It was 7 years ago when my grandfather died. I can vaguely remember what happened but I'll try my best. It was Thanksgiving and my dad had to work. My cousin Anita, who was pregnant with her second child, and her husband Bobby were over helping my mom prepare the food. I was just sitting at the table watching what was going on when the phone rang. My mom answers and hangs up looks over with a very sad face. Anita and Bobby had sat at the table and I had begun making my way to my room. That's when my mom said those words, "Guys, your tata killed himself." (AN: Tata is another way to say grandfather in Spanish. If you don't want to believe me, go ahead.)
I went on saying, "I don't care!" while Anita and my mom started crying and Bobby just sat there trying to comfort them. I ascended into my room and some time later my mom called me to tell me something. I remember what she said, "Diana, when your dad gets home don't tell him that his dad is dead." I nodded and skipped back to my room. Remember, I was 7 at the time so it really didn't hit me what had actually happened and didn't understand what death actually meant.
I heard my dad's car came and I ran outside to greet him. I held his hand leading him into the room. Not actually saying anything while I was with him. When we got inside, he looked over with a confused look on his face seeing the crying women. My mom finally spoke after a couple of seconds, "Pete, your dad killed himself." I remember my dad saying, "What?!" with a bit of disbelief in his voice. No one bothered to actually finish the food. My dad took off into his room and began to pack for his trip to Yuma, Arizona where my nana and tata lived. Bobby went to him and told him something and I remember walking outside with my mom, Anita, Anita's daughter Aleena, and my younger brother and sister. My dad put his stuff in Bobby's trunk and they were off to Anita and Bobby's house so Bobby could pack before they made their trip.
The next day, I don't really remember. I remember the car ride and my mom and Anita talking but nothing else. When I got there my dad was sitting in the chair my grandfather always use to sit in. He didn't say anything. Just sat there in a trance-like state. We went inside to find all my other relatives there. I sat down and was soon joined by my cousin Karissa. We sat and talked a while and that's all I remember.
The next day we drove to some place, my mom and one of my uncles stood outside with us kids. We were playing around and after a while I walked over close to my mom and started swinging around on a pole. I heard my mom say, "I can't believe he's dead." Upon hearing that I said, "I don't care!" and kept on swinging. They just stared at me without saying a word.
That night, we drove down to Mexico for his funeral. We pulled up in front of a church and I felt uncomfortable. Before we could answer we had to wait for the people that were currently in there. When the door opened people ran out smiling and laughing and out came a bride and groom with rice being thrown at them. They were so happy and we were so miserable. How funny it was to come across such a happy occasion when we were there to say goodbye to someone dear to us. We went inside and sat down. The priest was talking in Spanish so I understood nothing. (AN: My Spanish is very limited.) My two year old brother and sister, who had been sleeping woke up with a cry. We got up and went outside. My mom and dad calmed them down but no one wanted to go back in the church. So, we left.
I found out the next morning they didn't bury him, they had him cremated and we were going to throw his ashes around later. That's an experience I'll never forget. We went to this odd place. My cousins and I were throwing rocks into the canal that was near us. I walked back up to see everyone crying. I walked over towards my father who was crying while he threw the ashes into the sand. I walked down the rocky slop to the cross I had spotted. On it in said "Pedro Luna Ojeda 1928-1997". I stared at it for a while then ascended back up. Walking across the dirt road I walked to my uncle Cesar who held my grandfather's ashes in his hands, tears just streaming down his face while whispered something into the ashes before he threw them. My mom walked up to me and told me to go and give my cousin Irma a hug. I just walked over to where she was and stared at her while she cried. Karissa came up to me and asked me if I wanted to touch the ashes with her, I did, so we touched them. Once I touched them I just got the feeling of sadness and just sat there in the dirt until everyone was finished. We didn't celebrate Thanksgiving that year.
Until this day, when we go back to that spot I still get that feeling of sadness. Stare at the cross that still sits there and throw rocks into the canal as I did that day. I watch the video my dad filmed the day after my grandfather died and see the blood that was left on the seat where he had killed himself. I wish I could remember him but all I have is one memory.. Me walking outside to play with the dogs and him turning to look at me without saying a word. That was actually one of the last times I ever saw him alive at that. Now I sit here, a 14 year old thinking about how I said, "I don't care!" back then. I've now realized, why I said that. I was a silly 7 year old who didn't understand the concept of death. How I wish I could see him and tell him how much I really do care.