Open letter to my father’s murderer:
It is difficult to dedicate words to someone to has caused so much grief. Each sentence represents tears and chest pains so strong that leave me breathless. This is why I want you to read this slowly and consciously, because in it, I express the soul ache and pour out my emotions.
On early morning September 1, 2012 while you were coming from a night out, you were driving at high speeds and under the influence of alcohol. Little did you know that in a matter of seconds you would impact the life of a family completely unknown to your world. You crashed into my father, a cyclist and caused his death. The ‘deceased’ they called him. They took away his identity when you turned off his energy, the vessel of his personality. A totally preventable accident if only you had the maturity to accept your limits.
The image that haunts me is of my father taking his last breaths, lying there probably unconscious and you blaming him for exercising at early hours. It is not a dignified death, in the street, run over during a totally preventable accident if you ONLY had the maturity to accept your limits.
Not only did you take away my father, you also took away the opportunity of the future–the future of my children sharing with their grandfather. Of me, being able to call him for advice, of him meeting the man who was to become “my one.” You took away the sharing of graduations, festivities, achievements, the changes, the adventures, trips and endless conversations. You robbed me of the opportunity to continue cultivating a father-daughter relationship.
I see you, walking freely, vividly through the streets of Old San Juan. You see me as well and you know who I am. I don’t know if it’s your shame or a defense mechanism that makes you avert your eyes and change your pace. But I see the change in your face and you don’t fool anyone. I don’t know what goes through your mind when we cross paths, or when I see you drinking in the local bars. Maybe you do it to forget, but all you do is make me remember. It infuriates me that you do not learn from your mistakes, that you do not recognize the seriousness of what occurred. Nor do you consider that you can be a viable source in helping others prevent the same mistake. He was an individual, with a vocation, interests, a family.
Not a word you could address us. Not one “I’m sorry”. Nothing. You took it as a temporary moment that once you came out of that ‘nightmare’ of the court, you would dismiss it as something from the past. Well here I am, present, palpable, someone who maintains a pain that once in your distant past you caused by stealing the future from a total stranger.
I hope others, cultivate in their conscience the importance of preserving life. To think before acting. Of self-regulation. Self-knowledge. Because we are not an isolated entity, and our thoughts and actions resonate in the collective.
Caroline Keller Reyes–the youngest daughter.
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