• Mon. Sep 25th, 2023


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‘My Aching Heart Is Shattered Into Little Pieces’

Angela Gonzalez, 45, yelled for her daughter Deven, 17, a high school volleyball player, when the building crumbled. The floor caved and they fell several stories. Both suffered serious injuries. The remains of Edgar Gonzalez, their husband and father, were found two weeks later.

DEVEN: Any moment I’ll wake up, and it’ll be how it was before. But it’s obviously not.

I kept my honors and Advanced Placement classes. But that wasn’t the best idea, because I had a third surgery in November. I missed a month of school. I had to learn to walk again. It really sucks. I hated it.

Simple tasks are like climbing Everest. The biggest one that we struggle with is dinner. My dad usually made dinner, so whenever nighttime rolls around, we’re like, “Oh, we didn’t take anything out to defrost.”

I have struggled with my faith. Some people say you’re a bad person or a sinner if you’re mad at God. Well, then I’m a sinner, because I am really angry that he let this happen. But my dad would have told me: He has a plan, and I might not know what it is right now, but there is one.

On days when we’re doing fine, I’ll forget that my dad’s passed away. Or I’ll think that he’s working long hours, and he’s going to come home. But he doesn’t. Then you feel guilty, like you’re doing good without him. If you don’t miss him, it’s terrible. But if you miss him, it’s terrible, too.

ANGELA: People are amazed by our resiliency, and they equate that to this being easy. It’s not. It’s so much easier to not come out of our bedroom. But we choose to face this every day.