April 12th is, quite honestly, a day I dread every single year. It symbolizes the worst day in my life. In my amazing Mother's life. In my brilliant Father's life. And in my always there for me Brother's life.
Today it's been over 20 years ... over 20 years since Carlos passed away. Carlos. My brother. My brother, who was 13 and died in a car accident.
And you would think every year it would get better. You would think that since I was 7 I wouldn't remember. But I do. We don't give children enough credit for what they remember. Because I remember. So vividly, so many things.
And I've typed a ton of them before on this blog. I believe I've blogged on April 12th for the last three years. I never miss blogging on this day because interestingly enough, I feel COMPELLED to write. I'm not nearly as productive in work, I just sit and look outside a window trying to keep tears from flowing even harder (they're pretty constant on this day).
But today I just don't think I can type them. They'd be too raw. Too painful. I don't think people understand these kinds of loss in a family until they've experienced them. I'm not trying to say that others don't know what pain is. But when I have people repeat OVER and OVER that "losing my Grandpa was so hard, I get it" or "I lost my Dad so I know" it does upset me.
You see, your Grandpa isn't your brother. Trust me, I was SO close to my grandparents ... I mean, I named my daughter after my Grandmother who lived with us for years. But my Grandma was 82 when she passed. Carlos was 13. Carlos had SO much life yet to live. I know we shouldn't compare grief, but that's just raw honesty ...
And it's more than that. My Mom was the one driving the car and I know ... I know she has so much guilt that she walks with everyday. She often cries and tells me she feels we blame her. I can never tell her enough times I would NEVER blame her. The phrase, THINGS HAPPEN holds so true here. Car accidents happen. ALL.THE.TIME.
But her pain, it kills me. It really does. My Dad's pain. My brother's pain. Mine is so insignificant. Who cares about me? It's them. I just want to hug them all. Hug them so tight and be so thankful they're in my life.
Then there's my little family here. Today Liliana and Gloria are going to Meme's house while Evan and I can have a date. I contemplated this decision many times. On the one hand I wanted to squeeze my two girls and never let them go today more than ever. On the other hand, when I did squeeze them this morning I immediately started crying. I don't want my girls seeing me like that.
Don't get me wrong. These girls will know the truth. They will know why I'm so strict about seat belts. They will know Carlos was amazing. They will know their Tata (my Mom) is the strongest person on this planet. But they're too young to even BEGIN to comprehend it.
So instead of going out, I asked Evan if we could just come back home and cook dinner together. He's on call (surprise! haha, yeah right) for another 84 hours straight, but hopefully he won't have to go just for a few hours. I need his arms. I need his shoulder.
We plan on watching some HGTV (a guilty pleasure of ours as we look around our house and see things we can't afford to redo), cooking together, and just some crying and grieving, and remembering.
I think that's all ok. I don't know how to handle this day.
But that's how I'll handle it and this is how I'll tackle it this year.
1 day ago