I believe that when God takes a loved one away from their family, He has a greater plan for that individual.
On Sunday, July 9th, 2006, I arrived home from my aunt’s wedding in Napa, California. It was a wonderful weekend full of family, friends, laughter and good-cheer. I was around the people that I love, without having a care in the world. Little did I know what was waiting for me upon my arrival home.
My brother and I were the first home and I saw the answering machine flashing with two messages. The first message was my cousin Kathy saying that she was calling with bad news, “Kevin was on vacation in Mexico and he was diving; he broke his neck and didn’t live.” Her voice cut out and the phone hung up. Right there and then, my world came tumbling down. My favorite cousin died on vacation and his body was being shipped back to the San Francisco Bay Area for burial. How could this happen? Within three weeks of one another, Kevin’s mother, Maureen, lost her father and her husband. Now, three years later, her eldest son was being laid to rest. Hasn’t our family been faced with enough tragedy? Why did this have to happen? These questions will forever be unanswered.
Kevin was my mentor. He attended San Diego State University and my brother and I followed in his footsteps. Upon my graduation from high school, Kevin gave me a blender and told me to have a wonderful time in college. My wise cousin once said, “You can always retake a class, but you can never relive a party.” And that’s exactly how he lived his life up until the day of his passing. He never let anyone or anything stand in his way from enjoying the simple pleasures in life.
At his funeral, I was in a state of denial. To me, it was a bad dream and I couldn’t wake up. I was blaming myself for not calling him prior to his trip to just simply tell him that I loved him. Whether Kevin knew it or not, he taught me that life is too short and not to let the small things pass me by. Even though his passing was over a year ago, a piece of me will always be missing him and wishing that he was here to see me get married and to one day welcome my first child into the world.
Every morning before I go to class, I look at Kevin’s picture and I say a prayer. He promised me that he would come visit and if I ever needed anything, he would only be a phone call away. Even though he is not here in the present, he will forever live in my heart. He is my angel from above and I am grateful to have had him in my life for eighteen years. Stopping and smelling the flowers now has a new meaning to me.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.