a retelling

I was visiting with my dad a little last week and he said, “did i ever tell you how my dad died. In three days it will be the anniversary of when he died. He was 22. [dad looks down and somewhat whispers] just 22.”

I’ve heard the story only a few times and I guess for that reason I never really remember all the details. I probably should pay closer attention since he is the reason my name is Julian.

He was an accountant, just like my dad.

He was newly married… only about a year or so and his bride at the time of his death was a mere 18 and a half years old.

He was working at a pharmaceutical company.

It was pretty cold that night. Seems odd to me because in Matamoros which is in the northern part of Mexico right across the border from Brownsville, Texas, I would think it wouldn’t be too terribly cold.

He apparently went back to talk to the chemist about some expenditures or invoices or something. As he was standing in the room, the chemicals that were being mixed reacted in an unexpected way and there was a huge explosion. The chemist died instantly but my grandfather was engulfed in flames. He ran down the stairs and outside into the street. Someone saw him and took off their coat and patted him down to put out the flames. My grandfather was horribly burned and hung on for two days until he passed away.

He was just 22.

Roberto Julian

Jan 10, 1920 – Nov 9, 1942

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3 responses to “a retelling

  1. Oh wow.

    Oh geeze.

    That’s… terrible. And it’s kinda amazing you’re even here- so young.

  2. Very tragic.

    Something very interesting seems to be happening this month among my blogosphere friends. People seem to need to tell a story that may have been forgotten, or about people who may be forgotten. Maybe it’s an anniversary or maybe it’s just a thought that triggers it. But, it seems this November, which started with so much joy and jubilation and looking forward, has turned to a time to remember our sad pasts.

    Anyway, hugs to you my friend.

  3. Pingback: honesty is the best policy « a UU Deist in Texas

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