'Every day is like Thanksgiving' for 2008 tornado survivor
Posted November 23, 2011
Kenly, N.C. — Three years after a tornado ripped through a Kenly man's home, taking the life of his wife with it, he says every day is a chance for giving thanks.
"I don't wait for one day to celebrate," Argiro Gomez said Wednesday at the home he rebuilt in the very same spot where a twister blew it apart on Nov. 15, 2008.
"Every day is like Thanksgiving to me," he said.
If suffering deepens gratitude, then Gomez certainly earned it.
After he lost Marilyn, his wife of 22 years known for her strong spirit, Gomez felt an emptiness – in his house, in his bed, in his heart.
The first year was the hardest, he said, but time and prayer have dulled the pain.
"She's gone. There's nothing I can do about it. I cannot bring her back," Gomez said. "I cry a lot, many times I don't hide my crying, but that's part of being a human being."
Now, with Marilyn's blessing, Gomez said he's trying to move on with his life.
"I had a dream of her, my wife. She showed up in a nice red dress," he said. "She winked at me, smiled, and disappeared when I woke up. Maybe she said, 'I'm fine. Go ahead.' It was beautiful."
He has formed a new friendship with a woman in Florida and is excited about having another chance at happiness.
This Thanksgiving, Gomez plans to host dinner for family and friends. His wife always cooked up a huge turkey feast, but he has taken over the cooking to honor her memory.
"She put so much of herself into whatever she was making – maybe that's why the food was so nice," he said.
He thinks about Marilyn every day, he said, but slowly, year after year, Gomez is learning that life goes on.
"Sometimes she comes and pops in my mind, you know, and I feel like holding her. It relaxes me," he said. "(But) as long as I got health and a job, I'm happy."