June 27, 2016 - 12:50 PM
'I COULD HEAR HER SCREAMING AND SHOUTING REPEATEDLY THE VERY BASIC OF ALL QUESTIONS, 'WHY?'
EDITOR'S NOTE: Darwin Rosales flew from the Philippines to witness 'justice' for his brother, Caesar Rosales, who was stabbed in the neck by a stranger while riding a city bus in 2014. Tyler Newton was sentenced last week to seven years in prison after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter. What follows is a lightly edited victim impact statement from Darwin submitted to iNFOnews.ca
With Caesar's death, I did not only lose a brother, I lost a best friend.
We have a lot of things in common. For all the things we enjoy, dislike and stood for. We used to play a lot together when we were little kids having only two years age gap between us.
On that fateful day, when that phone call came to our home in the Philippines from his estranged wife in Vancouver, my first reaction was that of disbelief. The narration as to what happened was sketchy but I was told that details would appear in Google.
When I hang up, I really couldn't find words to break the news to my mother and sister who were close by me since they heard my part of the conversation as something strange going on. When I finally gathered the strength, I told them that Caesar is gone and the circumstances by which his life ended.
Watching my mother's face, I thought she would collapse right away, but she managed to walk to the bathroom crying as I followed right behind her. Inside the bathroom, I could hear her screaming and shouting repeatedly the very basic of all questions, WHY?
My mother has been through a whole lot ever since me and my siblings were little kids. We were poor but my parents especially my mother made sure we all go through college.
My brother graduated as an Industrial Engineer and had chosen a career on Information Technology as a specialization. He worked for reputable companies in the Philippines, in fact the last one he worked for before he migrated was with a top 10 publicly listed corporation.
He was attracted and chose to migrate to Canada a decade and a half ago for everything that if offers its citizens. He went through the legal and meritocratic system of migration.
Even during his lowest points in life, our family back in the Philippines never heard of any regrets from him on his choice of migrating. He was so reassuring that everything is well and fine and that nothing can go wrong. So our family picked on that enthusiasm and assurances, after all they were all founded on facts and figures based on statistical data.
'HAD (CAESAR) CHOSEN.. SOME WAR OR DISEASE-TORN COUNTRIES... ONE CAN PREPARE FOR THE WORST'
It is from the huge difference between expectation and the reality of the tragedy comes the greatest emotional devastation. Nothing had really prepared our family for what happened. Had he chosen to become an international volunteer in some war or disease-torn countries, right at the outset of departure for the mission, one can prepare and expect for the worst, both physically and emotionally.
During my last visit to Kelowna, right after Caesar's death, I felt glad to learn how proud Caesar was, mentioning to his apartment landlord I had the pleasure of meeting about having a brother who went to a university in Japan for a Masters in Civil Engineering under a scholarship from the Japanese Government. I was offered the Ph.D but decided to return back to the Philippines. Japan is a great country, and I owe the Japanese people a whole lot.
I opted to retire early from the Department of Science and Technology of the Philippines as a Division Chief to work on my startup online business. It is a web-based Technology Transfer and Commercialization project. I took the risk of leaving my job confident that as Caesar knew about the concept, he was also supposed to help me out with the web and database programming (refer to attached email). With his death, I have to shelve the project indefinitely until I can afford a programmer as good as he is.
In the meantime, film making is a fall back vocation for me. What used to be a hobby, I am now turning into a serious source of livelihood.
Immediately after learning of Caesar's death, my sister who owns a small business was not able to operate for five days. My eldest brother did not report for work for a couple of days, despite his busy schedules being part of the top management of their company.
Mama and I had visited Caesar in Vancouver in early October of 2010. After 12 years being away from the Philippines, the same length of time my two other siblings haven't seen him, Caesar was scheduled to come back for Christmas of 2014. Barely two months before what was supposed to be a happy reunion, his life was cut short.
Mama goes to church every day about a kilometer away from home. She takes a tricycle, like a cab on 3 wheels. Before Caesar's death she went all by herself without any problem. After Caesar's death I have to go with her. Not only was she a devout Catholic, she hung on to Divine Providence to cope with the most tragic event she was made to face.
As months after Caesar's death went by, Mama's health deteriorated. She had a few falls from loss of balance but she was careful enough to protect her head each time. One time she hit her head real bad and a nasty head bump immediately appeared.
Mama never recovered nor was able to move on from the tragic incident. I thought she would collapse right after learning of Caesar's death. According to my sister, who sleeps close by, my mother would wake up in the middle of the night in tears clasping her rosary. If it's any consolation, she had 14 months more to live and be with us before she finally succumbed to myocardial infarction before my very eyes.
She expired in my arms as I rushed her to the hospital. Upon reaching the emergency room, medical staff immediately administered all emergency procedures, but deep inside I knew Mama was gone.
What pains me most this time and God knows for how long into the future, is the thought that my Mother had not seen the day that justice is done on her son's death. A son is supposed to bury a mother and not the other way around.
I hope that with the foregoing narration I did justice to the pain Caesar's untimely death brought to our family, especially to my mother.
June 8, 2016
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016