In our household we celebrated the New Year with Great-Grandmother and Great-Uncle at our home in Puerto Rico. Just the five of us talking, eating, listening to music and playing with our daughter. Our dog was a little stressed from all of the fireworks happening around our neighborhood.
No Mas Balas al Aire
For many years in Puerto Rico there has been a campaign during the holidays that calls on all citizens to not shoot guns in the air, or in Spanish, “No Mas Balas al Aire”, to celebrate the coming of the new year. Unfortunately there are people who don’t adhere to this campaign and every year someone gets hurt.
As we were counting down the seconds, lots of firecrackers and fireworks were going off, so you can imagine that my dog was looking around to see where the noise was coming from and was stressed out. As we were underneath our gazebo that is made of cement, Raul kept on telling me to stay under because no one can decipher a gunshot from a firework.
I decided to go upstairs and check out the fireworks with the baby from the window and she was a bit scared with all of the noise. So I decided to go back down and rejoin the family. Overall it was a great night for our family and was quite peaceful give an take the noise.
Victims of New Year Bullets
But for several people around the island, especially one girl of fifteen named Karla Michelle Negron, things did not bode well. Karla Michelle is a victim of a stray bullet and has caused her to be on life support since Jan 1st. Today the parents have to make a decision of whether or not to take their daughter off of life support. (Updated link in English)
Acts such as this one happen in the states as well and I read about a little boy who like Karla Michelle, was a victim of this crime and he died when a stray bullet entered a church and struck him, leaving him dead. Parents who have had to suffer the loss of a child over such an irresponsible act must feel helpless, and I know I would.
Who are the bad guys?
Who do you blame for this when stray bullets cause death or severe harm to a loved one? Those people who do these things don’t think of the consequences of their acts. As a child, I grew up in a not-so-friendly neighborhood and heard lots of gunfire all year round. And this held true during New Years when several people I know would do this for fun. But the police cracked down on this type of behavior and as an adult I hardly ever heard of people in my old neighborhood doing this. If someone from the old neighborhood happens to read this let me know if this is true.
Can Karla Michelle’s parents go hunting down the people or person who did this to their daughter?
No they can’t because the cowards who do this type of action, keep on living their life while Karla Michelle fights for her life. Sometimes I sit and watch our daughter who is learning so many things everyday. I try to think about what her future will be like and what she will do and who she will ultimately become, and then I stop. I don’t know what will happen in the next second, minute, hour, day, or as the writer Glennon Melton at Momastery explains the difference between chronos time versus kairos time when people tell her to seize the moment as her children grow up.
Karla Michelle’s parents were seizing the moment during a time of celebration and had to stop because someone committed a crime that harmed their daughter. This senseless act turned a time of celebration into a time of fear and desperation to save the life of their daughter.
I don’t know if most of the people who will read this pray to Allah, Jehovah, Buddha, God, or don’t pray at all. But religion aside, at this moment if you could take the time to send a positive thought to Karla Michelle, her parents, and family members, who are cherishing every last second with her.
Parents all over the world lose children to disease, war, and senseless crimes everyday. Let us hope that as the seconds go by, that Karla Michelle’s parents can be strong for one another and that their family and the community at large will help support them during these seconds, minutes, and hours that they have with their daughter.
At PapaHeroes we are sending our strongest prayers to the family and all those who are taking care of Karla Michelle at this very moment. We will update you on her progress as she battles for her life.
As a parent it is with great saddness that I update this with the outcome no parent should have to go through. According to the local news outlets, Karla Michelle has passed on. Our condolences to the parents Carlos Negrón and Evelyn Vélez, family members, friends and her community.
Photo by agilitynut
Thanks to PRDailySun.com for updated information.
Thanks to WSBTV Georgia for the link.