A Letter to Those People That Are No Longer Apart of My Life

To whom it may apply,

Truthfully, there is no real reason for me to have to sit here and explain myself or my actions to anyone, but out of courtesy, this is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and feel like I want to do.

There is also no reason for me to apologize for the decisions I’ve made unless it’s actually harmed anyone in any way, which, I highly doubt has happened. However, I feel like there are some things I want and need to get off my chest for the reasoning behind these actions which I’ll express in this letter.

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As I’ve mentioned several times in some of my previous posts recently, I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I’ve realized that I no longer have time for taking and/or dealing with crap from anyone; whether you are a friend, family, or even from passing strangers. And because I’ve made that realization, it’s forced me to make the conscious decision to have to cut all of the “dead weight”, so to speak, out of my life, that which includes some people and things that have been with me for YEARS.

If you happen to be one of those people, I do to some extent want to apologize because I realize that for some, it may have been or seemed sudden and out of nowhere. I’m not apologizing for me actually doing it, but the way that I did it. And although it may have seemed sudden to some, for me, it had most likely been building up for a number of months, if not years.

If you know me, you know that I tend to stay quiet for a lot, and if I’m your friend and/or an important person or part of your life, I will be there for you through thick and thin, no matter what. You can call me, text me, etc. and I’ll be there for you without question. My point in bringing this up is that because I’m like that, it takes A LOT (believe it or not) for me to finally give up and walk away from someone.

That being said, believe it or not for some of you that I’ve cut out, it wasn’t the easiest decision to make…Some of you that had been apart of my life for more than 10+ years. Some that we started out school together way back when. Some that I had been there for through some really serious shit; family stuff, relationship stuff, etc. But as time went on, and I started to be more hyperaware of all of the people and things around me, and where I knew I wanted to be with my life, I realized that my perception on a lot of these people and things had changed, because their actions towards me and their general habits were speaking louder then anything else.

None of them were going the extra mile for me, as I had with them. None of them would reach out to me, the way I did with them. And none of them would be there for me when I needed it, the same way I was with them. As a result, I started distancing myself, little by little. Those people started seeing and hearing from me less and less until it got to a point where they didn’t hear from me at all. Which was ironic because when I did to them what they did to me, they didn’t like it and would get upset with me about it, which made my decision to cut them out THAT much easier.

It was a harsh realization for me, but something that I knew had to be done in order for me to benefit myself and my future. I knew deep down that if I kept these people in my life that weren’t benefiting and/or lifting me up in anyway, that they were just going to end up holding me back later on down the line. Is that selfish? Probably, but in a healthy selfish way, I think.

Please trust, that if you REALLY knew me, you would’ve known that I never do anything to get anything in return; whether that’s materialistically or otherwise…BUT if you were a good, TRUE friend in general, out of courtesy and respect, you would’ve done for me everything that I had for you.

And to reiterate what I said in the beginning, I am sorry to some extent, because maybe the way I went about it all wasn’t exactly “the right way,” as in not saying anything, and just distancing myself, and I should’ve spoken to you about it. But, in my mind at the time, not only did I think that it was the easiest way to do it all, but I didn’t think it needed to be said, because any decent person would do for others what they wanted and expected other people that they consider ‘friends’ to do for them.

Truthfully, I just needed to do what was best for myself, because I’ve learned that not everyone is going to have the same mentality as me, and/or want the same things as me. Some people are just content with everything that they have at the moment and don’t care to do or want more, which is okay in its own way.

Just to be clear, I’m saying all of this now and it may or may not seem as if I’m upset and/or hurt by all of this, I mean I was, but please do not doubt that I am so beyond over all of this. I’ve made peace with everything that’s gone on. I’ve closed those chapters of my life, and am not holding any grudges towards any of those people or things, but I’m simply just telling “my side” of things.

Some people and things are just not meant to be permanent in your life, and I’ve come to make peace with that. It is unfortunate at times, but it’s all in God’s plan for us.

