Monday, August 6, 2007

From Claudio Cunha

The first time I met Carolyn was in Brazil, about twenty years ago, in the late 80's, some time before they left to their long journey to Edmonton, Canada. At that time I had the pleasure to work with Joffre, at IPT, a research institute, in Sao Paulo. Joffre also was my MSc thesis supervisor and my scientific mentor. I learnt to admire him and his lovely family, the three kids, Joffre, Jonathan, and Jennifer, and how their mother was as inspiration and light for them. Many years later, in 2003, destiny took me to Gainesville, FL, for a sabbatical at the UF. I had the chance to be close to Carolyn and Joffre. I was living alone, could not bring my family with me, and Joffre and Carolyn’s home was a kind of second home away from home. Spending Thanksgiving with them in 2003 was an unforgettable experience, and I felt all the warmth, all the love that surrounded the entire family. More than that, I really felt as if I was really part of the family, and very fortunate to be with all of you. Those times in Gainesville, the times with Joffre and Carolyn, the day I arrived from Brazil and we had lunch together, the so many times we had the chance to talk and laugh, sometimes in so-long forgotten Portuguese, are certainly among the best times of my entire life.

May Carolyn be in peace. She shall be remembered as a lovely and very special woman, a mother and spouse who dedicated her life to her family, who raised their children with all her love, giving the best of herself. And she must be very proud of it. May the whole Swait family find the light and the strength to cope with this tragic loss, to accept and understand the wishes of God, and to continue to live your lives, being sure that she is with the Lord, and looking for all of you, and smiling, very proud of you, just waiting the time for you to get reunited again.

Claudio B. Cunha

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