The Ghost Who Haunts Me


Last November I wrote about the tragic death of Genaro Zaragoza-Valencia, a 73 year old man who was the victim of a hit & run accident. As I stated in that post, I did not know him or his family. I happened to see the aftermath only because I happened to be in the area in order to hit up the Costco pharmacy. I’ve recalled that night with some regularity. Perhaps it was his age, so close to that of my dad. Perhaps it was the time of year. It’s likely all of the above and more.

Here’s the thing: from the bottom of my heart, I believe that when a person dies at the hands of another, in many ways we forget the victims. We fail to offer details about how they lived, yet we’re ready and willing to re-hash how they died. Tonight I Googled his name and rather than news stories, I stumbled upon a blog post offering insight in to the person he was. I would like to share just a bit with you here:

Genaro Zaragoza-Valencia wore a white cowboy hat. He walked the streets in Glendale beside his wife in her motorized wheelchair as they collected cans to recycle. He always had time to smile and say hello. He was funny and liked to tease.

Some of us who live in the area may not have known him well, but on November 25, 2013 when we saw police cars blocking access to 1000 West at 1700 South, red and blue lights flashing in the darkness, and a white cowboy hat lying in the road among a few aluminum cans, we instantly knew who had been the victim of a tragic auto/pedestrian accident.

Upon hearing the news of his death my young daughter gasped, “Who will walk his wife?”

Rest well, Mr. Valencia. Simply rest well.

The brief insight in to Mr. Valencia’s life, as well as the photo is courtesy of Misty Brown.

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