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  • Writer's pictureDesi

Jorge L. Gaitan: A Dedication



Jorge was a peculiar soul. Some would even call him a renaissance man. He knew how to cook, how to sew; he was a locksmith, a mechanic, a photographer, you name it, he dipped his hands in that field. He had friends everywhere. There wasn’t a time where he wasn’t introducing his family to co-workers or an acquaintance or had someone call out, “Oye compadre! Como estas?” He loved to show off his family. He could go on and on about the things his children were accomplishing. He was always the man behind the camera, capturing the memories. He was always full of stories from the places he travelled, people he encountered and enjoyed telling stories of his upbringing, most of which he tied a moral into. He was a middle child of thirteen and the biggest mama’s boy… with good reason. Although he was misunderstood in his own family, he didn’t care about what others thought of him.

His mother was clairvoyant, she helped those in need of spiritual guidance, and she passed her knowledge of such spirituality onto him. Helping him open up to this gift that was within him, waiting to be seen, heard and felt. She taught him how to do spiritual cleansings with roses called limpias, she taught him how to read prayer candles, how to use oils, how to read tarot cards, interpret dreams and even read energies and auras. It all came second nature to him and improved as he continued to practice and learn all about it. However, his whole world crumbled when his mother passed away.


"Amor Eterno" -Rocío Dúrcal

MIn. 1:25- 1:50


He continued his spiritual work in remembrance of her, to carry on all that she taught him but a huge part of him remained lost. It was as though he believed doing this would bring his mother back. He yearned to be with her. He lost himself and hoped the day they met again would come sooner rather than later. All the energy he would put into his limpias and tarot readings every month consumed his energy leaving him drained days after. Her passing created a disconnect from him and his family, the family he was so proud of. The father and husband that his family once knew, turned into a man who was drowning his pain in alcohol. When he was home his mind was elsewhere; he wasn’t as involved as he used to be. The stories his family would once gather around to hear became ramblings that received eyerolls and deep sighs.


"Family Portrait" -P!NK

Min. 1:45 - 2:36


His wife and first daughter hung on to every ounce of their love for him, some days were harder than others, his oldest son fought his own demons, an apple falling from the same tree, his second son felt like he lost his father to whiskey, and his youngest naïve daughter started to resent him. “Why was mom the only involved parent?” “Why couldn’t he just spend time with her?” "Why was it so hard to connect with him?" She felt unseen and began to ignore him, feeling like he wasn’t worth the time and effort it took to understand him.


"Because Of You" -Kelly Clarkson

Min. 2:25 - 3:34


His struggle was all internal. He lived day by day. Some days better than others, masking his pain with sleep and alcohol, awaiting the day that his mom would take him home with her. A careless mindset towards the family who were struggling to help and struggling to understand. He worked jobs he was proud of, a Chef at the Fairmont Hotel and a General Manager at Los Comales. But as his depression crept up on him he became careless and unmotivated leaving him home most days with no intention to get help.

When he was called home, it was sudden. A regular morning routine turned into a morning they will never forget. His wife found him laying down on the couch while on her way out to work, her prior CPR training coming into action when she realized he wasn't breathing. She had 911 on the phone guiding her through it until the ambulance got there. When it did they were able to bring him back, but he wanted to go. His heart stopped twice during the 15 minutes it took to get to the hospital. His wife making the calls to her children to tell them to come to the hospital. His oldest son stayed home, not wanting to face what's to come. His oldest daughter leaving her classroom in it's last week of school, his 2nd son calling the youngest daughter, telling her to get to the hospital. She was the last to arrive.

It was all a waiting game. Waiting to hear from the doctor, waiting to get him in a room, waiting for him to respond and open his eyes.

Only 2 visitors in the room at a time.

His daughters went in the room to see him. His youngest daughter taking his hand and asking him to pull through, there was so much that she needed him to be there for. He was supposed to be there to help her with HER future kids, walk her down the aisle, tell her kids his stories. She held his hand tight in hopes that he would hear her and come back and all of the machines that he was connected to, would somehow fix him.


