Tag Archives: death

No Coincidences in Life ðŸŒ´

They say that people come in and out of your life for a reason/purpose. Sometimes we know the purpose immediately, other times we don’t. And sometimes we don’t realize the purpose until they have left. Some stay in your life forever and others for seconds, perhaps minutes. 

I remember listening to an audio book years ago called “The 5 people you meet in Heaven”. I picked up the book after hearing Hoda Kotb, an NBC Journalist speak about the impact the book had on her and how it helped her get through some really tough times. I too took to the book thinking who will be the 5 people I meet in Heaven and why? 

In the book, the author speaks about Eddie, an older man who met his untimely death while trying to save a little girl and now he’s going through the five stages of Heaven, meeting a person in each of the stages. 

Each person means something and there was a lesson to be learned at each stage. I remember one of the lessons he learned was that there are no random events in life and all individuals and experiences are connected in some way.  Simply put, there are no coincidences.


As I lay here, writing and thinking – today (Monday, June 19th), marks the 1-week anniversary of a man I never knew, I never spoke to him, I never heard his voice, I never once saw him in the street, yet I was chosen by some divine force to witness his untimely death; to kneel beside his helpless and injured body. I just stood there, asking him for his wife’s phone number so I can call her – but no response (yet I wonder if he heard me). He was slowly drifting away. I can feel it, I knew it – I knew he was on his way to Heaven. Felt it coming when the bus I was on was traveling behind him, then next to him and then he was gone…. it was at that point that I felt this connection. I was immediately heart broken for this man and his family. I didn’t know why! I’ve played the scene over and over in my head – thanking God for sparing me the picture of seeing his body being run over by the 3,000 pound bus I was on. But it didn’t matter that I didn’t see the actual impact, I knew it was going to happen the minute we came to close and the bus driver decided to pass him. He was to my right – I can see him and then I couldn’t ~ 

I later learned he died and it felt like I lost a friend! I went home that evening and cried and cried – all night! Woke up hurt, confused and angry. I had to stay home. I began to think that there was something I needed to do besides tell the truth to the media who had the story wrong. So I reached out to the bus company to give my statement, but no call back – no call back till this day.

I spoke to my mom minutes after and it was at that moment that I realized I needed to connect with his family, at least to hear their voice, see a picture, to tell them that he did nothing wrong – he was an innocent cyclist riding to work that morning. It brought me some peace when his wife immediately responded to me and later his two friends. I spoke to one of them several times since the accident but I know they need to heal – so I give them space. 

I suppose I’ve done my part in telling the truth, in giving peace to his family… but still, this man weighs heavy in my thoughts and I ask myself why? 

It’s taken me a week to start writing, to process, to reflect – I know I have to begin to heal and move away from this but I’m just not sure how and if that’s even possible. My bus mates ask how I’m doing and I am grateful. Some ask “what happened?” and it conjures up ill feelings but I know they mean well. My friends and family have been supportive and I’m blessed. Some don’t ask because they know it’s hard.

My anxiety goes through the roof the moment I take my seat on that bus, the moment he/she presses on the break, the moment I see us come close to a bike – I close my eyes! It’s wicked I tell you but I fight through it, every morning and evening since the accident.  

But I ask myself as I lay in my bed – “why me?” 

Why me? As the book stated – there are no random incidents. Something I’ve often stated in my writings “everything happens for a reason”….

But still, why me? Like I haven’t already lost people who have meant the world to me either through death or separation. Like I haven’t gone through enough shit in my 44 years of life! Like I haven’t cried and hurt enough! Why the fuck me and why now? 

Why do I have to lay here and cry – why? (I have no idea why the eye doctor said I have dry eyes – I swear they have no problems producing tears!! Lol – now stop crying – I want you to read past this…we got this far and because truth be told, it’s also hard for me to write if I’m balling.. this is going to stop now!) I think…maybe not! 


(Con’d… 6/20) 

So back to why? I initially thought (and still believe) that I was meant to be on that bus to be his eyes and ears! To speak out the truth to all who got the story wrong. To be able to tell his wife that her husband was the victim of a bad accident and that there was nothing he could do to avoid it (he didn’t see it coming). But there’s more to the why, there has to be. 

I now realize that the why also means that I needed a reality check! That I needed to open up my eyes and see this beautiful world we live in and that no matter the bad apples who come into your life to deplete your energy, there are so many beautiful apples (seeds) to be planted, groomed, to be picked, savored and enjoyed. 

That no matter how bad things may feel or get, that your perception of those times are flawed by the circumstance and doesn’t means it’s forever!

That life is filled with so many beautiful things, people and opportunities, and that WE MUST make time for those we love, WE MUST make time to take care of ourselves first and others, that WE MUST appreciate the good, the bad and the ugly because it teaches us so many lessons, that WE MUST live each day as if it was our last because we NEVER know when it’ll be our last and lastly, WE MUST always do right by our neighbor! It doesn’t matter what, why or how; when someone needs you or when you are called to the aid of someone by some divine calling – you just go! 

So that’s my WHY! 

