By GARY LONG
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the logistics but not the dynamics of the lifelong love affair between Jacobo Garcia, 78, and his wife Aurora, 75, who has Alzheimer’s disease and lives at Fox Hollow Post Acute, a skilled nursing facility just off Paredes Line Road in Brownsville.
Jacobo visits his wife every day, sitting outside her apartment window at Fox Hollow from mid-morning to late afternoon and exemplifying spousal devotion.
“ I love my family, I love my wife, and I help her,” Garcia said one recent afternoon, explaining that he has no official information about the Fox Hollow, but that Aurora receives very good care there and he has nothing but good things to say about her situation.
He monitors her care, communicating directly with his wife by way of taps on the window and through hand gestures. He knows her nurses and keeps in touch with them over the phone when the need arises. On the small table in front of him is a list of important phone numbers, some scratch paper and the latest edition of El Nuevo Heraldo, which he buys and reads daily.
He said he and Aurora are both from Matamoros, were married there, emigrated legally to the United States in 1962, became citizens and have lived in Brownsville since.
“ Amire mucho a ella. La ama,” he said, meaning he greatly admires and loves his wife.
Garcia has conducted business daily from his headquarters outside Aurora’s window since the beginning of the pandemic. The facility has been closed to visitors including family members since March 13, he said. Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr. and his predecessor Carlos H. Cascos have visited him at the window on occasion, he said, adding that Cascos is his nephew, the son of one his sisters.
Garcia also said he holds older people in high regard, including those who have passed away because of the coronavirus. Sadly, he said he thinks the number of such people from Fox Hollow is about 18-20, and many residents of other nursing homes also have passed away because of COVID-19.
He said he tries to play it straight with people, doesn’t talk behind their backs and as a result figures he has no enemies. It’s important to treat people with respect, he also said.
“ Aurora es muy linda. Para mi es unica,” he said, meaning his wife is very pretty and for him she is the only one.