Valentino's Honor

October 4, 2017
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A million thoughts ran through my head, I was in absolute shock. Tino was gone. I was only eight years old when it happened, but I remember it like it was yesterday. We were driving in the car; it was my mom, my aunt, my two sisters, and me. My mom was driving when she got the call; I was sitting in the front and my aunt with my sisters in the back. Not wanting me to hear she whispered to my aunt in Albanian, which she thought I didn’t understand, I’ve never seen happiness leave someone so quickly. I didn’t completely comprehend what was going on, but I knew something bad had happened. The rest of the car ride was silent; I was gripping my seat praying that I was only imagining this. As we arrived back home my mom ordered me to take my sisters inside, I obeyed knowing that this was a severe situation. I took them upstairs and then I heard yelling, fear covered me like a blanket. I crept out of my room into the hallway and listened to what was happening, my aunt was opening cabinets and slamming them shut screaming “This can’t be happening! He can’t be dead!” I was in complete shock, as I peered downstairs my mom was sitting at the counter in shock just as I was. My grandma was trying to calm my aunt, but nobody could stay calm.


I’m not really sure what happened the night of the funeral; my family didn’t want me to know the truth. Once I found out where my family was going and why I completely broke down, I was crying uncontrollably. A day later I knew it was true, I saw the funeral card with his face on it and the quote “Forever Young”. The day he passed, I felt like a piece of him went with me and to this day I feel the same way. I will always cherish what was given to me that he left behind, a little frog paperweight that he always let me play with and a small framed picture of me. My parents sat me down and explained what had happened, but I told them I already knew, “That’s what he loved about you,” they said, “You always knew what was going on.” For the first time in days a smile broke out upon my face.


Today his memory still lives on in pictures and our memories. We celebrate every holiday with him every year, but this year when we visited him a feeling of absolute sadness came over me, I realized how much I miss him and how much I wish he was still here with us. I still flashback to memories of us playing, even though he was 19 years older then me he always made me feel like I belonged. Why do people take their lives and others for granted? Why don’t they spend more time with their families or show more love? Nobody knows when their life will end because life is unexpected and it is hard and it is frustrating, but in the end, your life is what you make it. Tino, we miss you everyday and we will love you forever.






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