Monday, July 11, 2005

Nós faltá-lo-emos (We will miss you)

Marcelo P. Camargo, MD. 1958-2005

During a year long stay in a particular place, Mr. and Mrs. Pinko and the Smokey Dog came to know the kind of neighbor that is usually associated with situational comedies. Three Bulls! do not generally believe in Heaven or such a thing, however we do know that there is a statistically good chance that Marcelo will be in someplace nice. You see, Marcelo was baptized into many many churches. Our favorite story about him was that when he first moved to the US from Brazil (he was born Catholic) he rented a small room in Chicago from a religious family, I think they were AME, or some sort of Baptist. He barely knew any English, but the family would always have him over and feed him and they took him to church. And a baptism happened along the way. When he would move to a new town, he would usually start attending a neighborhood church to meet some people and have a routine, and we joked that he would get baptized "just in case." When we knew him he was attending the Episcopal Church down the street and also attending singles functions at a Mormon church. He really just wanted to meet people and make friends, and we joked that he was covering all his bases. He was quirky, super friendly, always there with a kind word or a tool to borrow, with endless time to help you with your problems or to just shoot the breeze. Constantly driving around on his motorcyle, Marcelo was basically just looking for someone to talk to. Marcelo had been divorced, lived alone and was quite lonely. He was always happy to hang out, even for a couple of minutes. Only in retrospect are the signs of his isolation completely apparent. He had difficulty dating, he had trouble sleeping. He had been drinking. He was distressed about his job and financial situation. Much of this had happened after we had moved on. Of course we meant to stay in touch, but as usual it can be hard. Our last word from him was when he, rememberign us fondly, had decided to make a dog house for the Smokey Dog, and ship it to us, so many miles away. We only just found out that Marcelo took his own life May 2, 2005, because we were going to be in town and were trying to track him down. Three Bulls! do not want you to feel sad about this, we only want you to consider the possibly unheeded and painful cost of depression, and to reach out to those in its grip, whether you can accomplish something for those people or not.