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I hope to some, this was some sort of form of closure, although who even knows if you actually want, need it or care. And to others, I just hope it means we can peacefully close that chapter, put it behind us and move on with our lives without issue and/or drama. There is no bad blood. There is no “tea to be spilled.” There is no drama or “beef”. There is nothing but the memories of what was and what currently is.

**Note: This letter was not in any way a form of singling out any particular person, but actually, I had a variety of people in mind when writing this which there is no need to mention them, because they most likely know who they are, and if they don’t that’s fine too.**

Sincerely,

Emily Hernandez

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Paw Prints On Our Hearts

This is a post that I never thought I would have to write or ever even think of. It’s something that not a lot of people tend to fully understand unless they’ve actually had one or experienced it firsthand; and that is witnessing and/or experiencing the death of a pet.

On Friday, November 3rd, at about 1 o’clock in the afternoon, I lost my absolute best friend in the entire world. If you knew me, you knew him, there was no way you didn’t. And even if you didn’t know me and you had me on social media, you still knew him somehow because I would always post about him; pictures, videos, etc.

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I’ve never known a loss like that before, and me just being the way that I am, have thought about it numerous amounts of times before; what it would probably end up being like, how I would probably feel, how my family would feel, and what we would even do after it happened. But believe me when I say that it was nowhere near the sadness and pain that I actually felt when I found out Spencer was gone.

I suppose when I really think about it though, my dad has it the worse than all of us in my family because he was alone in the house with him and the one who found him. He said it happened right after he sat down from making his lunch on Friday, he was about to take the first bite of his sandwich when all of a sudden he heard a fairly loud “hmmm,” it was like a huge sigh coming from Spencer. That was when he realized Spencer was behind him, so he turned around and was like “hey Spence, you okay? What’s goin on fats?” (because that’s what he would call him). And typically  when he would call him like that, Spencer would jump up and run to wherever my dad was, and this time he didn’t. My dad saw that he was sleeping, or so he thought, so he looked at him closer and realized he wasn’t seeing his stomach move up and down like it typically did when he was sleeping. He got nervous, and his initial reaction was “oh no, god no…,” so he got up, went closer to him to get a better look, and that’s when he realized that Spencer was gone….

It was basically like he heard Spencer take his last breath.

My dad hadn’t told anyone because my mom, brother and I were all at work and he didn’t want us to freak out halfway through the day and rush home. It wasn’t until about 3-4 pm that he finally got a hold of my brother, broke the news to him about what happened, and asked his advice on how to tell my mom and I. My brother agreed that he shouldn’t tell us until we got home where we could grieve in the comforts of our own home for as long as we needed.

It just so happened, however, that my mom was working this weekend and wouldn’t be home until the next day, Saturday afternoon,  so he felt he should wait until than to tell her. I on the other hand, happened to have to work late that day, so by the time I finally got home it was about 7 o’clock; we had dinner, spoke like normal about how our days went, and that was that. I don’t remember if it was when I first got home, or after we finished having dinner and we were cleaning up that I had asked him where Spencer was and he never gave me an answer about it. Actually, he kind of just ignored it altogether and started speaking about something else.

I found it weird because my dad is a neat freak, so he’s that type when we finish eating, he rushes us to finish up so we could move out of his way so that he can just clean everything up. But this was different, this time I was washing my hands from having finished eating and I don’t know if I was actually “taking long”, or if he was just really anxious to finally tell me what he had been bottling up all day, but he came out of nowhere and was like “hurry up! Aren’t you done yet????” And I just looked at him like …..okay…..? Are you really getting mad at me for this right now? I was just really confused. And then he came out with it. “I have something to tell you,” he said. “What?,” I said. And if you know me, you know that I automatically get really nervous when something like that is said to me (thanks a lot anxiety). “I don’t like this,” I said to him. And all he said was “Spencer….,” and I just backed away and knew. “No…..no no no no no!!” And that’s when I just dropped to the floor and broke.