"Daddy's Little Girl" - Frankie J

Min. 2:00 - 4:04


His family and friends all waited in the waiting room. Each switching out to see him in the room.

At 11:30 p.m. Monday June 8th 2009, the world went silent as the hospital hallways echoed "Code Blue." The rush of doctors and nurses running towards his room. His wife and oldest daughter standing just outside of it, clinging to each other as they watched doctors try their best to get his heartbeat back. His family anxiously waiting from a distance. Minutes go by, until his best friend asks the nurse if he made it. Tears falling the moment she nods her head "No" and walks away.


Immediate family only.

Francesca, the last nurse to take care of him.

His mothers name. His mother finally took him home.


"Remember Me (Reunion)" -Anthony Gonzalez, Ana Ofelia Murguia

All 1:13 min.

His family grieved him in different ways. His wife kept her mind occupied with work, silently grieving, his oldest son isolated himself and disconnected from his own family, his 1st daughter grieved him as she took care of her son and her 3 month old, his 2nd son took on more work shifts and barely visited his mother, going back to his childhood home felt different. His 2nd daughter, the naïve baby of the family, was left to understand the world without him in it. Never understanding him until after his passing. She never realized how much emotional and mental pain he was in. Never realizing that maybe, the spiritual gifts that were passed on to him were really a burden. He took on a healer role thinking it would heal him and maybe bring him closer to his mothers spirit. And maybe it did bring him closer to her spirit, but he, himself wasn't healed.


"Beautiful" -Eminem

Min. 1:03 - 1:56


 

Jorge was my father; I was the naïve daughter. It took him taking his last breath for me to take in all that he really was. The man he was before alcohol consumed him and changed his essence. Before his alcoholism turned all consuming, my father was a sensitive soul. We all have something we struggle with and though my dad succumbed to what was eating away at him for years he was a man who loved his family nonetheless though it was hidden behind his grief. His stories became the building blocks to my imagination.

A lot of my childhood memories are a blur but I do remember my father was never really home or involved with what I was doing, in school or in life. We were disconnected. When I discovered poetry, I was able to express myself in ways I didn’t think I could at home. Mainly because at home I naively felt unimportant compared to the whiskey in a shot glass set aside my father's beer. Everything seemed to revolve around my brothers and sister and I turned rebellious and just wanted to be heard and made to feel like what I was saying mattered. My mom worked her ass off to take care of a family of 6, herself included. My oldest brother found love in the streets, creating a different type of family, my older sister found a passion in teaching and left to dorm in college, creating her own future, it was me and my second oldest brother fending for ourselves, together. He eventually found an outlet and it was just me, struggling to find myself. Some days I still feel like I am struggling to find myself. I still ask myself "what am I doing?" every now and then. I still ask myself "do I hold back my emotions because that's what he was doing for years? Was that my normal?"

When he passed away in 2009 it all hit me, like any death would. I was strong for my mom. She put on a brave face for all of us but I comforted her on those nights she couldn't sleep or had a nightmare. But I was reckless and careless when I was out, I lived unapologetically, feeling as though I was always just a troublesome child to him. I just wanted to forget the way I neglected him.



"Sober" -P!NK

Min. 2:16 - 3:48


It took years for me to understand that before his addiction he was a spiritually sensitive soul, much too great for this world, he was shattered by grief and the feeling of abandonment. As he sank deeper into a depression, I pushed away from him, disconnecting my life from his. I had realized we had a lot more in common than I thought. All the stories he would tell us growing up, the ones we never really wanted to hear, were all vignettes of his life that he tried to teach life lessons through. And it's only now that I want to put the broken pieces of his life back together, retell the stories he once told us.


