Love remembered

It is a fearful thing, to love what death can touch.-Yehuda HaLevi

My sister died a few days ago.

We didn’t see each other much. My dad was married twice and had a whole set of kids before me and my immediate brothers and sisters were born. They were all grown before we came along and had their own lives by the time any of us could talk. But they all were a part of our early lives in important ways we couldn’t imagine back then. Of my dad’s first set of kids I can honestly say I loved them all very much, and wished I would have seen them more. But life separates you just as easily as it brings you together. They all taught me many things throughout their lives.  Some things stick out in my mind more than others.

My oldest brother Jesus taught me about brothers. Before he introduced 10-year-old me as his brother and not his “half-brother” to a group of his friends, I did not know what it meant to share the same blood. He pushed the notion out of my head that there are degrees of anything when it came to brotherhood. We were brothers. That was it. (RIP)

My brother Jose Luis taught me that life was not always fair. He taught me that life will beat you down and try and take everything from you and you can’t let it. He taught me that you can’t always win, but you never give up. You wake up every day and you try. (RIP)

My sister Aurora (who just passed) taught me about strength. If there was ever a human being that you could point to and say “this human being is strong”, it was her. She was a pillar of strength her entire life and worked every day until the last few weeks of life. She had a strong belief in family (9 children) and they made up her entire existence. When I think I am not strong enough to live in this world I think of her. (RIP))

My brother Raul is the only brother I have left that is older than me. He taught me to laugh. I do not recall a single time that we spoke to each other when I was little that we did not joke and laugh about something. He moved far away a long time ago, but I still smile when I think of him. The world needs more people like him.

I have learned a lot from all my brothers and sisters as we all got older. Of my mom’s kids, we are all still around. We are all still going strong, but none of us are young anymore. Some day, and hopefully not anytime soon, there will come a time when one of us is sitting around remembering the rest. I hope our lives are as full as the ones lived by my brothers and sisters that are now gone. I hope the kids and the grandkids are too many to count. I hope the fear of losing those we love is drowned out in the memories we share about them.

I hope we are all remembered as fondly as I remember them.

 

 

11 thoughts on “Love remembered

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  1. I am sorry for your loss. There is one thing you mention that I can relate to a lot.
    I have two sisters. Technically, i have one older sister and one half-sister – 10 years younger than me. Not so long ago, I had a long talk with her mom and she mentioned how much my younger sister suffered in her childhood because she had half sisters and how much it changed her when I said she is my sister. I never referred to her as my half sister and I never will… But apparently, that means a lot.
    I wish you lots of strength. Losing family is never easy. 💜

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m sorry your sister passed away. My sister died last September. She was my half sister, but like you I never saw her as my half sister. It’s just a fact that my family is blended. My mom’s siblings are from different marriages, but the term half sister/brother was never used.

    You never know when our lives will cease. When our family visits are over, we make sure we hug eachother before we leave, because anything can happen to us. I’m sending prayers to you and your family. ♡

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Familia, so important. Your parents did well allowing you to meet each other, I know it’s not always like that.
    I’ll light a candle for Aurora’s soul. A very beautiful name, by the way, something as constant and earthly as she was.

    I’d like Raul to read this, such touching words from his brother, he should know.

    Embrace the ‘saudade’ your sister and brothers inside of you, it’s a blessing. I’m not sure you are familiar with that word since it comes from the Portuguese, my Brazilian friends taught it to me some years ago. It’s not missing someone in the sad melancholic way most of us know, but to miss someone blessing the pain, smiling at it because it means we were lucky enough to meet that person, to make memories with them.

    A hug.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. There’s 3 of us, as far as I know, and we’re all half siblings, but you wouldn’t know it. We’ve talked about if before, we don’t know what it’s like to have a full sibling, but we imagine it would feel the same. A connection to the only people besides your tias allowed to talk shit about your parents.I just think of my love for r&b, hip-hop, rap, and pop… I got that from my sis, heavy metal, grunge, punk rock… from my brother. (Salsa, merenge, disco, and soul from mom) As annoying as Luisa & Luis are at times… they helped shape who I was and who I am. My greatest wish was to be a mom just like mine, and through helping raise their kids, I have been able to accomplish that in a way. Probably the best way, since I don’t have to worry about bills and insurance.

    I’m sorry for your loss, Alvarez.I can see how important family is to you in the warm and regard of your writing. Your family must be a very special bunch.

    I can’t imagine losing a family member. I think of what my mom has said before when we travel, she says we should travel in different planes, just in case. But I told her, “Who wants to be in the surviving plane?”

    A big warm hug to you and all of the Alvarez clan and extended family.

    Liked by 1 person

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