Thursday, April 12, 2012

Missing Him Today, and Forever

On April 12th of every year, I always have my entire heart to lay out.  This year is no exception.

The pain of missing my brother so desparately that it hurts.  The pain of knowing that he would have met his nieces and nephews.  The pain of not seeing who he would have become. 

April 12th is, by far, my least favorite day of the year.

It's the day that my father told my brother and I "there has been a car accident.  Carlos didn't make it."

It's, I believe, the last time I saw my father cry.  It was, by far, the time I've seen my brother cry harder than I thought possible.  And it was the day that a little 7 year old girl realized her normal bubbly personality couldn't fix this situation.  It was the day my Mom felt more pain than I can imagine.  It was the day she saw her son die in her arms.

Nearly 20 years later, I can't think about this without breaking down in tears. And as I sit here, tears stream down my face, and I know there is absoultely nothing I can do other than cry. 

And the thing is, I think of Carlos every single day.  I literally thank God (or whatever being there is) every day for my parents and my brother, Danny.  For the family I do have.  Even on days that they frustrate me, I am so thankful for them because not everybody has both parents or a sibling. 

Throughout the day, I usually do a great job of staying strong at work.  Nobody has any clue that years ago, on this day, my brother was taken from us.  But the second I see Evan?  I know I will break down.  I always do the second he gives me a hug and says "I haven't stopped thinking about you today."

And sometimes he cries with me.  He never met Carlos, obviously (since I was 7) but he cries.  For us.  For his family.

He told me late last night that he thought of bringing me flowers today but then realized there was nothing he could do to make it better.  And he didn't want me to see those flowers every time I was in the kitchen and get more upset.  I told him the thought of it meant more than the flowers, and that I agreed.  I would have intentionally avoided that area of the home.  There's nothing you can give, other than a hug, a kiss, and love on a day like today.

God.  That's another topic that my mind is on alot at this time of year.  Religion is a topic I rarely talk about on this blog, or with anybody for that matter.  It's a very difficult topic for me because I can change my mind 180 degrees in the span of 5 minutes.  I know I'm blessed with so much, but it is also so difficult to understand why, if there is a God, he would put a family through something like this.

And I hate when people say "you weren't raised in a church, you poor thing."  Or when people say "your parents should believe in God more and this wouldn't have happened."

Those stupid ass comments are the ones that make me never want to go to church again. 

I don't judge people on their religion.  I want my children to grow up with loving, caring, nonjudgmental people and role models in their lives.  To be kind, to be honest, and to be loyal.  I don't care if that role model is religious or not. 

This year, I have probably felt the most "religious" that I have felt in over 10 years.  I don't know why.  Maybe because I've been blessed with wonderful children, etc., but I hate that I doubt when bad things happen.  I suppose I'm not strong enough to not doubt.  And sometimes, when I say doubt, that means I don't believe for years.  And this is just the way I'll be until I die.  This event, this DAY in my life, has made this so and if people judge me for it?  Let them.  I am done trying to change that component of my life.  I will never 100% know where I fall on this topic, and that is just going to have to be ok.

Carlos was a handsome, BRILLIANT (no seriously, he was that kind of scary brilliant.  IQ had him at genius level, not exaggerating) boy.  A boy that was so kind.  So curious.  So interesting.  So wonderful with his sister.

The day before Carlos went on his field trip with his classmates, he babysat me.  He didn't complain.  He LIKED babysitting his 7 year old sister.

And we played a game where he would put clues around the house until I found the "prize."  i don't even know what the prize was ... don't remember the reward.  Just remember the game.  Funny huh?

That night, I remember he hid the prize in the fridge.  There was a clue in the bench in the piano telling me to head to the fridge and I ran through the house laughing my head off wanting my prize.  And I remember him chasing after me, timing me, and screaming "come on Cristina!" 

Those memories.  I will never forget.  EVER.


  1. I'm so very, very sorry. But it must be comforting to have good memories of him to treasure and to pass onto your kid (and soon to be kids), and to see bits of him in your child(ren).

    On the issue of theodicy (I am a minister's daughter), the conclusion I came to was that if there was a God who had some sort of ability to intervene in our lives, he was a total dick. It's a slippery slope from there to atheism, but I'm a lot happier believing things don't happen for a reason.

