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.
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