It’s already been a year and I still can’t believe it. I think it’s a nightmare, that I’m still in the middle of a dream, that this isn’t actually happening to me…
One year ago Chema left us and went to heaven forever, forever, forever. He left us with a very big void. He was my other half. We shared a dream and a life project. And now he is no longer here on earth with us. He left at the halfway point in our journey of life, since now we might live to be 100 years old…
I miss how you held my hand when we walked around our neighborhood; your look when I overreacted and told me, “relax”; how you would prepare the bed every night even if you were upset with me or in pain because of the illness that the doctors couldn’t detect; I remember how we would joke about who would die first. You would tell me, “I’ll go first because you can’t leave me alone with so many children. Besides, you would be the happy widow, you would mourn me, but then you would be going from here to there…”
I’m writing to you with tears in my eyes that make it hard for me to see the computer screen. I don’t cry much, after Chema’s death it seems all my tears have dried up. I must say, living day-to-day in such a large family leaves very little time to think about you and your worries: between work and the other thousands of unforeseen things that happen in such a large family, time really flies!
The other day I realized that I have to keep track of the agenda of 7 of my kids that don’t have a cell phone, but when they all play on soccer and basketball teams they have to let me know when a game has been postponed, where the game will be played, if they have been told to be somewhere… Then there are the group chats for each child’s class in school… Thank God that my kids in university can take care of their own schedules!
Sometimes we don’t understand why things happen, and we don’t stop asking ourselves, “why?” Our intellect is very limited. There are things we will only understand when we get to heaven and so we shouldn’t make a martyr out of ourselves trying to understand the reason behind everything—after all, it’s incomprehensible why the father of 15 children could leave in just 12 days.
This year, many beautiful things happened in our family. The latest was the publishing of a book, “To My Brother Chema: The Letter I Never Wrote You,” written by my brother-in-law, Miguel. It’s selling quite well and helping many people, because people need role models that have lived in the 21st Century, of their time, their era. Role models that have had the same problems they encounter each day so they can see how they might have solved them. If they can solve them, so can I: find the solution, forgive, forget, be happy.
The other day, a mother I ran into at my daughter’s basketball game was telling me, “Rosa, I read the book about Chema and I was blown away… I only knew your husband from seeing him cheer on your daughter when she played on the same team as my daughter. I would see him come to the games with all his kids on Saturdays for the morning game—he was always smiling and so peaceful. I thought to myself: clearly, life has been very easy on him… But geez, Rosa, tell me what has not happened to your husband… I have to tell you it’s a powerful book but it’s very hard to read too much at a time, even though it really hooks you. I cried with the book, but it is very encouraging. I’m convinced it will help a lot of people.”
Chema, we miss you a lot, keep taking care of us from heaven just as you’ve been doing. Thank you! Thank you so much!
This post was originally published on comoserfelizconunodostreshijos.com on March 6th, 2018.