David Francisco “Pichi” Garcia

David Francisco “Pichi” Garcia

Lomas Verdes, Bayamon Municipality, Puerto Rico, USA
Death 30 May 2012 (aged 32)
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend, Specifically: After a memorial service in Church, his ashes were taken home with his family.
Memorial ID 111365436 View Source


My son David was simply a funny, great happy go lucky guy. But early life was not easy for him. I was just 16 years old when I had him, but I remember the day he was born as being the happiest of my short life, he was my early Christmas present. I couldn't wait to get home so I could be with him all the time. We were finally discharged a week later, only to have to take him back to the hospital because he got sick. He was diagnosed with salmonella contracted at the nursery. When he was admitted, I thought I was going to die, but a female doctor told me "don't worry I'll save him." And she kept her word for he was discharged December 22; so I viewed that as a second early Christmas present for me. After that everything was fine with David, he was my beautiful Christmas baby! On New Year's eve, as the clock stroke midnight and we received the year 1980, I was sitting in my living room at home feeding him. I remember that clearly because, though, there were family and friends, all I cared about was my baby. I just wanted to be with him, take care of him, love him!! All of a sudden, that little boy with no hair, had become my world....My husband would just look at me and smile.

In 1981, we moved to Chicago, and all continued to be well with him. But on November 1982, a month before he turned 3 years old, he got sick with a cold that wouldn't go away. He was inactive, lethargic, and slept a lot. Then one morning he woke up with little red dots on his face and ears, and needless to say I took him to the doctor. Within a couple of hours we were at the emergency room at Children's Memorial Hospital, for he had been diagnosed with Leukemia. There the diagnosis was confirmed; he had Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). I thought I was going to go insane. My dear mother, my husband and I, took turns and stayed with him at the hospital day and night. We all prayed and prayed, but my poor mother prayed day and night for him. Even when she was out taking a break, she was praying for him.

After all the studies and tests were done, chemotherapy began. He went into remission 20 days after diagnosis. We were told he'd need 3 years of chemo, he endured much pain throughout this ordeal. He had to have spinal tabs every 3 months, it was so horrible that I just couldn't be there with him, his dad was. He wasn't allowed to play with other kids, because he had a central line in his chest for the chemo, and it could've been easily pulled out. We tried our best to entertain him. He had a lot of toys, we played with him all the time. We would take him out to eat (he loved Pizza Hut), to the park, the beach (Lake Michigan in the summer time) to the movies, to McDonalds, to the zoo, just to name a few places. He enjoyed watching sesame street, cartoons, He-Man, the dukes of hazards, night rider, and so much more. He loved music too. He loved Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen, just to name a few. Unbelievably, he loved to watch Julia Child cooking shows!!! He used to say to me "Mom, Julia Child is a great cooker!!! I never corrected him, because I thought it sounded cute.

Then, on one of his appointments we were surprised with the news that he didn't need chemo any longer, for there were no traces of the leukemia in his body anymore. That meant that from the original 3 years of chemo series, it was shortened to only 2!!! His central line was removed and now he was able to go to the park and play with other kids, and be a regular 5 year old boy!

Everything was fine now he was strong and healthy. He was by now attending Jehovah Lutheran School, and was so happy there, that he used to say that he wanted to become a Pastor as an adult. My two other boys were born, so now David had brothers to play with. He was a good student, but he was more artistic than anything. He loved to draw and write stories. He was a good kid, a home body. David never gave me any kind of problems at all. He didn't drink, smoke (He later became a smoker though.) He was very mindful of the people he associated himself with, and I was so proud of him for that. As they got older David would advise his brothers to do the same; under his watchful eye they followed suit. He had many friends because of his fantastic sense of humor, his jokes and voice imitations were legendary. He would make out of an ordinary story an incredibly funny one. He and his brothers used to film themselves doing comedy sketches starring, of course, them that are just hilarious. He was very caring and loving. He adored his brothers and was very protective of them. When they were little, he insisted I let him help me take care of them, even though he was a little boy too. David taught them how to play video games, they just did everything together. David used to read bedtime stories to them, of course his way, which included a bit of comedy! I used to love seeing them together.

He was their role model, and they really looked up to him. He had a series of unsuccessful relationships, but he was hopeful that he'll, one day, find the right girl for him. I always felt he found the right girl for him since high school. His high school sweetheart Tanya, was a constant in his life, but unfortunately, they never got married. Theirs was a lifetime of on again, off again relationship. I know he loved her, but for whatever reason things between them just didn't come to fruition. I know she really loved him with all her heart, there was absolutely nothing she wouldn't have done for him. I love her and see her like the daughter I never had because of that. His friends were like brothers and sisters to him. If anyone he knew had a problem, David had a problem too. He used to be quite the counselor! I never heard him say anything negative about anyone, specially a friend. David always saw the good in people. If he did say something negative about someone, it's because it was true, and therefore, that person was not his friend to begin with. He played video games, watched a lot of movies and tv shows, and was an avid wrestling fan. Throughout his life he loved superman, batman, spiderman, basically all the super heroes. David was a child at heart to the end. After he finished High school, being the kid that he was his first job was at Toys R us. And worked at many other places after that and he would always be promoted to manager. His last job was as a manager at Pizza Hut, ironically, his favorite childhood eatery.

