Jaime Alejandro Espinosa-Anabalon, 85: 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'
In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Two years later, more than a million people have died in the United States from the disease. To put a face on this number and pay respect to the departed, NPR asked our audience to share songs that reminded them of a loved one lost to COVID-19. What follows are individual stories of those who have passed, those mourning them and the songs that continue to unite them.
My dad had a lot of hardships. He lost his father when he was, like, 5 or something, and from there things got really bad financially. So for him, the song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel kind of really resonated with him and his struggle through his life.
He was a mold-maker — molds for engine parts, or any other metal or even plastic parts. He got his training when he was living in Santiago, Chile, which is where he's from. He traveled throughout all of South America, so he never really stayed put. Hardships would always follow him in terms of being able to find work, being able to make a living, and he wasn't scared to get up and find something better.
Taking that kind of risk, going into something you don't know, is scary. But he could just as easily take that same thing and attach something really lovely and beautiful to it. It's like when you think about fruit: The fruit with all the bruises and the scars, they're the ones that have the most sugar and sweetness and taste the best. Which is actually, really, what he instilled in me. —Jorge Espinosa, son
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