It has been 20 yrs since your death and 20 years to write you this letter. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of you. Many moments and situations have happened in my life and I can just imagine what would come out of your mouth. I laugh and giggle just thinking about it. You were always known for being fearless and a rebel! I can only imagine how you would of instilled in me the hard edge of “I Don’t Give A Fuck” to people that hurt me.
I love you. I love you more now than the day you left. Your death shook us. I am more than sure you know mommy has never been the same since you left. The holidays came and went and with it they held less of a meaning for mommy. i noticed her laughter didn’t come as often either. She didn’t laugh as hard. There was a time that all the good things left and were replaced with alcohol, numbness and depression. It got to a point that I actually thought she wasn’t going to survive.
As for me I’m getting it together once again. Girl this revamping of oneself can really piss a bitch off but I know it’s necessary if I am to continue my personal quest to be more than just another latino from the hood.
I want to let you know that I understand you. I understand more now why you always kept me close to you. You knew I was gay from the very beginning even before I knew myself. You remember that summer day, it was a weekend and we were getting ready to hangout and you asked me if I was gay? The look on your face when I acted like I didn’t know what you were talking about was priceless. You laughed, kissed me and told me you would always love me no matter what. At the time I knew what it meant but now I know the extent of how deep that kiss and those words truly mean. You wanted to protect me from what was to come because you knew this world was not going to be kind to me. You instilled in me a street savvy that has saved me many a times especially when I became an addict and I was roaming those streets completely oblivious to the many times I came close to death. It helped me when I had to clench my fists and claim my right just to walk the streets.
I must’ve broken your heart when I became a junkie. What was so ironic was when I finally got clean it broke my heart knowing just the pain you was in. You lived your life in a constant love song of tragedy. Your blinded faith in wrong love was a razor to your heart every time. I knew how it took all your strength to hold that tough disposition when inside you was hurting enough to trust that the drugs would numb it all away. I understood how you always made sure your tears were in silence because you didn’t want others to take advantage of a vulnerable moment and take it for weakness. I almost died from the same illness you did- gutted trust, blind love, over giving of ourselves disguised as addiction and loneliness. I knew it wasn’t a coincidence that I got clean at 26 which was the same age you died!!!
 You were my first role model and regardless how things turned out you still are. I absolutely do not think of you any less. You taught me to strive. You taught me that I am not allowed to use my color, or race or sexual identity as an excuse for not going out there and getting mine. I hear you loud and clear. It is because of you that I know what a genuine hug feels with unconditional attached to it. It’s because of you that I know the magic of what music does to my spirit. I still remember the first dance steps you taught me. It was to the song Soul Makoosa by  Manu Dibango and you stood next tome and kept showing me the steps till i got it.You gave me hope in books and told me that a smart bitch can always survive because pretty bitches always get fucked. I still remember when you told me that in this world the pen is always mightier than the sword.
Now 20 yrs later I thank you for never leaving my side. I hear you in conversations as strangers pass me by. Your scent under my nose when I finish praying and conversing with GOD. You always told me you would love me forever and you’ve kept your promise. When I cry in thought of you it doesn’t come from a place of sadness. It’s me making physical presence of you in the “us” moments. Till this day there is no other woman besides our mother that holds a light to you. Thank you for your visits in my dreams. They are far few in between but right on time. To me you will always be beautiful. I loved you from the inside out when the world loved you from the outside in. I know that deep inside you were strong even though you didn’t believe it. You continue to be my pillar of strength. You will always be my Wonder Woman.
Loving You Immensely
Andresito tu negrito

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