I’m pretty sure I scared the fuck out of him because of the way that I broke down. I have never broken down like that before; I was screaming, crying, and hyperventilating. I literally felt like I couldn’t breathe, as if someone, an actual person that I knew and loved had died. I scared everyone that I had spoken to that night, my dad, brother and boyfriend. No one ever seen or heard me break down like that, I was inconsolable, and all because I knew that I had lost Spencer forever.

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People would tell me all the time whenever I told them how much I loved Spencer, like “Oh really?…but he’s just a cat?” But he wasn’t “just a cat”, he was so much more than that. I can’t even fully put into words how much more than “just a cat” he was. It was like he was part human, part horse, part dog, and then cat. If you heard the way he slept, he snored like a grown man. When he was slightly skinnier, younger and able to run around, you would hear him running around the house, galloping like a little horse. We had taught him the tricks of fetch, and how to roll over like a dog. He was the most chill, loving, funny little fat cat you would ever meet. Even people that had a strong disliking for cats, lost that entire feeling they had about them when they met Spencer. It was almost like how could you NOT love him after meeting him.

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We had Spencer for 13, almost 14 years. I still remember the day that we got him. It was nearly mid-October, and my parents didn’t say a word to us other than that they had a surprise for us. I remember being in the car with my parents and brother, and there being a towel, a little bottle, and a few other baby-related things, almost giving us (or mainly me) the impression that we were going to have a baby. They had taken us out to breakfast at this diner, then afterwards I remember being in the car, driving past all these houses until we stopped at one in particular. A friend of my mom’s, her name was Susan Downes. My mom introduced us to her, and we didn’t end up going inside the house, but I remember being in front of it, and if you stuck your head out towards the right a little, you saw these little things running to the opposite side towards the house next to theirs (which at the time I obviously didn’t know what any of them were). But I came to find that those little bunny type things that kept running back and forth were actually kittens. We kept watching them run from side to side as if they were playing tag with each other. It was the cutest thing! Then I remember seeing her husband coming towards us and having one of them in his hands, and then it all clicked….we were getting a kitten! It was the most exciting thing ever. It just so happened that that first one her husband brought to us was black, and my dad didn’t think that was “the one,” and it wasn’t until he went back to the backyard that my dad saw this little gray and white one run across by himself, that he knew, THAT was the one that had to be ours. So Susan’s husband grabbed that one, and that had officially become our new little baby. Picking his name was pretty easy because we had just so happened to be on Spencer St., and we ended up really liking the name and felt it suited him really well. And from than on, he had officially become the newest addition to our little family.

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Nearly 14 years later, and here we are. Who knew such a chubby little animal would come to mean so much to my family and I. This little four-legged animal that probably didn’t know or understand half the stuff he’d encountered throughout his little life, managed to touch all of our lives so deeply with just his presence alone.

Spencer, I love you so much, WE love you so much. You have no idea how unbelievably loved you were and how devastated we are now with your absence. You were anything but JUST a cat; I don’t even know what to consider you, like a little brother? A son? A friend? My best friend…you were always there. In the mornings when I would come out of the bathroom from brushing up, sitting right outside the door. When I was getting ready to leave for work, sitting by the door watching me as I got my stuff ready. When I came home late at night from work and the gym, sitting next to me while I had my dinner. When I wanted a little snack at night, following me to the kitchen so that you could get a piece of whatever it is I had, especially if it were chocolate. When dad was vacuuming the house, if I was downstairs you come and sit next to or under me because you felt safer that way, or you would run upstairs and find where I was to stay with me until he finished. If I was sad, upset or even if I was just plain relaxing in my room, you would come and just lay down and fall asleep right next to me and my bed and stay with me there for the entire night.

