Personal Perspective: Cub Reporter Shares Life Story

Andres Santos.


Andres Santos.

October 22, 2005.

This day will forever be stuck in my head and will always make my heart ache.

It is the date my father was murdered.

I was only around a year old when this happened and I wish it wasn’t my dad or any human being.

Because of my young age, I never got to say “I love you Dad,” or “You’re the best dad I could ask for.”  If I could say it to him now, it would fill my heart up. From what my mom, my aunts and uncles say, he was the nicest person you’ll ever meet.

Well, my childhood wasn’t so great. We moved houses after my dad died to try and escape the violence and settle down in a home near Salem, Oregon. This house had two bedrooms, one bathroom, a small kitchen and a living room. During that time I had my mom, my 2 sisters and 2 brothers were all living in the same house. My brothers and I shared a room and my sisters shared the other one.   

My mom was okay with sleeping on the couch as she would be at work all day anyway; she worked two full-time jobs just to provide for us. Also, one of my brothers, Eddy, the oldest of all of us was born premature and had a lot of mental and physical conditions. My mom didn’t know how she could take care of all us. So my oldest sister stepped up and took the role of my mom. When Mom was at work, my sister would make food for us, help us with our homework, take us to the park, give Eddy a bath and many other things.

My mom and sister are the only people I looked up to when I was younger because they were both and still are so strong.

My family wasn’t so lucky and we didn’t have a lot of money to spend on our wants or even our needs. I would always get hand me downs from my older brother but I was always happy. I didn’t need a lot to be happy just as long as I had a roof over my head and that we were all okay, but soon that happiness would go away. I was hit by a car when I was on my bike with my brother and I broke some ribs. The car backed up into the street without looking and hit me right on my side.

Thankfully, the driver got out and made sure I was okay and called my mom because the accident happened right in front of my house. After that, the whole neighborhood was out in the street looking and wondering what was going on, I remember laying on the floor in so much pain but all I wanted was to see my mom. When my mom came she got onto the floor with me and started to bawl.

I looked in her eyes and said “Voy a estar bein ma, voy a cerrar mis ojos y dormir.”

I was going to be OK.

The ambulance ride to the hospital sucked. They ripped my favorite Lego shirt to look at the injuries and when they touched my ribs it hurt so bad. I don’t really remember what happened after that; I think they gave me meds and I just knocked out. What I do remember is waking up and all of my family being there and trying to make me feel better.

My aunts, uncles, and some cousins came to my room and they all had tears in their eyes. After a few days I was ready to go home, I had to take a cab home because my mom left her car at my house, I was in pain for a few weeks after I came home but it soon went  away.

Although my childhood wasn’t like every other kid I knew, I’m still grateful that this happened to me. These events shaped who I am and gave me a insight to the real world and how ugly it could be. Losing my dad made me become grateful for what I have now because in the blink of an eye it could all be gone.

I can’t stress it enough, but please tell your mom, dad, sister, brother or anyone you love that you love them, the future is unclear and you could lose them at any moment.