The last vivid memory I have of Abraham was a couple of years back, when he and his dad, Tavo, visited us here in Arlington during the summer. Abraham was on the eve of his senior year in high school, and one very vivid moment continues to loop in my mind.
The Guevara brothers, Abraham, and his oldest and only brother, Germain, took to wrestling in high school. They were both well suited for said sport. Short, but genetically gifted in musculature, both brothers accomplished great feats at Socorro, on the wrestling team. His room was adorned with the decorations earned during competition, including commencement from Socorro High School last May, 2008.
Abraham, more than once during his visit here, would awake to purposeful jogs at my home. I remember clearly opening the door one morning, as I was headed to the office, and no sooner had I done that than he sprinted out in full stride. I thought, "Wow. To be 17 again and able to run like that without warming up!"
The picture here is of his pre-K graduation in El Paso, many years ago.
He would say, "Tio (uncle), I'm going for a run. I have to keep in shape for wrestling." "Fine with me," I thought. Except instead of running around our cul-de-sac as I do (It's pretty big), his gait carried him quickly out of our street and my sight! I'm pretty anxious when it comes to childcare. And, while I know he was no child even then, I still reported that to his still-sleeping dad. He mustered a whisper and said, "He'll be fine. When he's done, he'll come right back." With that, I left for work.
That was the last time we spent real time with him. We would see him again briefly at great-grandpa's funeral last year (2008), but the "straw..." was when he phoned us Thursday to announce he was a brand new uncle, for his oldest and only brother had just seen a son born to this life. He was beside himself with excitement, to be in such a honorable position. An uncle...
Those were his last words to us. Early Saturday morning we received that fateful call so many do. Abraham had died at home. A history of epilepsy -- we fear -- got the best of him. A medical examiner's report will say for sure.
What is certain is that our lives have been changed forever. Our little wrestler, brand new uncle and only brother has now departed us. To tell his grandparents was the hardest thing we have had to do in recent memory. The are devastated, exclaiming, "Why wasn't it me!!!!"
Over and over our family motto (Najera family and its extended members, such as the Guevara family) has been to carpe diem, seize the day. We literally waste ourselves maximizing each moment, remembering it may be the last. How could Abraham have known he would only see his nephew once?
We are numb, stunned and deeply saddened by this.
Please, remember to seize the day for you and yours.
Abraham's tentative funeral arrangements are a prayer service Tuesday evening, June 9, 2009, in the chapel of Sunset Funeral Home Americas (9521 North Loop, El Paso, Texas 79907, 915-858-4408, http://www.sunsetfuneralhomes.net/index.cfm). A graveside will follow on Wednesday morning, June 10, 2009 at Restlawn Memorial Park in El Paso.