It was Sunday morning, June 21 or 22, 2003. My friend and I, had a terrible hungover from the night before, we spent it drinking in downtown Windsor. We had to go to Santa Rosa, Ca., a city nearby, that day. My friend was a member of a soccer team, and the team was scheduled to play later on that day, so he needed to go. I didn’t have to go, but we used to go everywhere together, so that day wasn’t going to be the exception. We jumped onto his pickup truck, Nissan Frontier, and headed towards Santa Rosa, but we made a quick stop at a gasoline station to get a case of beer, just to treat the hungover, according to us! We arrived at the soccer field, and a bunch of people was already there, men, women, and children. They were, most of them, from our hometown in Mexico. A group of guys, including us, gathered in a bubble to chit-chat, drink and enjoy the game. It was getting late in the afternoon, and the game was over, our team lost, by the way. My friend came back to rejoin us after the soccer team finished playing.
There was a (Taco Truck), most of the people, smart people, went to have something to eat, before going home, but a few others, and us, continued bending the elbow, if you know what I mean!
It was dark all ready and everybody was drunk; we had to leave, but no one in the group wanted to stop drinking. We decided to go to a place in Santa Rosa called “La Fondita,” a spot where you can drink, eat, and listen to the mariachis singing nice music. Also, you can delight the eyes with the waitresses serving the customers, very pretty “señoritas”. As the group was leaving the field, everyone agreed to wait outside the joint for the whole gang to arrive, so all of us could get a table together.
We were heading to the restaurant happy with the music at full blast, and with the bottle in our mouths, intoxicating ourselves even more. It was as if we were in some kind of competition against each other to see who could drink it faster. Suddenly, everything went blank on me, and I did not know what happened to me or my friend. When I opened my eyes, I was in the emergency room at the Memorial hospital in Santa Rosa, surrounded by doctors and nurses trying to bring me back to life. That’s when I realized, we suffered a massive car accident! My life was in jeopardy, and I had to have surgery immediately. The crash did extreme damage to several organs inside my abdominal areas and needed to be fixed. However, before they could make the operation, they needed to know about my family. Liability issues, you know, if something happened to me, kick the bucket, for instance, who was going to respond for me? I had to let them know where I was, and what had happened, so they could come to check on me. I didn’t know any words in English yet, so someone from the hospital was interpreting me. I knew I might not make it through the operation. So, I thought, “I got into this myself, nobody pushed me or put a gun on my head and said, “you better do this, or I’ll shoot you”, NOPE!. So, I didn’t want to let anyone know.
I woke up the next day, covered with tubes all over my face and body, “hurting horribly”. In fact, everything hurt whenever I breathe or blink my eyes. I made it though! ! I was in the intensive care unit because the doctors thought, I would not last long alive, regardless. Furthermore, hardly anyone could visit me while in the ICU, my family, if anyone. I was mostly sleeping, so I’m not sure.
More than 24 hours went by, and I was still alive. The doctors’ diagnostics were not very accurate, as they thought it was. Miraculously, I was starting to get better instead of worse. My God, king of kings, Lord of heaven and earth, and creator of every creature in the planet, big, small, human, nonhuman, underwater, land, and above the skies, had decided to give me another chance to live. My health continued to improve. I got transferred into a different room, away from the intensive care unit, “thank goodness!”. I was still hooked to all the hospital’s machines that help to stay alive; however, my recovery was coming along wonderfully. I thought so, everybody did.
Since I was in a different room, my family and friends could visit me anytime. I remember, sometimes when, either my relatives or buddies dropped by, as we were chatting. They started throwing out some terribly funny jokes that were too difficult not to break into laughter. My incision was too premature yet, so it was very painful, every time I smile or make the smallest gesture; my companion noticed right away because tears were actually rolling down my cheeks. They stopped playing around and tried to calm me down by saying, “stay still man, so sorry” we didn’t mean to hurt you. I lifted my head and looked at their faces full of guilt and remorse. My amusement grew up bigger, meanie me, huh! I just thought it was hilarious to see their expressions. After a while, finally my giggles went away, and the pain started to slow down. Everyone was quiet, they feared to make me laugh again too hard and cause reopening the wound, so They stayed for a few minutes more and then left home………