SAN ANTONIO – Rozie Salinas never thought her 4-year-old grandson, Raiden Gonzalez, would experience immeasurable loss at four years old.
“We just can’t believe they’re both gone within a short period of time,” Salinas said.
Raiden’s parents, Adan and Mariah Gonzalez, died from COVID-19 four months apart from one another.
Salinas said Adan was a truck driver and contracted the virus through his job in June. The 33-year-old died that same month.
In October, Salinas’ daughter, 29-year-old Mariah, began to experience chest pain and had difficulty breathing.
Salinas said Mariah was taken to the hospital. That was the last time Salinas saw her daughter before she died.
“I just didn’t think that was going to be the last time I saw her or heard her say anything,” Salinas said.
Mariah died days after being admitted to the hospital.
Salinas is now raising Raiden. She said her grandson is struggling to come to terms with the biggest losses of his life.
“He goes, ‘I just wish I could have them both back,’” Salinas said. “They were the perfect parents. They were inseparable.”
Raiden will celebrate his fifth birthday at the end of the month. Salinas said she is planning a birthday parade and hopes it will bring back her grandson’s joy.
“I know he is going to be happy, and that’s what we want,” Salinas said.
She said she is focused on staying strong for her grandson, and knows a little piece of her daughter and son-in-law lives on.
“I still see both of them in him,” Salinas said.