The Best And The Worst Weekend Of My Life At The Same Damn Time

weekend

The weekend of September of 23rd has forever changed me. I published my very first article on Very Smart Brothas and it was well-received. Who knew that the topic would  directly affect me in less than 48 hours? After writing for other people and stifling my writing voice, I started my own blog site in early 2015 and one of my goals was to write for VSB. Goal achieved. YES! And as if life couldn’t get any better, I was about to partake in “Magical Dining Orlando” at Capital Grille with Sili and Jess on September 24th. Because who doesn’t like gourmet food for cheap? And we needed to toast dreams and shit.

Yeah…that weekend was on its way to be the most lit weekend EVER. Life was good.

It must’ve been those 4 mojitos de uvas and the shot of Stoli because I ended up spending the night at Sili’s house due to being too tired to drive home. I fell asleep and was sleeping peacefully and at 1:30 am (9/25/2016)- I popped up fully rested with the overwhelming urge to go home. As I sat up, Pedro (Sili’s brother) asks was I ok. I just told him that I needed to get home and to tell Sili that I would text her when I got home. I walked out of the house wide awake. It’s a 10 minute drive so it’s not like I had far to go. I arrived home and all of sudden- I was incredibly sleepy AGAIN. It was weird but I blew it off. I slept like a baby.

Weekend

September 25th at 10:51 am, my mother called me. What she said next crippled me. My mother was sobbing uncontrollably and my heart sank. You see as much as I love living out of state, one of my biggest fears is to receive the phone call that I received this particular morning.

“He’s gone. Pedro is dead.” 

Pause.  No. no. no. no. Just NO. My stepdad and the love of my mami’s life was gone in an instant. In one 24 hour period, the best weekend of my life had now become the worst. He transitioned at 1:19 am. Roughly around the same time that rose from a dead sleep with the nagging urge to go home. While I celebrated life twelve hours prior, my padrastro was fighting for his.

Have you ever had that feeling where you couldn’t think and that’s all you wanted do? Like you wanted to jump outside of your inner consciousness because the noise was too much inside your head. That’s how I felt as I tried to process what Mami had just told me. Between hearing my mami’s pain through her tears, worrying about how to tell my daughter and not falling apart- shit was looking really bleek now. Death is inevitable and it is a part of life but this can’t be. Not now. Not him.

Later on that day, he let us know that he was there. It gave us a little comfort.

My stepdad was a great guy. He came from Santiago, Cuba to the states via Guantanamo. He was a jack of all trades and FLY. We have a running joke that he would build a house in a 3- piece suit. His smile was infectious and EVERYBODY loved him. He ADORED my mami! He wrote and sang her love songs. He was a doting “buelo” to our children. We were his family.  En momentos bonitos y feos.

These same qualities caused strife at times. People took advantage of his kindness and he knew it. My mami is a ferocious protector of the people who she loves and this was a sore spot with her. He loved everybody. Even the assholes who didn’t do right by him.

I worry about my mother because even though she is the strongest woman I know- she has suffered an incredible loss. Even though my marriage isn’t perfect, I can’t imagine my life without my husband.

His death is teaching us an ostensibly bigger message I suppose. We may not be in a position to figure that out right now. I am just struggling to not cry everyday to be honest. The breakdowns are random. Triggers have no rhyme or reason. I have broken down publicly. I’m talking about wailing at the register in my neighborhood grocery store. My mami is surprisingly strong. Or is it that she’s doing what a matriarch does? Take care of others before herself. She is comforting us when it should be the other way around. She speaks of him with love, sadness and even anger and it switches within minutes. It’s ok. She loves him and he knows her heart.

I just know that Pedro wouldn’t want us to sit here crying and feeling sadness. But we take it day by day. Moment by moment. Right now… isn’t a good one for me. What do you do when everybody’s gone? Will Mami be ok? Those are the thoughts that run through my mind.

For now, all we can do is live and love each other. Pedro would have wanted that. This weekend makes two weeks since he passed and it hasn’t gotten any easier. The emptiness still lingers but we are thankful for the time we had with him.

We love you, Pedi! We hope that you know how much joy you brought to our family.

These words best describe you and how you lived your life. En paz,  que te descanses!

“Todo aquel que piense que la vida es desigual,

Tiene que saber que no es así,

Que la vida es una hermosura, hay que vivirla
Todo aquel que piense que está solo y que está mal,
Tiene que saber que no es así,
Que en la vida no hay nadie solo, siempre hay alguien
Ay, no hay que llorar, que la vida es un carnaval,
y es mas bello vivir cantando
Oh, oh, oh, Ay, no hay que llorar,
que la vida es un carnaval
y las penas se van cantando
Oh, oh, oh, Ay, no hay que llorar,
que la vida es un carnaval,
y es mas bello vivir cantando
Oh, oh, oh, Ay, no hay que llorar,
que la vida es un carnaval
y las penas se van cantando
Todo aquel que piense que la vida siempre es cruel,
Tiene que saber que no es así,
Que tan solo hay momentos malos, y todo pasa
Todo aquel que piense que esto nunca va a cambiar,
Tiene que saber que no es así,
Que al mal tiempo buena cara, y todo pasa
Ay, no hay que llorar, que la vida es un carnaval,
y es mas bello vivir cantando
Oh, oh, oh, Ay, no hay que llorar,
que la vida es un carnaval
y las penas se van cantando
Oh, oh, oh, Ay, no hay que llorar,
que la vida es un carnaval,
y es mas bello vivir cantando
Oh, oh, oh, Ay, no hay que llorar,
que la vida es un carnaval
y las penas se van cantando
Carnaval
Es para reír
No hay que llorar
Para Gozar
Carnaval
Para disfrutar
Hay que vivir cantando
Carnaval
La vida es un carnaval
No hay que llorar
Todo podemos cantar
Carnaval
Ay, Señores
Hay que vivir cantando
carnaval
Todo aquel que piense
No hay que llorar
Que la vida es cruel
Carnaval
Nunca estará solo
Hay que vivir cantando
Dios está con él
Para aquellos que se quejan tanto
Para aquellos que solo critican
Para aquellos que usan las armas
Para aquellos que nos contaminan
Para aquellos que hacen la guerra
Para aquellos que viven pecando
Para aquellos nos maltratan
Para aquellos que nos contagian”

 

 

K. Araújo, a native Detroiter, is a cross between Claire Huxtable, Rosie Pérez and Millie Jackson. Widow, professional dragger of filth and Mami to the dopest Ethiopian EVER, she is the Editor in Chief of "Negra With Tumbao" and a Staff Writer for "The Urban Twist". Keka has been known to shake what her mama gave her, is the hell and high water, an expert salsera and cussologist with a penchant for the finer things in life and is and forever shall be- unapologetically black.
  • I’m so sorry this happened. Your stepfather sounded like a wonderful guy.

  • Kae

    I’m so sorry for you and your family’s loss.

    Also glad to see your work on VSB , I really liked that article.

  • I pray peace is with you and loving comfort surrounds you… oh yeah… and congrats too!

  • Val

    Beautiful tribute, NWT.

    *eHUG*

  • Mary Burrell

    I so sorry for your loss he sounded like a beautiful soul.

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