“She loved to cook, she fed everybody,” Torres said.
He didn’t know it would be their last meal. It was days after that dinner, when his 73-year-old mother Lolita and his younger brother, 47-year-old Louis, who live together in Briarwood, Queens would fall ill.
“They went to the hospital on the same day. My brother in the afternoon, my mother later that evening,” he said.
That was April 1. By the time Torres woke up on April 7, he received the call that his mother had passed. Less than 24 hours later, came the second call about his brother.
“One of the things about being on a ventilator is it ravages your organs, his kidneys started to fail,” Torres said. “And the next organ to fail was his heart. His heart stopped.”
Torres’ father died a few years ago. In one short week, coronavirus took his mother and only sibling.
“When my father passed I was there with him. I was there at his bedside, and I couldn’t be there for my brother and my mother,” Torres said through tears.
Torres says he’s now left to sum up the lives of his mother and brother in just a few paragraphs for their obituaries. His mother was a Filipino immigrant who sacrificed so much for her sons. His brother found joy in making others happy. Torres and his wife are now waiting until it is safe for their memorial.
“I lived in New Orleans for a while, and funerals aren’t sad things,” he said. “They’re celebrations of a person’s life and that’s what we want it to be.”
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