Remembering Nina Discombe and Edward Kular
By Judy Lacy
I remember the first time I met Nina and Eduardo. At lunch, after my first Ajijic Writers’ Group meeting, I found a vacant seat beside a distinguished-looking gentlemen who introduced himself and pointed to another table, “See that cute, bubbly little gal wearing the hat? That’s my girlfriend, Nina.” I’ll never forget the pride in his voice and the sparkle in his eye. He knew he had caught a special prize and at a time when he was no longer a young man. Later, Nina told me that she was so sorry that Eduardo hadn’t come into her life much earlier.
As I got to know Nina and became aware of her writing and teaching background, I told her she should teach people such as me more about the craft of writing. I was learning valuable information from the “big” (Ajijic) group but felt the need for more basics, at a slower pace, with a smaller group. Her first answer was a definite “no” but that softened over time and I found out the real reason she was balking. She didn’t want to be an organizer, just a teacher.
Nina was nervous about getting ready for the first “class” until she began working on lesson plans—then she was in her element. Each week when we met to discuss the next agenda, she would be typing away in her little back room, oblivious to everything else. After the planning meeting, our guys would join us for Eduardo’s famous margaritas and talk would turn to his career in the printing business, how much had changed from the printing presses he used to the printers of today, and his family in Canada that he enjoyed spending time with every summer.
The workshop was an overwhelming success but Nina chose not to continue with teaching after two sessions because she wanted to get back to her own writing. She went on to complete her book and scheduled a reading. As she read excerpts of her wonderful novel, The Leprous Veil of Love, at a book-signing event, Eduardo was so proud of her accomplishments. His encouragement and support had helped her attain her goal. They were a happy couple, wanting the best for each other, and his continued decline of mobility didn’t stop them from enjoying life and each other.
The last time I saw Nina, she had closed on the property in La Floresta and was starting to make her new house into a home. I know she was happy to finally be permanently settled in the area she loved, surrounded by her friends. So what do these memories do for me? They have helped take some of the sting out of the senseless loss of two wonderful people, and serve a purpose I believe memories are meant for—to help you through tough times. Nina and Eduardo can’t be replaced but they can be remembered. Spend time with your friends and make memories. Memories last forever.
(Ed. Note: My friendship with Nina went back 15 years, with Ed from the first time they met. Since their death, much has been written and discussed concerning Nina, but not so much about Ed. Yet, he was an exceptional man, with perhaps his greatest “credit” the enormous love and admiration his children and grandchildren had for him. Not all ex-pats can claim this distinction, but as someone who has never had children, I can think of no greater legacy.)