The holiday season means trips to the cemetery for me... I have lost too many people at this time of the year; couple that with the fact that I have lived away from my hometown for the past fifteen years (yikes), and this time of the year finds me near the graves of many of my near and dear.
Lately, I only make it to one cemetery or the other (my grandparents are conveniently now residing in two separate cemeteries)... the main objective of the trip is to see my mother's mother, father and brother, but I also always drop by to wish Jaime a merry christmas and to make sure he knows that he is still alive in my heart.
Jaime was my first crush...in junior high. He played on the basketball team and I was one of the managers. The thing about being so close to your crush on a regular basis is that you really can become friends. It was clear that he and I were never going to be a couple... nice to look at but not really my type, and I was definitely not his type. On the other hand, we were good friends...he, like many of the guys on the team, developed serious brotherly feelings for me. When we went to the same high school, away from most of the people we knew, our bond was sealed. Although we didn't have any classes together and didn't spend endless hours together at basketball games anymore, we were still buddies.
Our senior year, during our Christmas break, Jaime and his friend Raul were in a car accident, and Jaime didn't survive. It broke my heart then and still makes me cry. I can't believe it has been 19 years since my friend Jaime went to live with god.
Every year at Christmas, I go to visit Jaime... It makes me feel better to see his picture on the headstone and see the decorations his family has put out for him. He was the oldest and on the outs with his parents when he died, but they have never left him alone there in the cemetery. This year, I found a lonely balloon stuck in the flower holder and a chip in his picture. I can almost not describe the sincere sense of loss that I felt when I saw his lonely grave. It was like losing him all over again. It hurts to think that Jaime is not the center of someone's world; that his loss is not as deeply felt as before. Maybe his family has moved away; maybe they, like my family, have just stopped going to the cemetery. Maybe he lives in their hearts even if they can't be there to decorate his grave for Christmas.
Rainy Season Begins
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