Tori, Josue, & Maynor ♡ ((What July Means To Me))

     J U L Y .

For most people, this month means only Summertime. It means going to the beach, hanging out in the ocean, lounging by the pools, and so many other things. For a handful of people in the Miami area, it means all those things, but mostly remembrance. It means sadness, and heart ache.

July use to be my favorite month of the whole year. It use to mean just spending time outside enjoying the beautiful Miami weather and laying out in the sun. It use to only mean partying and enjoying life.

For me, July now means Celebrating life and remembering those I have lost in this month over the course of the last three years.

July 4, 2014.

Victoria Dempsey.

Have you ever met someone full of life and who was never afraid of anything? That was my friend Victoria Dempsey, or as everyone knew her, Tori for short. From the first moment I met her she was fearless and down for anything. I met her the summer of 2013 on our friends boat. She was so friendly and fun and I knew we would be great friends from the moment I met her. We only hung out a handful of times in the following year, but every time we got together it was always the time of my life.

She loved the ocean and basically spent all her time out on the water. Unfortunately, that was also the way she lost her life.

Here in Miami, 4th of July is a huge celebration, especially out on the water. People love taking out the boats and going out on the sandbar. In Miami Beach there's also an amazing fire works show that people take their boats out just to watch.

My friend Tori, spent the whole day out on the water and watched the fireworks show at night. On the way back from the fire works show, everyone was speeding and trying to be the first ones to get to the marinas. The boat that Tori was on, and two other boats crashed into each other. My friend Tori, two other people on the same boat that she was on, Andrew Garcia and Kelsey Karpiak, and one other gentleman from one of the other boats, lost their lives. Many others were injured.

Not a day goes by that Tori does not pass through my mind and that I don't miss her fun, carefree spirit. That beautiful soul did more in her twenty years of life, then most people do in their lifetimes. She is loved by so many and missed terribly. She impacted my life in the short amount of time that I knew her and I am so grateful that I was granted the time and privileged to get to know her and be her friend.

July 12, 2015.

Josue Galban.

You never forget your first love. No matter how many years go by, you always have a special place for the first person you give your heart too. 

Josue and I were high school sweethearts. We began dating when we were both 14 years old. March 27, 2006. We dated for two years and he was my best friend and my rock through the hardest years of my life. As most high school relationships, it ended and we went our separate ways. We managed to remain friends for the remaining 9 years. We never saw each other to respect our current relationships but we kept in touch. We cared for each other when we were young, and continued to care for each other as we got older.

The night of July 12, 2015, Josue was killed during a road rage altercation. We don't really know the details of the incident, and the case is still under investigation. He was only 24 years old and was going to be a father shy of two months. 

Josue was a little bit more on the wild side, but he was an amazing friend and person all around. He would do anything in his power for a friend or loved one in need. He had a laugh that made everyone around him smile and laugh just as hard. Watching his son grow without a father is very heartbreaking. He is truly missed. 

His best friend from high school, Yudany and I, have become close and I find comfort in knowing that someone from his passed and I are really good friends. I know he brought us together. It's nice being able to talk about him with someone who cares for him the same way I do. As an amazing friend. 

He's always thought of and I will cherish the memories we shared from when we were younger, for the rest of my life. I pray for his family. May god bless them and give them strength through these difficult times. 

July 14, 2016.

Maynor Portoblanco.

We all have that one friend that was the life of the party. That was this man right here. Always dancing with all the old ladies, and clowning around. He always went to all my family parties and danced his life away. I never saw him upset or angry. He was always smiling, laughing and cracking jokes. 

I've known Maynor since high school and we managed to remain good friends all through the remaining years that followed. I can't say that about many people from high school. In 2013 we became really close and we always had fun no matter where we went. 

On July 14, 2016, 10 years to the day that I lost my grandfather to cancer, I was at work and scrolling through Facebook, when I came across the most shocking post I have read in a while. I lost another friend, for the third year in a row in July. 

He had passed away in the early morning hours due to texting a driving. You always hear of it happening, but you never believe it can happen to you let alone anyone that you're really close with. Another friend with their names bright in the news and not for something positive. That night a big group of his friends and I met at our high school baseball field to remember El Guason. (Joker in Spanish). 

This year Two Thousand and Seventeen will make Three years for Tori, Two years for Josue, and One year for Maynor. Three years in a row, a year and a few days apart from each other I lose three very close friends. That's why July is a very hard month for me.

I can not stress on Boating, Driving, and Gun safety enough. I can not stress on how careful my friends and loved ones should be this month. I can't stress how terrified I am for this upcoming month. I would not know what I would do with myself if this is a Forth year in a row. I'm getting goosebumps as I am writing this.

God bless my loved one this July.

July is sacred for me.

While most of you will be only partying it up, I will be celebrating and remembering, those friends of mine that were taken too young and way too soon.


1 comment

  1. So sorry for your losses! Praying this July won't bring another!


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