“Hey Ra, I don’t know what’s going on but please call me back. We don’t have to talk or get into details I just want to make sure you’re ok.”
That was two weeks ago….
I’m still waiting for a response.
I texted him saying I loved him…no response.
I texted him on his birthday…again, no response
I’ve reread all our messages multiple times, I’ve replayed voice messages, and I’ve looked through pictures of us, it doesn’t make sense. Just two weeks ago, everything was fine, everything was normal. No matter what I do I know nothing will make him respond, he’s gone…forever.
Never had I imagined that Ra’s departure would be so sudden, I assumed that since he was young and healthy he had a whole lifetime ahead. There was nothing that could have alluded to what was to come. I’d heard from him the day before and in typical Ra fashion, he was joking around. Upon learning the devastating news, I was incredulous, numb, and heartbroken. That night in my sleepless solitude, childhood memories came to mind. I remembered the time we were five and six and decided it was ok to walk home from school. The looks on our mom’s faces were priceless and we got the yelling of a lifetime. I especially remember how he loved to tell the story about the time I wanted him to play Barbie’s with me and offered him Ken, the jeep, and convertible. Despite my generous offer, he refused and I took out my anger by biting him and locking him in the closet with a naked Barbie. He was more than my cousin; he’d been my neighbor, schoolmate, wingman, and partner in crime. He was taken too soon in the most unnatural and unimaginable way, murder.
When we are forced to face the death of a loved one, we begin to question our own mortality. We wonder how much time we have left and if we are using our time adequately. We begin to reevaluate our actions, motives, and priorities. Tennessee Williams wrote, “death is one moment, life is so many of them.” I can’t help but wonder why we wait for the one moment that is too late to say all that was left unsaid. How silly are we? Many moments of laughter and joy could have been amplified if we chose to say the words left unspoken. Why wait when it’s too late to tell a body how much you love them when we had plenty of time to enrich a soul with those words of love? Ra’s death made me realize that too many times I forget to say aloud how much I love and appreciate those around me. I’ve done some crazy things in my lifetime but the craziest thing I’ve done is not manifest my heart’s feelings. All relationships whether that of family, friends, or lovers; need to be continuously cultivated with words and gestures of love. We reap what we sow and when we plant the seeds of love; our relationships can only grow and flourish beyond our expectations.
So many unspoken rules and regulations exist when it comes to relationships and courtships. We always take the backseat approach and wait for the other person to take initiative in expressing feelings. Fear and uncertainty are the only things that hold us back. If I could go back to the last time I heard from Ra, I would have texted back a lot more than “lmao.” If I could go back to the last time I saw the object of my affection I would have told him he means more to me than he thinks. If I could go back to the last time I saw one of my ex best friends I would have told her that I loved her like a sister despite our fall out. I can’t change the past but I can change what’s to come. When my time comes to leave this earth I hope that at one point I brought a smile to the faces and warmth to the hearts of all those I love most importantly I hope that I don’t take with me words that were left unspoken.
Ra taught me how beat Mario Brothers, throw a mean right hook, what to say to boys, and how to be a good friend among other things. Most importantly I learned the following lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life and pass on to my children. I learned that a smile can create happiness, kind words can create wonders, and love can create miracles. Don’t be afraid to express your love to the girls and guys unlike any other in your life.
Love deeply, laugh loudly, and live fully!
PS Follow me on twitter @gabytovar618