His name was Octaviano Ceja. He was a hard working man that provided for his family, gave the best advice, loved sardines, lemon with salt, and every day after work you could find a beer in his hand. But to me, he was my grandfather, actually I called him Abuelito.
The summer, around my 12th birthday, my grandfather was hospitalized for swallowing a sardine bone that punctured his lung. While in the hosptial, he had a stroke which keep him the hospital longer, there I was with my family when the doctor said the word I had never heard before, Alzheimer's.
The next couple of years were tough... The man who would wake up before the sun to go to work was wondering down the street in his underwear, lost and confused. The man that would take my sisters, cousins and I in his truck to the corner store to get junk food that our parents wouldn't let us have, forgot to to eat. The man who nickname me muneca, which means doll face Spanish, when I was born, didn't even remember my name.
The final days of my Abuelito's life was spent on hospice. The family gathered around his bedside each night, us talking about the memories that we had. On September 7, I was sitting on my Abuelito's bed and he reached out his hand and called my name and placed a kiss on my forehead. On September 8, my parents grabbed me from school and broke the news... "Abuelito is gone." And the tears fell.
Coming into my 4th year of BvB Dallas, I was on the fence with my crazy work schedule! But each year, I return because I don't just raise money for myself, I raise money for my family. I raise money so that no family has to go through watching their love one go through this disease. I raise money for the memory of my Abuelito.