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I think that’s what I’ll miss most, your presence next to me. Just having you next to me, even if you were just sleeping, something so simple and innocent, me looking at you would make me smile. And now that’s gone, and I really don’t know how things are going to get better from this if I’m being completely honest.

I don’t know how people do this…I love animals, always have and always will; and if you really know me you know that if I could, I would have a ton of cats and dogs live with me in my house, but after this? I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to do it again. Life and death is inevitable, and I know that, but the amount of pain I felt and the memory in general that followed from this is something I’ll end up carrying with me for the rest of my life.

You are so loved and will never be forgotten or replaced little one.

“Sometimes, the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

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I love you Spencer, and I’m going to miss you so much.

Our Warrior 🎗🙏🏼

How do you even begin to attempt to tell the story of a person that was taken way too soon by such an ugly/deadly disease? Unless you’ve been through it personally, the answer to that question is that you can’t. But, I guess the closest thing to knowing what it feels like is to watch someone you’re close to or just love/care about go through it.

It is with a huge amount of sadness that I say this is exactly what happened to a very special person in my family, my aunt Stephanie Melendez. She had been fighting and going back and forth with this terrible illness for years. She was fighting until her very last breathe was taken on October 18, 2017 at 4:30 am. Stephanie was 33-years-old; daughter, sister, wife, and most importantly, mother, to three beautiful girls.

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I’ve been thinking about what to say about this for nearly five days. These things/situations are always the worse; it’s like you want to be helpful and supportive but what do you even say? Pretty much nothing you say or do is going to help the person or people in this situation, they just lost a loved one to cancer. I think that’s always the worse part, wanting to be helpful and do all these things to attempt to console them, but feeling so helpless at the same time because you know nothing is really going to help them or make them feel better except getting that person back. Well that’s been my issue since Wednesday morning. So many things I wish I could say and do, but nothing feels right or anywhere near good enough.

I hate the fakeness that tends to come out when people pass away and during funerals. Suddenly people you haven’t seen or spoken to in years starts to come out of nowhere with all these words and feelings, but where was all this when the person was alive? Obviously it’s fine and one thing to express your condolences towards the person’s family and passing, but there’s a difference between that and coming out of left field making it seem like you guys were so much closer than what you really were. It’s not authentic and you’re only lying to yourself. That being said, I’m not going to pretend like I was super close to Steph, because I wasn’t, but I am going to say how I feel about her and everything that’s happened.

I want to do it in a way that describes her but also as a letter to her in a way that says everything I want to and wish I could’ve said to her.

Stephanie had her issues, and she made mistakes, but who doesn’t? There were a ton of things that used to be said about her BECAUSE of the mistakes she’s made, but you know what? She was an amazing freaking mother, and she always put her girls first no matter what. My thought is, you can make all the mistakes in the world, as long as you don’t involve or harm your kids in the process and step up when it comes down to it, that’s all that would REALLY matter. I used to hear a lot of things, facts, rumors, whatever you want to consider it, when they all still lived in New York, but I really didn’t care for 3 major reasons; 1. It was never my business what she did or didn’t do behind closed doors, 2. Her girls were always happy, healthy and taken care of, and 3. When she was around me she was always so sweet and genuine.

You know extended families when you see each other after a long time of not, they ask you the usual questions; how are you? How’s school? Are you in a relationship now? How’s your boyfriend/girlfriend? But it’s just typical stuff, so you don’t ever actually know if they care or simply asking because they feel like they should for the sake of conversation. But with Stephanie, it was different, she would ask these kinds of questions but there was something about it that you could just tell she actually cared about my responses, she always seemed interested and I loved that. And this meant the world to me because I could tell when others would ask and not really care so much. She also taught me how to hold a baby and change their diapers; with her supervision at certain times and even a lot of times without it, I know she trusted me with her girls because she knew how much I loved them and vice versa how much they loved me.

