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  • Ali Rodriguez

Mamas and Squiggy

Growing up there was rarely a time when you would see my brother and I without one another. Mamas and Squiggy. If you saw Squiggy. Mamas was right behind him. We were inseparable all throughout our childhood, and even well into adulthood. Although, drugs changed a lot of things it never changed how I loved my brother, and the need to want to protect and save him. Even though he was the older one it always felt the other way around. Life took hold of him and he dealt with it the only way he knew how at the time and I always tried to understand that. He started getting into trouble a lot, to the point where it became a regular thing of us asking, “aww man what did he do now?”


When two officers showed up at our doorstep on the morning of August 4th of 2020 naturally the first thing I thought was, “what did he do now?” “Ahh man must’ve been something really bad this time.” Always Quick to blame him for something instead of wondering “what happened is he okay?” Guilt feels my heart when I look back remembering that initial thought.


I can still hear mom’s scream. The moment she screamed I couldn’t even process what I already knew. I immediately jumped off the couch as fast as I could. I’ve never felt my heart drop as fast, and hard as it did when mom said those words to me, “Jr’s dead.. your brother is dead.” I must’ve looked like I didn’t fully

comprehend because they kept repeating it Over and over again. I’ve never had something literally knock me on my ass before, but hearing those words immediately sent me back onto the pavement looking for some kind of support as I numbingly tried to process the weight of those words, “your brother is dead.” I still go back to that moment a lot, and every time I do the first thing I hear is mom’s scream. Although she doesn’t remember doing it at all, I remember hearing it.


Watching officers perform CPR on your lifeless body on an unfamiliar street in the middle of the night. 7 minutes. 7 minutes that’s what I think about. They performed an attempted life saving event of just 7 minutes. 7 minutes for 29 years of life gone just like that.


I relived this day for month’s after my brother died. Sometimes I still do. I had nightmare after nightmare replaying his last moments over and over again hoping for a different outcome.


We always had so many questions in your last moments that the world got to see, scrutinize, and just plain out judge. While everyone else saw an addict “getting what he deserved,” “he chose to use that’s what he gets,” “I didn’t know addicts were fat” etc.. we wondered in your last moments were you thinking about us? Would you have cried out for mom if you had enough air in your lungs to do it? Did you think about a peaceful place as your life was slipping away? Did you even know you were dying? We had to watch as you died alone in a strangers backyard without us at your side to at least distract you from the pain as you slipped through the veil.


I struggled to watch your last moments as you gasped for air, taking your last breaths surrounded by strangers yet still “alone” in the dark.


I wish you had thought your life mattered more. I wish we had shown you more how much you meant to us, and how much you’ll always mean to us. I hope you can feel our love from now until forever. Mamas and Squiggy still inseparable no matter how far you are, I know you’re always with me. Sleep with the angels brother.


Love always your little sister.

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