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Everyone means something to someone

Published on September 30, 2020

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There was some tragic news over the weekend about an expat couple that passed away last week from carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s so sad in so many ways. Of course, for them, but also for their family in the US who were probably happy that they had continued to be safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The posting about them on CuencaHighLife has some follow-up comments identifying them; I don’t think it’s helpful to post that here as well.

All I will add is that this is not the first case of expats being killed by carbon monoxide poisoning here in Ecuador. Not too long ago, an entire family died on the coast from CO poisoning that was due to a faulty installation of a propane gas hot-water heater.

Please people, if you use propane gas inside your home (think, calefon), put up a Carbon Monoxide Detector, which you can get at most of the hardware stores here. If you have one, change your battery now while you are thinking about it. If you are renting out one of your properties to someone, contact them and tell them to check the CO detector and to change the battery (we did).

With everyone focused on COVID-19 and how to avoid catching it, it’s easy to overlook these little things that can save our lives as well.

When this kind of thing happens, it makes me think about life expectancy. Even though I have not turned the corner on 60 years yet, I do have health problems and can’t believe that I will live longer than most people I know. Nonetheless, I do have lots of friends in their 70’s, or even in their 60’s in poor health, who may proceed me to whatever comes next (yes, I believe there is a “next”).

I realize that I don’t tell them often enough how important they are to me. So, I’m going to tell them now. Paul, Joe, Jack, Linda, Linda, Ray, Michelle, Chris, Dave, Allesandro, John, Mike, John, Steve, Dennis, Tashi, Lakpa, Rich, Kris, Pete, Steve, Marj and Shahir, you all have made an important impact on my life and I thank you for it. You’re all as good a friend as anyone could ever ask for.

I’ve left a lot of people I love off of that list, people younger than me or around my age and in great health. So, if I missed you name, it’s because I’m sure you’re younger or in better health than me!

There are a lot of people we come across in our lives that impact us. Many we keep in touch with, some, not so much. There are some we don’t even know how to reach anymore. They travel through our lives and somehow, we go in different directions, and time causes us to lose each other. But it doesn’t mean that that person wasn’t important in our life.

I know I’ve lost touch with some people who were a very important part of me becoming who I am today. I didn’t mean to, it just happened. But I’m sure glad they came into my world to influence me. Because I like where I’ve ended up quite a lot.

I’d like to suggest to you, that maybe it’s time to reach out to someone you know doesn’t hear from you enough. Or that may not know how important they are to you. I’d venture to guess that if you do, you won’t be sorry. That little bit of effort could bring so much happiness to you and them.

This column started out sad, so I hope you’ll contact one of those people who made you who you are. That would mean that something good can came out of this tragic story.

That’s all for now. Take care, all of you.


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