Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Today is a special day. It is the day that Alex Gomez, an award-winning writer who not only wrote a collection of articles for BanderasNews but was also a dear friend that inspired us all, was born. His brother, Daniel Gomez, shares his memories of Alex with us and invites everyone who knew and loved him to an informal memorial service set to be held at 6:00 pm on January 3 at A Page in the Sun.
Remembering Alex Gómez
22 December 1970 - 3 January 2017
I think back to the many times I watched Alex sitting, as I sit now, focused purposefully, fingers poised tentatively over the keyboard, organizing ideas in his head, searching for the word to start the steady stream that introduces the story he needed to tell. Much like him a thousand times before, I confront my writer's block in trying to summarize my brother and his life in under 500 words.
This is not a eulogy, but a footnote in Alex's story, one driven by the need to share a little of our own narrative as a brother, sister, niece, nephew or friend; a narrative, that by my liking, would only now be reaching its midway point.
Alex was not only a writer, but a consummate storyteller, an artist, dancer, yogi and foodie. As far back as I can remember, Alex wove stories, at first through drawings, Lego or children's games, then through writing and paintings and eventually through the music he shared and danced to with us.
And yes, life continues and even thrives without him, but his absence still fills rooms, lingers during conversations staring back at us. If there is solace to be found in his passing, it is in the love of the multitudes that accompanied and surrounded him throughout his life and to the end - despite however many years or miles may have separated you from him.
In the almost 12-months since his passing, his most enduring legacy may be the solid network of friends and family that he amassed in his too-brief life. Those of you reading this are what is left of Alex, the memories you've generously shared with us, with each other, in your words, through pictures and song, not only commemorate, but celebrate the life he so happily shared with you.
The reading and music play list attached below are a token gesture initiated with the intent to celebrate and share his life with the people for whom he cared most. We invited his family and closest friends to share "your Alex" via a song or book that reminded you of him, based on your relationship with him.
It's been bittersweet to receive the dozens of contributions, often accompanied by a small quip or anecdote, that summarize your Alex. I have not cried so much as when organizing these 3 lists. It was not my place to edit, but simply curate, so the Alex here is the Alex that was, the one that belongs to all of us. I recognize, regrettably, that there are many who should or could have been included, but were not, and to you, I apologize for this unintentional oversight.
I've learned much about love, friendship and loss during this brief project. I've also learned that none of us owns Alex's memory but share it with those who knew him to paint a new and richer story of the man who was. I now appreciate that we all have in life a shared history with those that shape and influence our present and future, and colour and enrich our past. Our Alex histories are unique, often similar and often incongruous, but always joined by the connection with him that will hopefully endure throughout our lives.
I celebrate the unflinching love, support and care my sisters, Lindsey and Gaby, and their families, gave Alex during his valiant struggle. I know my sisters would have willingly traded places with him at the first opportunity. They loved and cared for him selflessly over the years, setting an example I hope to always learn from.
And you, his dear friends, you too deserve vast recognition. While Alex enjoyed a thousand friendships, there are those of you who most kept alive his hope and nourished his soul - you know who you are - to you and because of you, we will be forever grateful. We can only hope that you will continue to share your lives with us so that together we may keep Alex's memory alive.
Alex succumbed to AIDs related complications on Tuesday, 3 January 2017 after an illustrious and recalcitrant 17-year battle. He left this world reluctantly, yet peacefully, despite his severely weakened state and years of suffering. Despite the hardships, Alex flourished and enjoyed his life, more than many, because of your love.
Alex, you'll be forever our dancing queen.
An informal memorial service for Alex will be held on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 between 6:00 and 8:00 pm at A Page in the Sun Café/Bookstore, Lazaro Cardenas 179, Zona Romántica, Puerto Vallarta.
Alex's Reading List
Alex Gomez, The Sultan's Boy (Alex's book will be available online in early 2018)
Aldous Huxley, The Island, The Doors of Perception (The entire works)
Andrew Wilson, Beautiful Shadow - A Life of Patricia Highsmith
Anne Patchett, Bel Canto
Anne Rice, The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles)
Arturo Pérez-Reverte, La Reina del Sur
Carlos Ruiz Zafon, El Juego del Ángel (La trilogía de "El Cementerio de los Libros Olvidados")
Charlaine Harris, The Sookie Stackhouse Series
David Lale, The Last Stop Salina Cruz
Donna Tart, Goldfinch (The entire works)
E.M. Forster, Maurice
Evelyn Waugh, A Handful of Dust
Frank L Baum, The Wizard of Oz
Ian McEwan, Atonement
Jamie O'Neil, At Swim, Two Boys
Mary Renault, The Charioteer, The Nature of Alexander the Great (The entire works)
Simon Goddard, Mozipedia: The Encyclopedia of Morrissey and The Smiths
Susana Clarke, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell
Terry Brooks, The Shannara Series
William Nicholson, The Society of Others
Zadie Smith, White Teeth
All Greek mythology
Marvel's The X-Men and DC's Teen Titans
Playlists:• You Gotta Get Down Girl