Family, friends honor young man's life
Aug. 3, 2013 at 3:03 a.m.
Trine Ramirez has dreamed of her son once since their ordeal began. He wore a white shirt and spoke to her.
"Mommy, I feel so good," he said. "What does this mean?"
That was the first blessing God sent, she said.
"I knew what it meant, but I didn't want to believe it," she said.
On July 26, after battling a lifelong genetic disorder for 17 years, Tito Myers died of complications after surgery.
Family and friends shared food, song and stories in celebration of Tito's life at a service and reception at Holy Family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus Roman Catholic Church in Victoria on Saturday.
Tito's struggle pulled people together.
Ramirez bonded with her cousin Cathy Martinez, of Houston, even though they rarely crossed paths. They talked or texted five days a week while Tito was in the hospital. They prayed for peace, healing and wisdom.
Ramirez said the Holy Spirit spoke through her cousin.
"She knew the words I needed to hear," Ramirez said.
"God knew I would not accept the loss of my son."
Martinez believed the Lord would heal Tito because their prayers were answered so quickly.
"But it was to give Trine time to heal - to prepare her," Martinez said.
Martinez was at the hospital with Ramirez and her family the last three days of Tito's life.
"The Lord was radiating from Tito," she said. "I can't explain it; it's not tangible."
Ramirez was transformed.
"I surrendered because I knew God loved Tito more than I ever could," she said. "I lost him in the most beautiful way possible."
She said she experienced a touch of heaven.
"How could I ever ask my son to come back from there?" she said. "I loved Tito more that moment than I ever loved him."
That was the miracle, she said.
Tito was sensitive, open-hearted and open-minded, said his sister, Brittany Mireles, 18.
At Saturday's reception, a group of young adults sat around the end of a long table.
It was as if Mason Gilbert, Anthony Franks, Zuri Tolbert and the others were huddled around their regular table in East High School's cafeteria - the one near the vending machines. The only friend missing was Tito.
Mason, 17, spent most weekends at Tito's house. The young men shared the same birthday and blew out their candles together with '80s tunes and Tito's huge family in the background.
He was always so positive, Mason said.
"He wasn't strong physically, but he had a strong heart, spirit and faith," he said. "I can't imagine going through what he did, but he always smiled in those hospital bed photos."
Mason thought he and Tito would walk across the stage together when they graduated. School will not be the same next year, he said.
"I don't think of July 26 as the end," Mason said. "It's the day Tito became immortalized for me and his other friends. He's gone but not forgotten. I love him."
Tito touched many lives with his song, smile and air guitar playing.
"He loved the '80s," Zuri, 17, said. "I'll remember his air guitar. ... He played at parties and every chance he got."
Tito turned up his iPod while washing the dishes, said his sister, Danyelle Myers, 14. He was passionate about his performance and used his facial expressions and arm movements to their fullest effect.
Danyelle will miss her brother's singing and just seeing him in his bedroom on his laptop with his door wide open.
Ramirez told her sister it would be difficult to walk into the house the first time without Tito.
She and her fiance, Mick Moore, were greeted by more than 30 family members and friends when they arrived at their home in Victoria after a long drive from California. It was about midnight.
"We were there with food, hugs and comfort," said Ramirez's sister, Sylvia Zapata. "Trine has cried so much. It still hurts, but she has accepted it and is at peace."
Tito's friends stayed with Ramirez that first night. They sprawled out in the living room.
Ramirez prayed for strength and for Tito to visit her that first morning home.
When she opened the front door, a huge butterfly flew in, turned into the living room, flew over the young men and back out the door.
"The boys were yelling 'Tito'," Ramirez said.
"Going home" was embroidered in light blue on the satin lining of Tito's casket.