My Name Is…Natalie Jane Robles

Natalie was a beautiful soul, she always put others before herself. She was such a talented artist whose life was cut short right before she could show the world her art. I miss her dearly, she was my best friend who became my sister. We met in fourth grade and from that point we were in each other’s lives in a daily basis up until her passing. I use her story and her life to spread awareness that our lives can change from one moment to the next. Although we only know pieces of of what happened, we know she was the passenger and the driver was intoxicated and lost control of the vehicle. She died on impact and he has been in prison for the past 11 years but will soon be released. I do not have hate towards this man but I can’t help but feel resentment, you see, he is still alive and will be rejoicing with his loved ones soon. What about Natalie’s friends and family? What about our hurt, our pain, and our anguish? I try to turn this tragic story into a positive one by spreading awareness about not drinking and driving, and not getting in a vehicle with someone who is driving while intoxicated. I channel my hurt into participating in MADD events and honoring her life by telling others what an amazing person she was. I do not like to talk about Natalie in past tense because I feel her spirit with me every where I go, but it is important to write it in past tense because she is no longer here. To whom ever reads this message, I pray if you too lost a loved one in this manner and overall I pray for all involved in these tragedies turned into awareness stories.

— Ysela Perez