As you all know I come from a big family. It's so big that last time I saw my oldest brother was about 20 years ago.
My mother had three children from her first marriage. One of them was Beto. Beto emigrated to the USA at an early age, 16. When he finally got his residency and could travel back and forth to Mexico. He would always stopped at my moms house to see her.
The most wonderful memory I had of him was when I last saw him. I remember him arriving at my moms house on a silver truck. He came towards me and asked me what size of clothes I wore and asked me to follow him. He got on the back of his truck and started opening some boxes and pulling out a lot of clothes. He started throwing at me, jeans, dresses, t~shirts, etc. It felt like Christmas. He did not only made my day, but my whole year.
Beto and I finally got back in touch 3 years ago, when we started talking over the phone. He had retired and decided to start running. So, he contacted me to ask me for a few tips. Our relationship has always been a distant one. Yet, every time we talk, that distance goes away.
Three weeks ago, him and the family suffered an unexpected tragedy. The lost of his oldest daughter, who happened to be the same age as me. Melissa had been found without life in her apartment. The cause is still unknown.
In the mist of all, I knew our brother needed our support. So, me and my sisters who live in Colorado, Norma and Alicia, drove to Dallas, Texas to spend sometime with him and his family. My mother joined us there.
It was heartbreaking to see my brother after 20 years under this circumstances, yet it was in many ways a blessing. We all got the opportunity to be there for him in a time that he really needed us the most.
I know he really appreciated our presence and moral support. We were there for the weekend. In two days we were able to share and spend quality time with his youngest children: Karina, Joana, Nathalie, and Betito.
On Saturday, I went to pace and ran with my nieces at the annual Girls on the Run event in Dallas.
Sunday, we went on a bike ride through the neighborhood. We played board games and even went to a family gathering outside Dallas.
I'm very proud of my brother for doing his very best to move on. As he told us. "This is by far the most painful situation I have ever been into, but I have to move on and be strong for my kids and my family"
I'm glad, my mom and my sisters and I had the opportunity and the means to spend a few days with him and his family.
I know my niece Melissa is proud of all of us, youth and adults, for striving forward. More than ever, I'm determinate to not let go of this opportunity of getting closer with my oldest brother and all his family. The lesson Melissa is teaching us is that no matter the distance or years, Blood is a powerful thing!