Each year we all celebrate the end of one era and the beginning of another with a bang. We dance, we eat, we drink, we stay up late and send messages to our loved ones far away. Even if we don't do all these things, we are always happy to toast and welcome the new year with the expectation that it will be better than the last and that we will be making changes to improve upon our bodies, minds, and attitudes.
This year it was difficult to celebrate the last week of the year. On December 23rd 2014 seven of my family members were traveling from New York to Florida to celebrate the season. Among them were my younger sister Clarabel, my older sister Alba and her husband Juan, their two kids Juan Carlos and Danielly, my aunt Maria and her son Luis.
You could not find a happier, funnier, more lively group of people with whom to spend the holidays.
On this fateful day they were involved in a tragic car accident where of the seven, only three survived. My older sister Alba and her kids Juan Carlos 23 and Danielly 19. My sister sustained a wrist fracture and knee injury, she will have a full recovery; Juan Carlos had a shattered hip and dislocated knee, he will also have a full recovery after 6-8 weeks and physical therapy. Danielly suffered a head injury that will require more extensive, long term care, therapy and a lot of time, patience, and dedication on the part of her caregivers. We are still praying that she will, in time, recover so that she may be able to continue her education and reach her career goals.
As for the deceased, they are sorely missed. I can't begin to describe the emptiness in our hearts. The desire to send them a text or a quick call to see what they're up to. It's hard to wrap my mind around the facts, it's hard to believe they are gone never to celebrate with us again.
I had the pleasure and amazing opportunity to visit with my little sister Clarabel this past October. She came to my home and stayed with us for a week of exercise, my crazy kids, fun in the town, and some quiet time just sharing life stories in general. I loved our time together and I am thankful we had this time and did not put it off to do "some day" because as we have learned this past week, some day sometimes doesn't ever come.
In memory of my loved ones who are now angels in heaven I promise to focus more on the here and now and less on the "some day" that may never come.
The family has a hard road ahead, emotionally, financially, and physically. Recovering from this accident will not be easy but we are strong and have the support of our amazing community.
If you find it in you heart, please say a prayer, make a donation, and remember to always wear your seat belts, no matter what seat you happen to be in the vehicle.
Have a safe New Year!