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When Stephanie, her husband and their girls moved to Florida I was so unbelievably sad. I don’t even remember saying bye to them. But it was sad because I was going to be going from seeing them pretty much every Saturday, to really not seeing them at all. They were only in Orlando, so it wasn’t THAT far obviously, but it was far enough, especially since it wasn’t like I was going to be able to travel back and forth to see them. In general, it just sucked. But I guess that’s why social media is so convenient, because we were able to keep up with each others’ lives. On and off through the years I would comment on her snapchats of the girls, and how much I missed them all and wanted to visit. She would tell me she missed me too, so did the girls and that I would always be welcomed to stay with them if I did visit. That always made me feel good and happy to hear. I’m actually jealous of my brother because he was able to go over there and visit them twice; technically it was for school/work but nonetheless he got to go stay with them and spend time with them for a few days, that which I never got to do. I had wanted to for a few years now but for one reason or another it never got to happen.

When I first found out you had been diagnosed with cervical cancer I was shocked and scared for you. I don’t remember who told me or how I found out exactly, but my first thoughts were definitely shocked, nervous for you, and the girls. Now, when I found out how long you were actually dealing with this, but hadn’t gotten any treatment, I’m not going to lie, I was mad at you because I couldn’t figure out how you could’ve known about this but not done anything to treat it. I realize now that was selfish of me, because of course it’s cancer so you were probably terrified. You also had a baby that was dealing with a heart condition that you put before yourself which was typical for you, so it all made sense afterwards.

When I found out you were in remission a few months ago and saw that video if you ringing the bell and reading the sign, I can’t tell you how happy it made me, I watched it about 2-3 times and couldn’t help but have a smile on my face. It was over, you were in the clear and weren’t going to have to worry about any of that again…or so we thought. Unfortunately, about two months later, you relapsed, but it wasn’t an ordinary type of relapse, it was as if this time around it came back for vengeance because it was back and hit harder than ever; but that didn’t seem to matter to you because you were prepared to fight it just like you did the first time….our super woman. And that’s exactly what you did was fight from that point on.

I remember finding out you had relapsed, I was sad again but for some reason not as worried about it, because I knew you had beat it once before, and you could do it again. Things got ugly and serious so fast after that. I’m pretty sure it was Jimito, my cousin, who told me about 2-3 weeks ago that your kidneys were failing so it was really just a matter of days/weeks now. When I heard that I was beyond the point of being at a loss for words. My first instinct was to reach out to Naisha (her oldest daughter). But what the hell was I going to say? Sorry that your mom is dying? Nothing I said would make her feel better or sound like anything she didn’t already know/hear. So, I opted to just being real and ask how she was doing  REALLY, she responded, “I’m okay, no one wants to see their mom going through this.” That alone was enough to break my heart and send me to tears. But I wanted to keep talking to her, I was determined to somehow or another either take her mind off things for a little while or somehow make her feel better. So we started talking about Demi Lovato.

Now, if you know me you know that I absolutely LOVE Demi Lovato and even that is probably an understatement. Recently (through her snapchats) I’ve noticed that she’s been liking her more and more, and (although it’s probably not the case) I like to think I had something to do with that lol. So I started to talk to her about Demi. We spoke about how much we liked her, why we liked her, her documentary and how good it was, etc. She ended up telling me how much she wished she could go to one of her concerts, and with me, so I told her we would, to one of her shows for her tour next year and I fully intend on making that happen for her if it means making her feel just a tiny bit better and putting a smile on her face.