Rest in eternal peace the friend I never knew – you join the many amazing men I know in Heaven 🌴 

#DanHanegby #06122017 – Thank you for opening my eyes once again! ❤️🙏🏽

  

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My Papi

March 25, 1996

17 years ago, just 20 days before the birth of my precious girl (my gift in disguise), just 9 days after my baby shower, I was awoken by the call – my brother’s words “you gotta come to the hospital, papi passed”…….

Just minutes before I was semi-asleep in my parents bed (after spending the day next to his hospital bed), resting my head on my father’s pillow and sleeping on his side of the bed – when I felt “it”, I felt “him” – I know he was saying goodbye, just minutes before my brothers call!

I have never written about my father’s untimely death and the devastation we all felt, the hole that still exists in my heart, the pain that comes every now and then, abruptly – because I get a wind of his scent, I hear a similar laugh, the look of a man’s eyes that resembles his, or a song we danced too – all gentle reminders of my father and while it brings a smile to my face, it is also a gentle reminder that he is not here. He’s not here to see my kids – oh how he would’ve loved all his grandchildren.

The joy that he was able to meet my son and my neice was a blessing! The thought that as he laid dead in a hospital bed, the blanket that covered him read “Angelica” – his way of telling me that he loved my girl even though she wasn’t born yet & he will not be meeting her!

You never quite get over the loss of a parent – I don’t care what anyone says! There’s so much I want to tell him and share with him; to be able to dance one more salsita with him, to hear his voice or his corny laugh, to hear him play his congas – if only I can get that one chance! There’s so much I want to tell you about my papi, but the words just aren’t flowing….

Did I mention this is not easy – not even 17 years later; wow how time flies by!

He was just 44 years old when he died, he had pneumonia and had a heart attack! Let’s just say this was the last thing on my mind when I left him at the hospital a couple of hours before, riddled with a high fever, his olive skin flushed by the high temp, his green eyes pale – I told him “te quiero, te veo mañana”, he mustered “tabien” through his oxygen mask. I never did see him alive after!

Funny how I remember every second of that day as if it were yesterday!

Amazing that I still recognize his smell, his laugh – but if I can only hear him again!

My papi, so much to tell him, so much for him to see, he would be 61 this year – damn, why did he have to leave us so soon!

I was once so mad at the world – how can everyone carry on with their lives, laugh and celebrate? Did they know my father just passed away and we were all so devastated, so broken!

I gave his eulogy, I kissed him goodbye forever on March 30th – we buried him; but I know that he lives in my heart, my soul, my memory and my spirit and none of it will ever be taken from me.

I talk to him a lot, for I know he visits me; I see him in my dreams a lot, that is how he talks to me; I stare at his pictures often, wondering what he would be like now, how different life would be with him in it!

Damn, I miss my papi so much for so many reasons – I can’t even put it into words!

Love your parents despite their faults because we are not perfect – far from it. In my eyes, my father was my king despite his faults – he’ll always be my king! Nothing else matters!!

My mother taught me strength and resilience, my father – he taught me to have self-respect, taught me that a man and a women are equals, that a man should love, respect and honor a women and the importance of family…

I’ll write about him one day, share with you all stories about how he made us laugh, our trips to the park, our family Sunday’s; I guess today was not the day.

Papi, te ago mucha falta y te quiero para siempre! Nunca te olvidare, nunca!

Raul Perez – my dad ❤

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Anticipation

The past week has been tough emotionally; my grandmother is ill & frail and seems to be riding the #1 train to and from health! One minute it’s the dreaded “she’s not doing well” call to the “she told the lady next door (roomate) to shut-up because she was complaining too much” call. Not even sure whether or not to answer my mother’s or siblings call because the truth is, I don’t know how I am going to feel when the caller says “she’s gone”.

The anticipation makes your heart race when you least expect it; the anticipation makes your mind wander whenever there is a break in your otherwise busy day; the anticipation puts life in perspective – making sure you live your day to the fullest because you know someone you love is not so lucky to be living-it-up! The anticipation just makes you really really sad because you know deep in your soul, someone you love dearly, someone who helped to raise you, someone who fed you, played “jacks and jump rope” with you, someone who you cooked with and cooked for you, someone who you watched novelas with, someone who let you do corn-braids in her hair just because, someone you went on walks with, someone who just lived right around the corner and someone you can count on sitting in her chair by the window so when you walk by you can look up and wave and she’ll wave back – anticipation because that someone, my welita, is slowly withering.

No longer that feisty, cute, rambunctious lady who was not afraid, despite her 4foot presence, to tell you to shut-it-up!! She’s no longer able to take her walks to McDonald’s for her burger because she was “not cooking”; she’s no longer able to get her friday afternoon pizza, or wash clothes in the laundramat across the street.

Sad that she can no longer do these things; she’s now bed-ridden being cared for by family and hospice!

The anticipation of imagining life without my welita is heart breaking and no matter how prepared you think you are, the truth is that the anticipation drains you, stabs you at your heart, pinches at the nerves and just makes you really sad!

Oh the anticipation…….my welita

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