Last night at 1:30 a.m., Angelito Cossio died. He died of metastatic cancer of the pancreas all alone in a hospice in Baltimore. His last wish -- to see his only son -- was never granted because the American consulate in Lima denied a non-immigrant visa to his son, Orlando Martin, on the grounds that the son could not demonstrate sufficient ties to Peru to guarantee his return. His other wish -- to spend his final days in Arlington near his church "family" -- was denied by his insurance company.
Many of you who read this blog helped by writing letters, e-mails, etc. to the consulate trying to get the decision reversed. It would be especially important to highlight the help we received in this matter from the Peruvian consulate here in the metropolitan Washington area and from Rep. James Moran (VA) who went out of their way to intervene in the case. Thank you and blessings for your willingness to stand up for what's right.
Many other people helped through prayers, through visiting Angelito and bringing him spiritual "food" when he could no longer eat physical food. To the priests and deacons in Arlington and Baltimore who helped Angelito receive the sacraments, a special thanks.
Angelito, as we have said, was loved throughout his time here because of his willingness to serve others and God in any capacity from being a minister of holy communion to giving rides to those of us who don't drive. When you needed him, Angelito was there, and now, according to our friend Aida, he is still there -- up in Heaven, interceding for us.
Hermano Angelito, intercede por nosotros para que logramos una reforma migratoria justa y compasiva, para que otra familia no tiene que pasar por lo que paso la familia Cossio. And the rest of us who are still alive, let's get out of bed on Sunday morning and go down to the Mall and march for immigration reform. It's the least we can do to honor Angelito's memory.
Photo: Angelito, in better days, awaits the beginning of the Señor de los Milagros procession.