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Fast-forward to a few days after this, we kept hearing about how worse you were getting and my mom and I were thinking/talking about how long it had been since the last time we spoke to you. We knew that although we wanted nothing more than for you to get better, the unfortunate reality was that your time was limited, and we wanted to able to speak to you and hear your voice one last time; so we called you. Actually, we called Naisha to hear her voice for a bit too first and see how she was, then we asked to speak to you, which was a little difficult because this was at the point where you were at your weakest so you could barely talk or move on your own anymore. My mom did most of the talking because, again, I had no idea what to say. My mom said hi to you, wished you well, and told you to keep fighting. With what little strength you had, you said hi to us followed by a series of “mhmms,” because that’s all that you could muster. At one point, I finally said hi and you said “hi…” then asked my mom, “who is that?” and she told you who I was and you were like “Ohhhh hi mama!” You sounded really happy/excited, which made me really happy. Then my mom asked you to sing something for her because she knew you loved music. You were quiet for like 2 minutes, then started humming for a few minutes before falling quiet again from being in and out of sleep. My mom started to end the conversation with you, she said she loved you, then I said bye I love you…and then I broke down. I started crying because deep down I had a feeling that was going to be the last time I ever spoke to you and I couldn’t believe it. It really was heartbreaking…And then the conversation ended.

Roughly two weeks after that conversation was when it happened. The ugly and disgusting monster that is cancer beat her, and as a result, took her life. It was Wednesday morning, I had gotten woken up by a phone call on the house phone, which I found weird for two reasons; 1. It was 7 o’clock in the morning, and 2. We rarely get calls on the house phone, let alone at that time of morning. The person left a message on the machine, but I didn’t hear who it was or what they had to say, I just know it was really weird. So I went about my morning getting ready for work, and then I saw my phone light up with a text from my mom, and for some reason that was it, that solidified the nervous feeling I got in the pit of my stomach. I just knew, or had a feeling, it was THAT text. And sure enough when I opened it, it was exactly what I feared. Stephanie had officially taken her last breath at 4:30 that morning. When I found out I couldn’t believe it, I broke down crying and shaking for about 10 minutes. This couldn’t be real, she couldn’t have actually died. She was supposed to get better and be okay again for Pipo and the girls. What’s going to happen now for them? So many questions and concerns running through my mind, but it wasn’t about me, it was about them and all the love and support they were going to need from this point forward, and now here we are….

Stephanie:I love you. I’m so sorry and sad that you are gone, but so unbelievably happy that you’re finally at peace and no longer in pain. You were an amazing mother to the girls, but you never have to worry about them being taken care of. And although it hadn’t happened in a few years, I’m going to miss the little talks on Saturdays we had when you guys still lived in New York. I’m so sorry I couldn’t be in Florida with everyone to pay my respects in person, but I’m really hoping somehow this makes up for that. 😔🙏🏼

Pipo & Girls: I love you guys so much ❤️❤️. I’m so sorry for your guys loss. Nobody should ever have to deal with this kind of loss, heartbreak, and pain. But you guys are all so unbelievably strong and loved 💪🏼❤️. None of you guys will ever have to worry about being alone or anything along those lines. But I guess that’s what’s great about having a big family, all of the love and support that comes along with that. I don’t want to say that everything’s going to be alright, because 1. I’ve never had to go through anything even remotely close to this before to know that, and 2. It’s not and won’t be for a long time if we’re being completely honest, and I know it may be hard to see and believe right now, but she really is in a better place right now, and this way she will literally always be with you guys. Your guys own personal guardian angel ❤️. And she’s probably up there in Heaven flying high with mamita right now watching over all of us ❤️🙏🏼

To The Rest of My Family: Let us please use this as a reason to become closer as a family, not more separated the way we’ve kind of all been the past few years. As cliche as it sounds, I think this situation can be used as a way to show/tell us to be more appreciative and mindful of our loved ones before it’s too late, because you truly never know when it’s going to be the last time you speak to or see your family or friends.😪

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“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. 

These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fill them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. 

Beautiful people do not just happen.”- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross 💪🏼❤️🙏🏼🎗

I know that the majority of you who will read this that aren’t family, don’t know her or her family, but any little bit can and will help them during this difficult time. Click the link below to donate anything that you can.

https://www.gofundme.com/stephanie-melendez-memorial-fund