  2. So sorry for your loss! I know that pain never really goes away!

  3. I am so sorry, and I know nothing will make it better. He sounds like an amazing brother, and even though I hate aspects of religion, knowing they are possibly at peace some where else always gives me comfort. That's why I still consider myself 'religious', whatever that means. I hope this day goes quickly and with as little pain as possible for you.

  4. I've never commented before, but I follow your blog. I am sorry that people have said those types of religious comments to you. Please know that anyone who says that is not doing a good job of showing their faith. I had a friend who recently died in a tragic accident. While it does not compare to the loss of a brother, I can semi understand how you feel. I grew up babysitting this kid and hanging out with his family. He was the sweetest child imaginable. Everyone liked him; he liked everyone. When my mom told me he died, I was in shock. Not sure if you are interested, but his older brother set up a website in honor of him. It is
    hugs to you!

  5. Constantly amazed by your strength and courage.

  6. I am so very sorry for your loss. You might consider reading Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People by Rabbi Kushner. Yes, it's a religious book BUT it may help answer the question you pose in your post about "why would something like this happen to someone in their prime and to a good family?" It's not fair, and you have every right to question it all. But I highly recommend the book (I bought it after my miscarriage) .... may help you at this point in your faith journey.

  7. P.S. I just saw the first comment, and while Rabbi Kushner doesn't refer to God as a dick (ha!), the premise is basically that God actually can't control everything ... including tragic events like your family experienced.

  8. So sorry for your loss and my heart breaks reading of your pain. I have read the book "Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People" and I do suggest reading it. It's very thought provoking. I'm not sure I agree with all of it... but it does make sense in some ways.

    I cannot believe anyone would make those comments to you...and being a Christian, myself, it makes me sick that other self-proclaimed Christians give us a bad name with those type of comments. ;( For me personally, I view God as on my side. I view the devil as the enemy. I believe that the terrible things that happen to us in this life are a result of the devil and the evil of this world. This temporary life is not perfect, nor did God ever say it would is full of hardships, pain, tragedy, grief. I feel like this life is merely a journey to our true life - eternal life in Heaven. And it is there that no bad things will happen... there where we will have happiness, and peace, and all things good.... and that wonderful, perfect life is ours because of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross.

    I find it hard to explain my beliefs on subjects such as this because it is all so complex. Just know that it is my belief that Jesus loves you and that his heart breaks with yours. "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and rescues those who are crushed in spirit" is one of my favorite verses. (Psalm 34:18)

    Anyway.... I mainly just wanted to say that I'm very sorry for your loss and that I hope you may experience strength and peace that passes all understanding through this difficult time. Focus on that wonderful hubby, beautiful girl, and sweet baby girl in your belly! :) Hugs to you.

  9. I can't even imagine. Thank you for sharing your memories of your brother. I can tell from your words he was (and is) an amazing soul.

  10. One of those moments I say to myself, "Shame on my brothers and sisters in Christ!" Ugh, I'm so so so sorry for the ugly comments and wish that I could personally take them back for those people. None of us know an ounce of what you are going through, but what a blessing it is for me to read about some of your struggle and how your family has carried on Carlos' legacy. Praying that you find peace and an abundance of LOVE through the words and actions of others around you this week. My heart aches for you!

  11. No mere words can express grief or how friends, family, and people in "Blog Land" can write or say anything to help ease the wound. When people use words for judgements and hurt-it shows their insecurity and is a reflection on them. Pay them no mind as that gives them too much thought. It is better to reflect on people who are with you in spirit both in the here and now and in memories from long ago. I think if you played the same game with your daughter and you carried on that tradition, never know...maybe your brother is near you then> I don't consider myself religious (I was raised catholic) but I, shall we say, harken to the spiritual and like to believe in spirits that are there to guide you, talk to and protect you. Maybe he is watching over you always and your children. It is a nice way to think...

  12. I am so sorry for the loss of your Carlos. I lost my younger sister 22 years ago. She had just turned 21. Here are a few things I've learned: People are uncomfortable about death. People don't know what to say. They are afraid they'll make you cry. People can say some really stupid things! I get the whole religion thing. My mother blames every little thing on the fact that we don't attend church. Flat tire? If you would just go to church...

    She should know by now (I'm 47!) that passive aggressive crap doesn't work with me. I believe what I believe. I am a good person who treats others good (sometimes to the detriment of my own family).

    Religion doesn't stop people from doing bad things or being complete assholes. They just believe that Jesus already paid the price for that hey! I get to start all over!

    I shouldn't have gotten started. Just wanted to say...I get you girl!!