Life often presents us with challenging situations that we may feel unequipped to handle. In the past two days, I had to bid farewell to two of my colleagues and friends. These individuals taught me valuable lessons, particularly about resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity.
Yesterday, at Diario de Avisos, we bid a heartfelt farewell to our dear Fran Domínguez. Later that afternoon, I received the news of the passing of Pablo Rodríguez, a journalist and former colleague whom I had known for over a decade since his time as a press officer at the Tacoronte City Council.
Pablo possessed an engaging personality and a keen interest in diverse subjects. Over time, beyond our professional ties, we developed a strong bond that endured until the end.
“I wasn’t sure whether to share this with you on such a difficult day, but I knew you wouldn’t have forgiven me,” said Tachi Izquierdo, a mutual friend who accompanied both of them throughout their respective battles.
If there’s one thing Pablo taught those fortunate enough to have known him, it’s to confront challenges no matter how daunting or insurmountable they may appear.
His journey began in 2018 when he started experiencing tremors and rapid speech, the initial symptoms of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a rare illness that he valiantly fought for over six years. This forced him to cease working and drastically alter his way of life as he sought treatments and resources to halt the progression of the disease.
His struggles were profound, as simple tasks like mobility and speech became arduous for someone whose voice was their primary tool for work, and for whom radio was a passion.
In January, he turned 60, still harbouring aspirations despite his adversities. On that day, we exchanged our final messages.
Pablo’s journalism career boasted a wealth of accomplishments. He had worked at Cadena Ser and DIARIO DE AVISOS, served in the Press Office of the Ministry of Education of the Government of the Canary Islands, established his own communications company, and, alongside Enrique Acosta, coordinated the Tacoronte Nature Vinerun – a charitable race through the municipality’s vineyards, which raised funds for rare diseases, unknowingly laying the groundwork for his own future battles.
Upon learning of his illness, I proposed featuring his story in the newspaper, recognising him as a beacon of hope and inspiration for many. It took some persuasion, but with the assistance of Enrique and Tachi, we made it happen.
That’s why, two years ago, when asked, I readily agreed to present the book, ‘Living Living’ – a collaborative project involving Pablo and his “lazars,” as he affectionately called them, who aided in his recovery process, both physically and verbally. His plan involved spending an extensive period together and subsequently chronicling their experiences.
They provided unwavering support, organizing activities, physical exercises, and leisurely strolls to cherish sunsets, share meals, share laughs, and simply live. Above all, these were the invaluable lessons he imparted until his final moments.
Pablo achieved his objective: he lived for the past six years. Until yesterday, when, following a week of complications, he bid an anticipated, yet unexpected farewell. Not his proud children, not his family, not his friends and colleagues, had anticipated this. Rest in peace.