My son Antonio Alberto Ferrer at the age of 16, in today's world would be called "innocent". He was the kind of child that wasn't racing to grow up. He still liked toys, and loved playing video games specially football, he practiced a lot, because he wanted to get good enough to beat his older brother, who is away in college, Sione. He also spent a lot of time playing with his younger brothers Santiago and Isaac. In other words I was BLESSED. When they play that public announcement on TV saying, "it's 10 PM do you know where your kids are"? My answer was always yes I do, they are in bed. Of course on weekends they would stay up late, but I always knew where they were. I am divorced and we have joint custody and split residential, weekdays with my ex, and Friday to Sunday with me, but Antonio did no want to go with his mother so he always stayed with me, and at 16 nobody could really force him otherwise.
So this leads to the worst time of my life. Saturday morning March 6, 1999 my mother took my son to take a high school equivalency test, he called me later and I went to pick him up. On the way home we talked about the test and "how he thought he did good". We stopped to get lunch for him and his younger brothers, we got home ate lunch and the day went like any other Saturday. Sunday morning March 7th I woke and made some pancakes for the kids, the 2 little ones ate and I sent them to get Antonio Alberto who hadn't gotten up yet. They came and told me 'he didn't answer the door". So I went and knocked, then banged and nothing, as I started to panic I thought many things. My son Santiago said I could open the door with a hangar, I tried, it didn't work, I turned to get a credit card and Santiago with a hangar opened the door looked in and called to me, when I walked into the room my life ended. There laying on the bed was my son, Antonio Alberto, his color was not right, I touched him and he was cold. I called 911 the lady kept me on the phone, the police got there in a couple of minutes and told everyone else to "slow down, it's a code 42 or 45" I can't remember which. As you can imagine in a case like this they investigated every angle. I KNOW it wasn't suicide because he was anxious to go to Epcot Center on a school trip this Friday 3-12, we were also getting him new glasses on Monday and he was looking forward to seeing how the Miami Hurricanes did in March Madness. They investigated , this and that and the other, many friends rushed to my house, my mother came home (she lives next door) she fell to the ground I thought she would also die, his mother came, she was crying, I had been crying for hours (I still am).
They took "My Antonio, My Life" to the Medical examiner still not knowing why my Antonio was dead, my father came home "the same story", I had to be strong for them all, even though I didn't feel strong. I wished I would die. My friends helped a lot, they started the arraignments for me they kept my younger boys at my parent's house while the day long investigation went on. I cried and cried and comforted my ex, my parents my children and answered questions of "how did it happen? And all the while I was dead, my happiness was gone, my life has lost it's meaning. I didn't sleep that night, just cried, in the morning I made arraignments for the funeral, the M.E. released his body at 2pm the funeral started a 7pm. My aunt who is a nun flew in from Spain, Antonio is the most important person in her life. My older son, Sione, flew in from California, they were best friends. So many people came they had to open extra rooms in the funeral home. I sat there next to my son Antonio and stroked his hair, and looked at his baby face and cried, my ex-wife, my aunt, my father and me did this for the next 17 hours. Antonio was never alone. We buried him the next day, again many people came, even though it was a Tuesday at 1pm.
And no, I still don't know what caused his death, they tell me it could be 3 months before they know. My ex took the younger kids with her after the burial, I went home, couldn't sleep couldn't stop crying. My Antonio was always here with me. (Sione went to a friend's house, said it made him sad to come home) I called my ex to please let me pick up the kids, I picked them up, and with them here I was finally able to sleep. I took the kids to school this morning, went to the cemetery to visit Antonio, I cried allot. So I'm here today with out any of my children, I can't watch TV cause I think, he should be here watching, I feel guilty in doing anything he could be doing to. I walk by his closed bedroom door knowing it's empty. I hope I can be strong enough for my other 3 sons Sione, Santiago and Isaac, I have to survive for them (some how.)
And I still don't know what caused the death of my darling son Antonio Alberto.
I miss you so much my baby boy.
You can email Tony Ferrer at: [email protected]
anniversary date 03-07-99
date of post 03-11-99
Tony, 39, writes about the loss of his son Antonio, 16.