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Gabo’s Farewell Letter

November 24, 2008
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This has landed in my e-mail box, and I thought I would share:


Gabriel Garcia Marquez, famous writer from Colombia, and Nobel Peace Prize
winner for literature, has retired from public life for reasons of health. He
has a form of cancer, which is terminal. He has sent a farewell letter to his

It is recommended reading because it is moving to see how one of the best and
most brilliant of writers expresses himself & with sorrow. (Even as I’m
SURE this would have sounded TWICE as good in Spanish, let us enjoy the English
version nonetheless….)


He says:

If God, for a second, forgot what I have become and granted me a little bit
more of life, I would use it to the
best of my ability.

I wouldn’t, possibly, say everything that is in my mind, but I would be
more thoughtful of all I say. I would give merit to things not for what they are
worth, but for what they mean to express.

I would sleep little, I would dream more, because I know that for every minute
that we close our eyes, we waste 60 seconds of light.

I would walk while others stop; I would awake while others sleep.

If God would give me a little bit more of life, I would dress in a simple
manner, I would place myself in front of the sun, leaving not only my body, but
my soul naked at its mercy.

To all men, I would say how mistaken they are when they think that they stop
falling in love when they grow old, without knowing that they grow old when they
stop falling in love.

I would give wings to children, but I would leave it to them to learn how to
fly by themselves.

To old people I would say that death doesn’t arrive when they grow old, but
with forgetfulness.

I have learned so much with you all, I have learned that everybody wants to
live on top of the mountain, without knowing that true happiness is obtained in
the journey taken & the form used to reach the top of the hill.

I have learned that when a newborn baby holds, with its little hand, his
father’s finger, it has trapped him for the rest of his life.

I have learned that a man has the right and obligation to look down at another
man, only when that man needs help to get up from the ground.

Say always what you feel, not what you think. If I knew that today is the last
time that I am going to see you asleep, I would hug you with all my strength and
I would pray to the Lord to let me be the guardian angel of your soul.

If I knew that these are the last moments to see you, I would say ‘I love

There is always tomorrow, and life gives us another opportunity to do things
right, but in case I am wrong, and today is all that is left to me, I would love
to tell you how much I love you & that I will never forget you.

Tomorrow is never guaranteed to anyone, young or old.

Today could be the last time to see your loved ones, which is why you
mustn’t wait; do it today, in case tomorrow never arrives. I am sure you
will be sorry you wasted the opportunity today to give a smile, a hug, a kiss,
and that you were too busy to grant them their last wish.

Keep your loved ones near you; tell them in their ears and to their faces how
much you need them and love them. Love them and treat them well; take your time
to tell them ‘I am sorry’;’ forgive me’,’ please’
‘thank you’, and all those loving words you know.

Nobody will know you for your secret thought. Ask the Lord for wisdom and
strength to express them.

Show your friends and loved ones how important they are to you.

Send this letter to those you love. If you don’t do it today…tomorrow
will be like yesterday, and if you never do it, it doesn’t matter either,
the moment to do it is now.

For you,
With much love,
Your Friend,

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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