Morir(se)

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Harry Potter can see Thestrals, a horse-like creature that carries the wagons. No one can see them, but he can because he’s seen someone die. If Thestrals were real, I could see them, too.

***

Her name was Angel, and I believe she’s in heaven now dancing for the first time. She was never able to walk, talk, and she was practically handicapped in every way. I used to watch Barney with her; this was her favorite show because of all the colors. I grew up with her because she was my grandparent’s foster child. They loved her as their own and she had the sweetest smile and most wonderful laugh. My grandparents took her in when she was two.

She wasn’t supposed to live. She was born without a cleft palette. This is the bone on the roof of your mouth. Basically, there was a hole there. She was supposed to be fed with a special bottle but her real parents didn’t know how to love her. They would close the door on her dark room all day long and she began malnutrition. I would imagine little Angel, crying like she did when she was hungry; crying out for someone to save her. A van came to pick her up during the week from a place called Micheal Dunn that helped with children with special needs. My grandma started working at Micheal Dunn a couple days a week and that’s how she met Angel. She was frail and bony and her little eyes were big in her round head.The state was going to take Angel away and my grandma wasn’t going to allow it. They told her that she only had six more months to  live because her insides were basically rotting. They brought Angel home. They started feeding her correctly, but her organs were so weak that they had to wrap towels around her when they held her because her ears would start seeping. They said that it would stain your clothes and the smell wouldn’t go away. But, one day she opened her eyes, and the next they heard a giggle. The body that wasn’t able to form for two years was finally fighting back.

They had her for six months and they bought her glasses and everything. They didn’t have custody of her yet, and once her real parents saw that she was doing better they took her back. It broke their hearts, both my grandparents, my mom and uncle. But, a month later they called back and said they couldn’t take care of her. We got our Angel back.

When I was born, she was eleven. As Angel got older and older my grandparents would lift her in and out of the bathtub each day, even though their bodies were growing frail, too.

I remember when she had to be rushed to the hospital. I was around six years old and I sat in the children’s hospital waiting area that seemed more like daycare. I remember walking past her room and hearing her loud cries. She had sucked food down into her lungs. After that, there was a hole in her stomach and she now had to be tube fed. They fed her Ensure, but sometimes she could eat a Popsicle. This would make her smile with all her teeth.

Angel wasn’t always sick, though. She would get tube fed, then lie in front of the TV or play with her musical toys. My grandparents tried teaching her words with special note cards and pictures that spoke the word when you pushed a button. There was one of a bathroom that said in a very proper-sounding voice: “this is a toilet.”

They also taught her some sign-language. She would point her thumb to her chin when she wanted “da-da” and pointed her thumb to her forehead when she wanted “mo-mo.” There was also ‘num-num.” She always wanted to eat.

One day, the three came over after I got out of school and the next thing I know Angel was at UT Hospital.

My 27 year old foster aunt was hooked up to tubes and unconscious. She got a bladder infection and that’s where it all started. The doctor didn’t give her the proper medication and because her body was so fragile, she couldn’t handle it. They tried everything but everyone besides my grandparents knew that it was time. She lived over twenty years later than she was supposed to. She got the chance to be loved.

It was loud because of how much my grandma was crying. I was holding my brother and I looked at her face. They just pulled the plug and I couldn’t stop watching her face. She had for the past three weeks a face that looked full of pain and her eyebrows were always scrunched. Now, they were loose and I couldn’t believe it – she was smiling. In that moment, I imagined her soul lifting out of her body while two giant arms picked her up and took her away. My mom told me that I should take my brother out. Thirty minutes later, they came out and it was done; Angel had finally flown away and she was free. While everyone else was sad, I wasn’t and at her funeral I stared at her body just to force tears.

***

Alex was walking across the street with his girlfriend. A car came out of nowhere and he pushed her out of the way, but it was too late. Both went into critical care. She survived, he didn’t. I didn’t know Alex, but the day before the accident I saw him at my university’s cafeteria. I know this because I saw pictures of the both of them later. He was playing his guitar on top of a mountain in one of them. In the other, he was wearing the same shirt he wore when I saw him. I looked at him, noticing that his shirt said something about brotherhood and we made awkward eye contact. I found out two days later about his death and even though I didn’t know him I was in a haze the whole day. I was angry. I was mad at God. I didn’t understand. I don’t.

***

Morir means “to die” in Spanish. Some words in Spanish can become reflexive when adding “se” to the end of the verb which refers back to the subject of the clause. In some cases, this can allow the verb to indicate an unexpected action. Morir in the reflexive can be used when speaking about a natural death or one that didn’t come suddenly. This form is typically more informal and a softer form of the verb. It really depends on the person and how they wish to form the verb for their own meaning. Most of the time, people do not choose to use morir in the reflexive and is said to be the safest choice when doubting which form to use. It also depends on circumstance.

For example:

Alex murió.

Angel se murió.

Published by celinamcmanus

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