“El Chato Se Murió”

Ive been reliving this exact moment for the last 4 days.

That frantic message left by my mom on my cell at 8:37 pm.  “Mijo habla me pro favor…es urgente.” Thats all she said and hung up. I had only missed the message by a minute or two and called her back as I was boarding the monorail at Disneyland. My family and I were celebrating my birthday you see.

¿Hola amá que pasa?….(okay the rest of this is in english cause I don’t wanna deal with Spanish grammar or syntax…Im lousy at it and this entry is kinda emotional for me).

“Hi mom whats going on” I asked. Your cousin Chato just passed away mijo. He died of throat cancer and your cousin Ellie (his sister) s on her way to claim his body in Sonora. ” What could I do? I had just finished a memorable day at the Happiest Place on Earth basking in the love of my family…and it was crushed and replaced by sadness and anger.

The sadness and anger is directed at myself. So much time preoccupied doing my own thing and blowing off plans to visit distant family members by saying to myself “eh Ill go next year.” Ive done too much of this. Blowing things off cause its the easy thing to do…or just being lazy I guess? Now its subsided to a feeling of self loathing. I need to stop with all the “shoulda could’ve” bullshit.

Well friends if I learned anything by that 5 minute conversation with my mom its this:
Be it cancer or being the lucky recipient of a head on car collision or any other sudden life altering (or ending is purely coincidental) can come for you or someone you love sooner or later.

Chato was always good to me and my family. He was very reserved and always expressed little emotion.  I guess you could say he was more of “straight to the point” sort of man. No time for bullshit.  He was also a giant man. We’re talking well over 6 feet tall and just fucking ginormous. But when there were nephews running around the house or his sisters kid. All that seriousness dropped and he became a child himself. Yeah he would have made a great daddy. The word is he was shacked up with a woman who already had a child…and I guess she treated both of them like shit.

Well thats the word anyhow. I wont entertain it anymore than that.

I’ll just sum it up with this: Please go out there and live amongst the living! Share ideas and express emotion with friends and family members. Make it a life worth remembering..filled with mistakes, close calls and tales of life experiences. Don’t let that bitch AKA La Chingada come for you if you’re unfulfilled. At the very least if La Chingada’s cold clammy hand is within the reach of snatching your life, and the only thing that is certain is your ultimate annihilation…fuck it. Go down swinging. Thats how I’d like to imagine Chato went down. I hope he had lots of adventures that I don’t know about and will soon hear about. We shall see. Descanse en Paz Chato. Ay nos veremos pronto.

And FYI Chato is not his name …nor do I know his real name in the 44 years that Ive been alive! He’s always been “Tu primo Chato”. A person who is “Chato” is one who has like a “pug” button nose. Mexicans can be cruel to their own family members sometimes. smh



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