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Death of Uncle Ralph

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Happy go lucky, full of excitement, and was always able to make you smile. I stood well under five feet and stared up at my best friend, Uncle Ralph. He was able to talk to anyone and put a smile on my face even after the roughest day of school. Ralph was always at my home and every family dinner. He was the heart of the family and everyone couldn’t help but love him. As he would burst through the door, with a smile so big it made you laugh, he would call out “what’s for dinner? “ With his presence over night I would receive late night wake up calls to make a snack with him, they soon ended with an abrupt end, and a yell to go back to sleep from my Lita (grandma in Spanish). We obviously weren’t very quiet, sneaky for us wasn’t too sneaky. I had seen him make bad decisions, tell women he loved them when he really didn’t, he had five children with a lot of problems on his plate. Everything can and will go wrong in our family, I learned that April 18th 9 years ago, when Uncle Ralph died. I was a quiet kid to begin with but from then on grew quieter. I didn’t talk to many kids at school because I had all I need over at the house. The day that evil man took Ralph away I was forced to find someone else who could understand me, a new best friend, and someone I knew would always be there. He meant the world and more to me. His death left my family in heartbreak and endless misery; it took an even larger toll on his mom.

Early spring in the middle of April at about two in the morning we received a phone call that my Lita answered. The call ended with a piercing scream that woke everyone and echoed throughout the entire house. I walked out of my bedroom door only to be pushed back into the room by my grandpa. It all happened so fast, but not fast enough for me to see my Lita laying on the floor, tears running down her face. Her heart was shattered and no one could put it back together. “Oh no my baby” she murmured loud enough to hear, as she rocked back and forth with a pillow on her lap. She went to where the police had found him; he laid in the middle of the street covered with a black body bag and police everywhere. A crowd of people were surrounding him, and there wasn’t a smile in sight.

The funeral, it was the second worst day of our lives. As my Lita sat in the first row at the funeral parlor with big sunglasses to cover her puffy tear swelled eyes, and a black dress, she also wore a blank stare. Almost everyone in sight was a woman, from what I was told. The difference between me and the other people was that I was nowhere to be found. I was stuck at school till 9 o clock till the whole tragedy and heart ache was over. No one asked how I would feel, not like they even cared. All I know is that I was stuck to imagine what that day was like. I never got too see him that last time. Lita saying “remember him as he was” echoed in my mind making me more angry as I thought on it. Lita was a private investigator, and found Ralphs murderer in Puerto Rico. It took her awhile to find a cop that could speak English but she managed. The man was convicted with first degree murder. Even though she found the man who was the source of all the recent pain, there will always be a sense of emptiness in all our hearts.

The court process was very boring, but even more it was sad. I still hadn’t forgiven my Lita, so I didn’t talk, not even one syllable. As they described the murder it was a play by play story of that terrible day. I had to hear the arguments to make his murder justifiable, he was a gang banger and his non existents didn’t really matter. I could think about was how untrue that statement was.



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