As I write this, David, Laura, Alex and I find ourselves in Albuquerque, NM. This morning I received very sad news. We lost a dear member of our family...my brother in law, Robert Estrada. He leaves behind a wife (my sister Gaby) and two teenage boys, Tony and Santos. My kids lost a beloved uncle today. I lost a brother.
Robert was a person who loved his family deeply. We never questioned his love for us. This is a huge loss for my daughter Laura (age 14). My son Alex, only 7 years old, now has to experience a loss he cannot yet comprehend. I told him his uncle is now in heaven. It broke my heart when Alex cried and asked, "who will hang out with me early in the mornings?" You see, when the kids and I spend two weeks each summer in El Paso, we stay at my sister's home. We are all night owls, except for Alex. Although Robert would also stay up late, he was the one person Alex could count on to wake up early in the morning. He would take care of Alex. Find tv shows about dinosuars, even get Alex some breakfast. Robert cherished the time he spent with Laura and Alex and they cherished the time they spent with their uncle.
Since Alex is so young it is hard for him to undertstand. When I told Alex he now has someone in heaven who will watch over him, it gave him some comfort. I lost my uncle when I was only 4 years old. That was my first experience with death and it affected me deeply. My uncle lived with us at the time and he was only 18 years old when he died. Although I was only 4 years old, I have never forgotten him. I have always believed he has watched over me all these years. My mom helped me keeps his memory alive. I will do the same for Alex, and help him to never forget his uncle Robert.
Tomorrow, we plan on an early start as we drive to El Paso, TX. I want to be with my sister and the rest of my family. It will be difficult to go to their home and know that Robert is gone. Next summer...I can't even think that far ahead.
Robert, I know you are in a better place...we love you and we will all miss you more than words can express...rest in peace.
|Robert Estrada, summer 2011|