In March 2012, he developed stomach problems and edema. He went to the hospital and was diagnosed with an heart condition he'd had for a while, apparently, but was not detected. He's heart was functioning at a 25% by now, and basically there was nothing that could be done but hope for the best. He spent a few days at the hospital and was discharged. But on Wednesday April 11, at 11:50pm, he complained of chest pains, which he never had before, and before we could call 911 he collapsed right on our dinning room floor. We called 911 and once in the ER, we were informed he had suffered a stroke and a heart attack and the prognosis was not very good. I was so desperate, once again, I thought I was going insane. But we all had hope, for we knew he was a fighter. However, something inside me was telling me that things weren't going to be the same, but I never voiced it to anyone. Then on Saturday April 14, at the hospital, he suffered another stroke on the other side of the brain, and now, more than ever, the doctors were sure he wasn't going to make it. We were encouraged to basically pull the plug, but we (the family) refused. We all agreed that if David was going back home, God would decide when, not us or the Doctors. We knew he was strong, a fighter, a survivor; we still had hope against all odds!

I would see some progress from time to time, but it wouldn't last, like some movements that didn't seem involuntary, and faces he would normally make all his life whenever he felt uncomfortable. He once followed a nurse across the room, another time reacted to a noise, etc. But then, he'll go back to sleep and wouldn't do it when the doctors were in his room or on command. Yet, one afternoon I was in his room with him, and I put the Maury Povich show, and I know he did watch that show with me. Since the heart attack and strokes, he hadn't paid any attention to anything around him. But that afternoon, he opened his eyes and was looking straight at the tv, and also looked at me. I know he knew I was there. I talked to him and he just looked at me. But I saw awareness in his eyes, there was life and understanding in his eyes. I said all kinds of things to him. Talked about our pets, his brothers, what was going on in the news (he used to religiously watch the news every day), just like I had been doing in previous days. Later on he went back to sleep and I called everyone with the news. But he never did it again. I now think, he just came back to be with me once more, for a little bit. After that day things got worse and worse everyday, but we all continued to hope and pray for him. I had this huge hope that he, somehow, would get up from that hospital bed.

My hope never ceased, until the night before he passed, when I saw no life in his eyes, he was basically gone. I was so afraid, so terrified and wasn't able to share my feelings with anyone. Real desperation and fear took over. Still, I prayed that night like never before. I had been asking God, to let me take his place on that bed. Not that I want to die, but I was willing to die; I was very willing to sacrifice myself in exchange for my son's life. I asked God over and over again to take me and let him stay. (I had been doing that from the very beginning but that night, I was pleading with God more than ever.) I'm older, already lived a life, and not in good health. I begged God I cried all night long. Around six in the morning, on May 30 2012, I don't know what came over me, but I said to God; If he's not going to get better, and if he's suffering, and will not have some quality of life back, then God, take him with you. I was numb, because I didn't know where those words came from. To this day, I don't know where they came from! Then at 7:11am he just stopped breathing. CPR was attempted, but was unsuccessful. My Pichi was gone, my pichulinsito was gone, my big guy was gone. I couldn't immediately cry because I had been crying all night non stop, and think I had no more tears, I was stunned, in disbelieve! I just stood there, like in a dream or a nightmare of sorts. His brothers Paul and Steven were also there. They were so heartbroken, it tore my heart to see them hugging, crying, and kissing their dead brother; they didn't want to let go of him. He looked so peaceful, as if he were just sleeping. In a matter of minutes his room was full of hospital people who were doing everything they could to help him. Nurses, people from the hospital Chapel came to pray. The room turned into a funeral chapel, like a wake. His cardiologist was there too, he hugged us and cried with us (very unusual for doctors.) I know that what everyone else saw was a young man that had died too soon. All I could see was my little boy, my precious pichi, my fighter who just had lost his last battle.

I can say that I understand that my Pichi, is in a better place with God, with my parents, and other relatives and friends, but I cannot move forward. My brain understands what's happened but my heart cannot. A part of me has died with my son. Although I put up a façade, for the sake of my other 2 sons, there is no longer happiness in me. I might, occasionally smile, and even laugh, but I'm crying inside. I feel like a huge part of my being, something too precious for words is gone, and is never coming back. I'm not the same person I used to be. I always heard that losing a child is the worse pain a mother can endure, but pain is not the right word. There are no words for what a mother feels inside seeing her child dead. My only hope now is to earn my right to go to heaven and one day, soon I hope, be with my beloved son again.. Please say a prayer for him!!!

At David's Memorial Service in Church his youngest brother Steven, (who is singer) sang To Where You Are, by Josh Groban. There wasn't a dry eye in that Church. It was so moving, so tender, so beautiful. You could tell he was singing it from the bottom of his heart and soul.

David is survived by his mother, this two younger brothers Paul and Steven, who are heartbroken and still grieving his loss, for they love and miss him so very much. Also uncles, aunts, cousins, and many friends who also miss him terribly!

*********IN GRATITUDE*********

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  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/111365436/david-francisco-garcia : accessed ), memorial page for David Francisco “Pichi” Garcia (9 Dec 1979–30 May 2012), Find a Grave Memorial ID 111365436, ; Maintained by Osiris (contributor 47272171) Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend, who reports a After a memorial service in Church, his ashes were taken home with his family..