didn't care.
I never saw Rufo again. I found out that a few days after asking me for the money, he got into his car and started driving to Las Vegas, without saying goodbye to his family. After a few days, he called home from somewhere in Alabama. He was crying and said he was lost. Serafín had to take a plane to get him and they drove back to Miami. Several weeks later, my oldest son called me one morning and told me Rufo had died of a heart attack. He was 61 years old.
I went to the funeral home the following night. There were only a few people there. Rafaela was dressed in black. Rufito had flown in from Kentucky with his new wife, a heavy set American woman older than him. She was like a bluegrass version of Rafaela. Serafín was there with his girlfriend, a beautiful Cuban girl with very black hair and eyes. Rufo's corpse was in a simple metal casket. He was wearing a grey suit, white shirt and blue tie. He had a rosary in his hands, which were crossed over his chest. His face had a very peaceful expression. I thought he looked very elegant and distinguished. He had class.
Rafaela, Rufito and Serafín were very shaken and sad , but they didn't cry. They were very glad to see me. I always liked them all. I was sad about Rufo's sudden death. I'm glad I gave him that money."
This is the latest interview on my Youtube Channel with State Senator Yvanna Cancela
to watch the video click on the image