For Gabriel Fernandez, 2005-2013

Gabriel Fernandez

Gabriel Fernandez

Why do we need myth? Because sometimes it gives us a slim chance to bear the unbearable.

In the mythos I write, Fatale, goddess of death, must bear and in turn causes terrible suffering. But also, as often as not, she appears as a woman of incredible beauty. I look to her now, because I need something to hold on to, after reading the story of Gabriel Fernandez. Be warned: This is not an easy story to read.

The Los Angeles Times reports (the full story is here):

“Before 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez was allegedly beaten to death by his mother [Pearl Fernandez] and her boyfriend [Isauro Aguirre], they doused him with pepper spray, forced him to eat his own vomit and locked him in a cabinet with a sock stuffed in his mouth to muffle his screams…

“Fernandez and Aguirre hit Gabriel with a belt buckle, a metal hanger, a small bat and a wooden club, Gabriel’s brother said. Their mother once jabbed Gabriel in the mouth with a bat and knocked out several teeth…

“The abuse worsened in the months leading up to Gabriel’s death, according to testimony from two of his siblings, both of whom are minors. They said Gabriel was forced to eat cat feces, rotten spinach and his own vomit. He slept in a locked cabinet and wasn’t let out to go to the bathroom. Fernandez and Aguirre called Gabriel gay, punished him when he played with dolls and forced him to wear girls’ clothes to school, the siblings said…

“[On May 22, 2013,] When paramedics arrived, they found Gabriel naked in a bedroom, not breathing, with a cracked skull, three broken ribs and BB pellets embedded in his lung and groin. He died two days later.”

There has to be another ending to this story.

In that ending, in those final moments, Gabriel sees what no one else can. She smiles at him like he’s just been born, the kind of smile he’s been aching for; and from that smile he is certain of two things: She understands suffering, and she means to take his away for good. After knowing only horror from the woman who was supposed to love him best, he is folded into arms that have waited for him his whole life. At last he has found the mother he should have had all along, who loves him for who he is, no matter what. And the pain and horror melt away.

That’s my myth for Gabriel, and I choose to believe it was so.

One response to “For Gabriel Fernandez, 2005-2013”

  1. tracey wiser says:

    I also choose to believe…with all my heart

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