I have always felt my brother’s presence in my life. He was born in May of 1962. There are no pictures of him or any stories about him. He only lived for five days. I was born, 6 years later, in October of 1968.
I remember going to the cemetery to visit the family graves when I was a kid. My brother, Ronnie, was buried with my grandfather. He did not have a headstone and my parents never talked about him. I was curious, I wanted to know more about him, but they always shut me out. His death was a taboo subject in our home. I can’t imagine the pain my parents experienced losing a child.
I often wonder, “How in the world, even as a teenager, could I feel his presence in my life?” Looking back I believe Ronnie was trying to tell me something that would change my life forever.
My first son, Julian, was born and diagnosed with severe hemophilia after his circumcision. I had no idea what hemophilia was or how it was genetically linked. When he was brought back into the room after he received factor and stopped bleeding my mother said, “What if he had not a clue what hemophilia was or where it came from? ” Tragically, my mother died five weeks later and I was never able to ask her why she mentioned hemophilia.
When I was pregnant with my second son, Caeleb, I expected him to be unaffected. I had always assumed Julian’s hemophilia was a result of a spontaneous mutation, but when Caeleb was diagnosed with severe hemophilia, I was reminded of my mother’s earlier comment about hemophilia.
After making this connection and making some phone calls to relatives, I realized that my brother died from a head bleed. He was born in a small, southern Texas town that may have not even understood what his condition was. I’ll never have the answers I so desperately want, but what I know is that my brother was here on this Earth and his life mattered.
I want to believe that he would have been extremely annoyed because his little sister always followed him around. He would have been the one I ran to when a guy broke my heart, the one cheering me on at the Friday night football games at halftime. And when my sons were born, I imagine he would have been at the hospital — making sure that I was okay. He would have loved his new nephews and provided me with a shoulder to cry on when they were diagnosed with hemophilia.
I dream that he would have grown into a strong, healthy man who did everything he could to live with hemophilia, even at a time that treatment wasn’t was it is today. The few that knew him have left us, and his legacy could easily fade, but today, I proudly say that Ronaldo Julian Campos was my brother. He lives on in my heart and in the lives of my sons. And for that, I am blessed.
Cazandra lives with her husband, Joe, and 18-year-old son, Julian, and 9-year-old son, Caeleb, in New Mexico.
*Note: “Infusing Love: A Mom’s View,” is a blog collection of personal opinions and a representation of individuals experiences. While extensive efforts are made to ensure accuracy of the content, the blog entries do not represent HFA or its Board of Directors. The blog is also not intended to be construed as medical advice or the official opinion/position of HFA, its staff, or its Board of Directors. Readers are strongly encouraged to discuss their own medical treatment with their healthcare providers.