This new beginning … beyond


By Helena Rodriguez

Guest Columnist

There is a time and a season for everything. Soon the leaves will start to blush into hues of orange and red, perhaps wiping away tears that froze into the icicles of winter and then misted the flowers of spring and summer.

Will autumn bring more dew to moisten eyes that have already been well-watered?

Just as there is a time for each new season, there is also a time to live and to die, a time to be happy and be sad, and a time to celebrate new beginnings.

And, as I have seen this past year, there is also a time to celebrate, not so much the end of a chapter or an era, but the beginning of a whole new book in life.

As St. Francis of Assisi once said, “It is in dying that we are born into eternal life.”

My column today is about this new beginning … beyond.

I guess I am beginning to reach that age now — although I don’t consider myself that old, 40 something — where I am realizing we are not as invincible as I thought we were in my teens, 20s and 30s.

Rosaries and funerals have been outnumbering births and weddings this past year, as people in my close circle of life have been passing on to another beyond  the horizon.

I thought I was too young to be buying the newspaper for its  obituaries, like my mom does; but deaths have been on a roll this past year.

First in January, Grandma Chaya passed away. She was 92. Her death was not unexpected.

And then my uncle Louie died in April, followed by my former Hobbs newspaper editor, Manny Marquez. And just a few weeks ago, my uncle Phillip died. In the middle of all of this, one of my classmates, Marla, died of cancer.  That one was a real shocker and downer.

I was only able to attend two of these funerals, but my thoughts and prayers have continued to be with the deceased and their families. And it has got me thinking more lately about the circle of life.

I don’t know if I have a choice, but I don’t want to die too young. Perhaps I don’t have to worry about that anymore. And even though our culture overall seems to be becoming increasingly hostile toward old age, I think I want to take in every last breath I can.

Life is worth living. I am an optimist. I have many things still on my bucket list. But more important than that, I want to live to see the good ol’ days become “these great days.”

I believe the world can turn around, despite the downward spiral we’ve been on of broken homes, shattered lives, severed family relationships, and politics and corporations without a conscience gone completely wild.

I want to live long enough to see us all become humbled once again.

Helena Rodriguez is a Portales native. Contact her at:

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