"Hurt" -Christina Aguilera

Min. 1:00 - 3:50


I wish I were a little less naïve in my actions and connection with him, I could have had a much better understanding of him while he was alive. Now I could only remember him in the pieces, in the memories of my naivety that I wish I could forget. If only I knew what I know today.



13 Years Later...


"Memories" -Maroon 5

Whole Song


If only you could see us now dad...


Mom is a strong woman, I can see why you always called her the boss, she still misses you though. I often wonder how things would be if you were still here. Would things have changed? Would you have found a new perspective?


Ben is doing so much better. He's out of the neighborhood and sober. He's doing SO good! You'd be proud of him. We're on much better terms now.

David is in California living his live out there. You'd be proud of him too. He's done so much to fix up his life.

Giselle just graduated high school, she's going to UIC in the fall. She makes us all laugh, mom especially.


Sara is in California now too. Always the independent one, she loves it out there. I don't think I've seen her more passionate about teaching than she has been out there.

Joshua is married to a great girl, Taiylor. He's in the Army now. He's a Tank Specialist and deployed right now. Watch over him and make sure he comes back home safely.

Naomi is, well she's 13 years old now... she was only 3 months old when you left. She looks just like Sara and loves scary movies and K-Pop.


Jay is married now, He and Holli have their little girl Quinn and their little boy Kai, silly little kids. Quinn loves all things Halloween and right now Kai is all about Sonic. Jay started his own baking business QuinnCakes and Kai's Crumbs. It's a start to his passion. Family hookup!


Then there's me, married with 2 kids. You met Jey years before I did, he'd always visit Los Comales. I'm trying to live out my passion for writing, as you can see. I've tuned into my spiritual side, learning Tarot and tuning into energies. You left a piece of your essence with all of us, I like to think you gave a large part to me. It's how I feel connected to you when I need you the most. Most of the time I wish I was able to talk about all of it with you. Wish we could have in depth conversations about spirituality. Am I doing it right? What else do I need to know? How can I be better? What are the words you said during your limpias? "Jesus, José, María levantate....." that's all I can remember.

Ben gave me your tarot card notes that you had typed up on our old typewriter. I almost don't want to touch them because the paper has aged. He also gave me your set of tarot cards for my birthday this year. They're in the same box you kept them in, they still smell like you. I take them out to shuffle them to see what falls out when I need some guidance from you.



You know Adam already, the Medium told Sara how you were with me throughout it all. I even saw you in his ultrasound photo. I felt you around. He's the first grandchild since you passed. I know you sent him to me to help me cope with not having you here. He was born 3 days after the 6 year anniversary of your passing. I felt him coming on the 8th. How coincidental can that get? This is why your middle name is his middle name. He reminds me of you in a way, always wanting to know how to do things. You should see him play baseball. He's going to make it one day. Amira is a character. She probably will remind you a lot of me when I was little. Always dancing and singing. She says that she dreams about you, I like to believe you really visit her. I'd give anything to see you interact with them. Sometimes I just sit and watch them and wonder which one would drive you crazy first.


We're all doing pretty well Dad, it still hurts us that you're gone. But everyday we live in your memory, to make you proud. So you can show us off up there with the angels in heaven, to Grandma and Grandpa, to your brothers and sisters: Aunt Espy, Aunt Rose, Uncle Joe, Uncle Martin, Aunt Angie, Uncle Juan, Aunt Maggie & Uncle Natividad, to my cousins Marty, Tony, Cindy, Birdie and Little Marty.


I hope you're looking down from the most beautiful cloud and proud of all of us.


"Music" - JoJo

Min. 2:25 - 3:17


Que Díos Te Bendiga Dad. I love you to the moon and back 'til kingdom come. 💕





The songs provided have been added in to enhance the feel of this story. You can choose to follow along with the music playing in the background or read it through without it, either way I hope you enjoyed this post.







I'm not crying, you're crying.


I do not own the rights to the songs in this post. They are for entertainment purposes only, for readers to follow along with the emotions.

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