A Letter to My Family

My family has been through a lot. As an adult, I am now open about the things that have impacted me in a negative way. I don't see these events as negative though, because each thing has made me the woman I am today. We have gone through divorce, cancer, remarriage, graduations, college, car crashes, and so much more. It was always hard and I held in how I felt about it all. I have a very hard time explaining to my family how I feel. It is hard for me to open up and use my words. Most of the time, I release my feelings by talking with my friends, isolationism or painting, but never a conversation with my family. I like to write and writing has been a way for me to open up about the contents in my life and in my mind. This is a letter to my mom, brother, dad and my dog.



I know we do not see things the same way, but I know why. We were raised differently. You raised me to be smart and kind and to do everything I can to make our lives better. I am, and I promise you that. Along the way, I will and had many bumps and pitfalls, but you taught me not to let that stop me. We make it work every time and we will always do so. You are the strongest woman I know. You have been through h*** and back. I admire all that you have handled and the strength that you carry. We have lived through it. I hope that with all that I know and experience, you will be able to let me experience the world more. I want to travel. I want to date freely. I want to cook new foods. I want tattoos. I dream of being able to provide for myself. I am focused and career-oriented. I hope one day you will love to see your grandkids. I know what I want and how to get it, but I still need your support. Thank you for always doing your best to raise me. You raised two great kids, who are doing good for themselves. I am proud to be your daughter and proud to say that that little woman over there is my mom. The things you do don't go unnoticed. I see that you always clean my room so it is ready for me when I come home. I see when you try to buy me something you think I'd like. I see the five dollars you give me or the money you put into my savings. Your hard work will never go unappreciated. I love you and I am glad to have been raised by a strong woman. I am proud to be the first generation of your ancestors to make it in America. You put me through school and helped give me the best. I am not ready to be on my own, but you will help me when I am. I know I can have your help always.



It has been almost two months without you. I hope you and grandma and Uncle Jerry are having some coffee together and watching down on us. I miss you. You will never get to read this article or any other works. I painted a new picture for you. I even took a picture with a Donald Trump cutout just because I know you loved him! It is hard for me to go about my days. Some days I still think I can come home and see you watching your car show. Last night you visited me in a dream for the first time. I don't know if that was a sign or my wishing you were here. You supported me and told me not to be afraid. I will try. I don't cry every day anymore, but my eyes burn when I think about you. It was hard to watch you turn from a chubby man into a skinny, frail man in just a few years. I will never know the damage cancer did to your body. I am so glad that God gave you an extra three months with us when you got your final diagnosis. In those few months, I grew as a person so much. You will never know the impact that your cancer had on our family. Yes, it was terrible, but it made us all grow stronger and better. You came back to use and you fought to stay with us. I know there were days when you wanted to give up, and it was scary, but I am grateful you stayed. I will never forget what your green eyes look like. I hope one of my kids has them so that I can look into your eyes again. You became my papa again, not just my father. For the rest of my life, you will always be my Papa. I forgive you and I love you. Until the day I join you in Heaven, I will always be your Peanut. 



You are my big brother and I love you. I never say it and I should. I love to see pictures of us as kids and we're always smiling together. I love to see you smile. I haven't seen you smile in a while and it makes me sad. I am glad to have you as a brother. Through all the scars and battle wounds we have given each other, I am glad that we have healed. We will heal together. I didn't like when people said you are the man of the house after dad died. There was no person who ran our house and it isn't your responsibility now. We will do it together as a family. Though I'm nearly eight years younger than you, I will always support you. I am your little sister, but I understand more thank you'll ever give me credit for. For the rest of my life, I will stick by your side and support you. I will help you get rich. I will buy you a slushy even when the Cherry one doesn't work at Sheetz. You will be by my side to walk me down the aisle. I will help you carry groceries in when you decide to become a chef. I am proud of you for what you have done for yourself. You are so smart and so skilled. I know you can do so much whether you chose to or not. You have given yourself great chances to advance your career and learn. You have provided yourself with so much that you love. You are so uinque and a great human. I will support you because you are my brother. I love you even if I never say it.



You are my good boy. I love you with all my heart. You are my dog and I am your person. They say Shiba Inu's attach themselves to one person and you picked me. I don't think I will ever forget the time you threw up because you got so excited to see me when I came home. It is hard for me to say that you are turning 12 this year. I see you losing your sight and not being able to hear. I know you're getting old, but you sure as heck don't act like it. I can't believe you still love to run like the wind, but hate water. I love how quickly you get tired out. I know you knew when Dad left us. You went to his bed a lot. He was special to you also. You protected him. You protect all of us. Even when I am sleeping, I feel you get up and bump me to make sure I'm ok. You sleep so close to me and let me hold your paw because you know it helps me. I love your fluffy butt and your curly tail. Your pointy ears and white paws are adorable. You will always be the dog I grew up with. You are my good boy. 




Written In Loving Memory of Jose "Donny" Arvelo-Cruz


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