Written by Michael Simons on . Posted in Newsletters

RIP Barbara Elaine Buettell Simons

10/13/1935 – 11/27/2020

It is with deep sadness, but wonderful memories that I have to tell you of the passing of my mother, after a long battle with dementia. Barbara was loved by everyone who ever met her, she was the gentlest soul. She always had a great smile and made you feel like the most important person in the world. She taught piano for 30 years, and her students, many of them grandparents now, would always call her on her birthday and Christmas and send their love. Even in the end, when she could barely remember the names of her children, she never forgot Costa Rica. She had visited many times in my first ten years, when she was still in good health, and always loved this incredible country. She would speak so fondly of “that amazing lobster dinner at El Velero” and would always inquire about the dogs. One of the last things she said to me, was how lucky I was to be living in such an amazing place, and that she was proud of everything I was doing to help the community. I know I was not a very good son, as a teenager, but I would like to think that I became a better one as an adult.

She has finally left her dark place, and is heading to the light. I love you Mom so much. RIP.

Beautiful poem by Mario de Andrade (São Paolo 1893-1945) Poet, novelist, essayist and musicologist.

One of the founders of Brazilian modernism.




I counted my years

& realized that I have

Less time to live by,

Than I have lived so far.


I feel like a child who won a pack of candies: at first he ate them with pleasure

But when he realized that there was little left, he began to taste them intensely.


I have no time for endless meetings

Where the statutes, rules, procedures & internal regulations are discussed, knowing that nothing will be done.


I no longer have the patience

To stand absurd people who,

Despite their chronological age,

Have not grown up.


My time is too short:

I want the essence,

My spirit is in a hurry.

I do not have much candy

In the package anymore.


I want to live next to humans,

Very realistic people who know

How to laugh at their mistakes,

Who are not inflated by their own triumphs & who take responsibility for their actions?

In this way, human dignity is defended

And we live in truth and honesty.


It is the essentials that make life useful.

I want to surround myself with people

Who know how to touch the hearts of those whom hard strokes of life have learned to grow with sweet touches of the soul?


Yes, I’m in a hurry.

I’m in a hurry to live with the intensity that only maturity can give.

I do not intend to waste any of the remaining desserts.


I am sure they will be exquisite,

Much more than those eaten so far.

My goal is to reach the end satisfied

And at peace with my loved ones and my conscience.


We have two lives

& the second begins when you realize you only have one.

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May 2021
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