GRAN VARONES — jose  anibal  fonseca | october 11, 1956 - january...

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jose  anibal  fonseca | october 11, 1956 - january 19, 2001

jose was my mother’s older brother. pictured here with my aunt, his wife, pat, jose was one of 9 children. “your grandmother had all these kids around and she still took me in when i needed a place to stay” pat tells me.

“he was like your mother, always laughing & telling jokes. i loved him immediately.” aunt pat tells me a lot about my uncle josé. i didn’t know him well. i didn’t know any of the men in our family. i found safety & affirmation in the many aunts & wives that frequented the house.

i don’t know what his dreams were. i didn’t even know that his birthday was yesterday. my aunt pay told me. as i got older, jose & i would only greet each other. we didn’t laugh. we didn’t joke. he would often disappear. like my mother, he struggled with addiction.

by the time he & i would spend a decent amount of time in the same room was long after he & pat split. in the late 1990’s he began to lose weight. we knew what was going on but the family was still reeling from my aunt blanca’s death just a few years earlier.

i watched my father deteriorate. i knew exactly what i was witnessing. no one spoke a word.

when jose died of aids complications in 2001, there was no funeral. at least i don’t remember. his name is seldom mentioned by family. so today, i speak his name: joseanibalfonseca.

written by: louie a. ortiz-fonseca

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