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Friday, January 24, 2014

Today Is My Wife Elena's Birthday

My incredible wife Elena has her birthday today. It is a celebration of an incredible life with outstanding accomplishments.

Elena and I have something in common. We both a survivors of South American military governments. I survived living in Brasil and Peru under military dictatorships. Life was not always pleasant during those times. But it was not horrible.

When Elena was 15 years of age, the military government took over in Argentina. I can best compare it to what happened in Nazi Germany after Hitler came to power. Some 30,000 people disappeared. Babies were stolen from their families and given to strangers to raise. Literally hundreds of millions of dollars of property was stolen from the rightful owners.

During that horrible time one's worst nightmare was to have a green Ford Falcon pull up in front of your house or apartment one night. After the dreaded knock on the door, people would be arrested, taken to a military or police facility for torture and later executed.

One night after the military came to power, a green Ford Falcon pulled up in front of Elena's house. The dreaded knock followed. For a brief eternity, Elena and her family thought that it was the end. The secret police asked for a person who did not live in the house and asked for permission to go through their house to get to another house. Of course Elena's parents could not say no. The secret police went to another house. They hauled off a pregnant woman who was never seen again.

Despite all of this horror, Elena managed to graduate from high school one year early. She got accepted to medical school at the University of Buenos Aires. She graduated at age 23 with an honors diploma. (This medical school has a few Nobel Prize winners by the way and is a very tough educational institution.)

I could spend many more pages talking about Elena's incredible achievements in life. I know how lucky I have been for the last 13 years to be with her. She is the best thing that ever happened in my life!!!!

Elena HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!