The Unexpected Turns in Life and Where That Takes Us

This week, a personal column written by Día a Día series coordinator Dirk Alvarado.

The Día a Día column is about the unexpected turns in life and where that takes us. The personal stories that we've read from each of our four columnists are all stories that we can relate to some way, whether we were born in the United States or came here from another country. It is the human experience.

As the coordinator of the Día a Día series, I sit down with each columnist and talk about their experiences. They tell me what happened, how they felt, and how they dealt with situations that presented themselves at any given point in life. I write down what they say. Detail by detail, each of the pieces come together to complete their story.  

The interesting aspect about life is that no matter how far we get into telling a person's life story, we can't close the book to know how it ends until it's really over. We can have healthy friends and family, and then one day something happens that  changes one's life forever.  

The latter is similar to what has happened to me over the last few weeks. My mom ended up in the hospital. True to what my sister and I promised our mother, we didn't rush down to see her, giving her time to get situated and work through things with my dad by her side. After a few days of respecting our agreement, my sister and I visited Mom in the hospital to find that she has an aggressive form of cancer. Since she came home from the hospital for hospice a week ago my family has been working to make sure Mom is comfortable, as well as spending time together as a family.  

We have been a close family throughout my life, but have found it more difficult in the past few years to spend as much time together as we would all like. Seeing the best in a difficult situation, I feel fortunate we are spending as much time together as we are, under the same roof, working together and finding humor in the most difficult of situations.  

Because of our circumstance, I've scaled back my responsibilities outside my family.  Work and volunteer activities -- including Día a Día -- have taken a backseat to family. In my reasoning, that's the way it should be.  

What does that mean for the here on Half Moon Bay Patch? Kristine, the editor of Half Moon Bay Patch and I agree the series will continue; however, it does mean that it will move into a transition period over these next few weeks/months as we identify how to continue to bring these columns to you in my absence, whether that be through getting help from other columnists or other people interested in assisting to complete future articles.  

If you or anyone you know is interested in volunteering to help us continue to produce future articles please let Kristine and myself know.  I can tell you from first-hand experience that it is one of the most gratifying experiences one can be a part of.

Thank you for your patience during this time. Best wishes to you, your friends and your family.

Dirk Alvarado

Ed. Note: On behalf of Half Moon Bay Patch, I'd like to thank Dirk for all his invaluable contributions to the Día a Día series, and wish him and his family the best during this time. I believe that the trust that Dirk built up in our columnists over the last few years is what has enabled the series to exist in the first place, and is also responsible for the level of depth and honesty expressed in the columns. We will miss Dirk during this time, but look forward to working with another series coordinator who can continue Dirk's work with our four columnists. If you have an interest in this role, please contact me at kristine.wong@patch.com.


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