Today I will hold Erika close to my heart. We will be going to a memorial service for Jasmin, a young girl only 14 yrs old who passed away this week, a friend and former teammate of Erika. She died in a tragic train accident. Please pray for her parents, family and friends as they deal with this tragedy.
Sadly there is a bit of irony in this story. Just last week I was telling Erika (my daughter) about my experience with losing my best friend back when I was in middle school. To have this happen is just too real an experience for me and now for Erika. This is the first time I have written about it.
My friend Patti died in a train accident when we were both 14. I can remember the accident as if it were yesterday. (In fact I still tear up when I think about it. I still get chills and a feeling of de’ja vu when ever I hear a passing train.) She was “taken” by the train and I was left behind waiting for the train to pass. I was walking only a few feet behind her. Patti died later at the hospital.
Traumatized by the whole experience, my dad took me out of school and we went to El Salvador for 3 weeks. He showed me were I was born, the little one room shack that we lived in before moving to the states. I was able to meet my abuelos for the first time and familia I had only heard stories about. He told me that I should be thankful everyday of my life, because I had been spared… that I should thank my guardian angel. Had I taken a few more steps that grim day I would have been lost too.
When I told my own mother about Erika’s friend Jasmin. She looked at me in shock with her aging brown eyes as if to say “mija, I know what you are going through – I had to comfort you when you lost your friend, now you have to be there for your hija”. She said to me “hug her and tell her how much you love her, do it everyday, because you never know if tomorrow will come”