We Love You, Sandra Sandra Her Clan Photos Videos Happy Ending In Her Memory
Sandra Stories from Her Clan

SANDRA - Hernan Moyano

A few days before Sandra passed away, I thought about setting up a website to honor her. Since Sandra’s dear friend John Silliphant had already helped me set up another website, I would ask for his help. A couple of days later, I mentioned this to my sister who said: “What do you mean? John has already created a website!”  

I would like to say a few things about Sandra. For other descriptions of her you should read her friends’ stories. They are not only amazing, but give a much better description of Sandra than the one I can possibly give. 

Sandra loved “settlers’ weekends.” These were the weekends in Costa Rica, usually during the rainy season, where we would just stay home all weekend, watching football, movies, TV Series (24, CSI, Seinfeld), laying in bed, reading a book (mostly Sandra), playing on the computer (mostly me), cooking (she was the one that liked cooking!). We would only get out of the house to have breakfast at Il Panino (Sandra’s favorite breakfast place in San Jose) or dinner at either El Novillo Alegre (Sandra’s favorite Argentinean restaurant) or Cerutti (upscale Italian restaurant that we both loved). Gee, I will miss those weekends! 

She also loved traveling. Thank God, since I’m a travel nut! Sandra visited over 30 US states, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Costa Rica, quite a few islands in the Caribbean, Tahiti, Italy, Holland, England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain and several other European countries. She had never been to India or China. Those two were the next ones in her “to go list.” Australia and New Zealand were also on that list.

We traveled quite a lot together and always had an amazing time. We always found the time or excuse for a trip (for example when we found out that her cancer had come back in February 2007. We found out one day at 11:00 AM and by 5:00 PM we were on a flight to San Francisco, California. Later that year we would go to Jackson Hole (we actually never made it), Manuel Antonio (Costa Rica), Mexico, back again to California (Lake Tahoe, Wine Country, Bay Area), and Buenos Aires. We also had short weekend getaways to Blowing Rock or Chapel Hill. When it came to traveling, Sandra was always ready! 

Earlier this year, as soon as I arrived from two weeks in Punta del Este (while Sandra went to Colombia), I got home and she had a surprise for me. She said we would spend the next two months in California. I almost flipped out. “WHAT? What about work? Have to go to Costa Rica, etc., etc., etc.” Excuses just lame excuses! As always, she was right. Live NOW! Three days later, we were on the way to California where we spent a fantastic month visiting friends (Ynez, Shea and Rob, Keely, John and Loveleen, Blair and Scott, Jeff, Paul and Tara, Alfonso and Barbara). We had the absolute best time. I am so glad that we went! It was probably one of the best trips ever. As usual, Sandra stayed longer. Every time we would go to CA I would come back by myself –I blame that on her amazing Berkeley friends). 

I mentioned China was on her “to go” list, right? A couple of months ago, while in San Francisco she had this crazy idea that she wanted to go to China in a cargo ship. She did not want to go in Singapore’s business class (my first option), but in a cargo ship. She would rather spend over 15 days on a nasty, stinky ship than a few hours on the most exclusive business class that there is. Talk about living in the present. She obviously did not care about not having much time left –nothing ever stopped her from doing what she wanted to do. And she was serious about it. Fortunately this time I somehow got her out of it. That was Sandra! 

Her two favorite treats while in Winston-Salem would be a tall cappuccino with Splenda and skim milk from Starbucks, or a mint chocolate chip ice cream cone from Baskin Robbins. While in Winston-Salem, we would often go to Midtown Café for breakfast where our presence would drop the customers’ average age to 69. We would buy the newspaper, order two egg-white Western Omelets and spend the next hour reading, talking, brain-storming, planning and having fun.  

As you can imagine, Sandra has been the favorite patient to have ever walked into the Forsyth Cancer Center for a long time now. Everybody LOVED her there. She was not only the youngest patient, but also the nicest, most vibrant, and full of life. Including nurses, doctors, technicians, administrative employees, Sandra greeted all of them with a smile. They would leave whatever they were doing to spend time with her, simply because she cared about them. She actually loved them. 

When in Winston-Salem I would play lots of golf with either Ilene and Patti or friends. Sandra was not much into golf, but EVERY SINGLE time I would come back she would ask me about my golf game. She was genuinely interested in how we did and how we played. She did not ask just for asking; Sandra asked because she really cared. 

Pretty much everybody knows I can be pretty high-maintenance (but let’s get this right… Sandra could also be quite painful sometimes). I am kind of spoiled. Sandra spoiled me like no other. She would do anything for me, as she would for everyone she cared about. She would cook my favorite dishes, spend hours scratching my back, and help me with everything that I possibly needed. She would buy me every imaginable gadget that there was out there. Sandra knew I liked them and she just bought them. A couple of days before passing away, I learned she was planning (with the complicity of Jaime) to buy me a BMW M3 because she knew I had tested it and liked it. I had no intention whatsoever of buying it, but I liked it and that was enough for her. That was Sandra. Generosity without limits! 

I kept telling her that she was such an example for everybody. She kept saying that she was no example, that I exaggerated, and I could not be objective. I knew she was and will always be an example because I would see the reactions of the people that met her. I don’t know of anyone who met Sandra and who not immediately attracted to her. The attraction came from her extraordinary personality, spontaneity, freshness, honesty, leadership, generosity, and love without boundaries. She had this amazing magnet that attracted people from all different backgrounds. Most of the time Sandra was correct with her opinions and conclusions. However, this time she was not correct telling me that I exaggerated and had unobjective beliefs about her beauty, both inside and out. After passing away, I received messages, letters, cards, emails, phone calls that not only confirmed what I had always said, but also surprised me. How could everyone love her so intensely? She had a strong character, definitely a type A personality, and she would not embellish. If she had to be tough with someone, she had no problem. People respected her because she would do everything with her heart and with the utmost sincerity. She would never try to hurt someone on purpose. Always ready to help, ready to love —that was Sandra. 

Family was always very important to both of us. Sandra loved going to Buenos Aires, where she had her second family. She loved my family as if it was hers. My family loved her back the same way. We would always talk about how lucky we had been to have found each other. You choose the person with whom you want to spend your life, but not the family that comes with that person. Well, we were both extremely lucky. As my dad recently said, I have four parents. Am I not lucky? She had 4 parents too. We never had a family-in-law. We just had family. 

What else can I say about her? Sandra has been the most incredible miracle in my life. Cancer was always part of our marriage. She was diagnosed 10 days after we got married, but cancer never, ever stopped us from doing anything, from being happy. We were the happiest couple on Earth — she made me the happiest man. If one day, I had to choose again, I have no doubt I would choose Sandra, over and over, and over again, with cancer, without cancer, in whatever condition and under any circumstances. 

Sandra was so incredibly amazing that she prepared us all for when she was gone. Eventually, we talked about my future and she said things like “whenever you have kids….” This would drive me nuts. I could not even think about a future without Sandra. But like in most things, she was always right. Sandra knew that one day she would be gone and that I would probably find someone else with whom to share my life. I do not know whether that will happen or when that may happen. But because of Sandra, I know that when it happens I will have no guilt, no remorse. And I also owe that to her.  

Nobody will ever replace Sandra. She is irreplaceable. She will always be with me in my heart. As she will always be in the hearts of every single person who had the glorious opportunity to meet her. 

Makus, THANK YOU for everything!  




Sandra's Clan Photos Videos Happy Ending In Her Memory