Those of us that do remember, Selena y Los Dinos became a hit and were known in our homes when they were on shows like, "Sabado Gigante", "The Johnny Canales Show", and "Siempre en Domingo". These shows were viewed nationally and when you were on "Sabado Gigante" and being interviewed by Don Francisco (the shows host), you made it! In my household, my Mom and I were the ones glued to lead singer who wore a bra onstage! She made it look amazingly fresh and she rocked it with such positivity! WOW! When in 1994, the album, "Amor Prohibido" came out, they were known everywhere! Selena had also come out in one our favorite novelas at the time, "Dos Mujeres Y Un Camino", I remember being so excited seeing her in the novela, and she had also released a single with a popular Spanish boy band at the time, The Barrio Boyz. Oh, and she had also come out on the talk show Cristina (our Spanish Oprah)!
When I learned of her passing on March 31, 1995, I was in the car with my Dad and my older brother en route to Los Angeles, and we couldn't believe what we were hearing. I kept asking, "Selena Selena?" My brother had even accused me of not knowing who she was because I kept asking that question so much. Of course I knew who she was, I was in disbelief like the rest of the world. Selena had a sold out show booked the next day at the Great Western Forum in L.A., that unfortunately, she was no longer able to attend. On that day, my life changed forever...
Since then, I was always interested in seeing past interviews, her concerts, any Selena Special there was whether it was at 6:30 am or 11 pm. I still have them recorded on VHS tapes, so much that my Mom would call me obsessed! Truthfully, I wasn't obsessed, I was taken back by how this peaceful yet beautiful person was no longer with us and simply how her family and widowed husband would move on. She had so much life, why her?
When the film "Selena" came out in 1997, I saw it 4 times at the movie theaters, I couldn't get enough of it! Jennifer Lopez did an amazing job portraying Selena from her stage moves to her laugh. Finally, Hollywood took notice of Selena and the world from that moment on would be able to know why I loved this woman so much, all you had to do was watch the movie to get a glimpse into her world, the rest was there documented for everyone to appreciate this woman for simply who she was and the fact that she did exist! When I graduated high school in 2001 my Mom had promised me a trip to Corpus Christi, Texas, where ALL the Selena memorabilia was located. Due to our financial difficulties at the time, I wasn't able to go. I was so sad, but eventually, I knew somehow I would make it over there.
When I had completed my 1st year as a hairstylist in 2004, I saved up enough money to go to Corpus Christi, Texas and see ALL of Selena. I took my little brother Christian and my Mom with me to enjoy some company. The day after we had arrived, we went to her SELENA ETC. Boutique that was still open and actually met her sister Suzette their in the flesh. I was in shock that I couldn't even look at her! I was a mess! My mom kept telling me to go up to her to finally admit my undying admiration for her and Selena, and guess what I said, "HELL NO! She's busy, I'm not gonna bug her!" So she said, "Well I'm gonna do it then", and she sure did! I was mortified that I hid behind shirt racks in the Boutique. After being there for 2 hrs., Suzette had spoken to me, joked around with me, gave me an autograph for which I had asked for one, and she couldn't believe that we had come from "Teme-hu-ja" (as she put it) just to visit all that was Selena. You best believe I spent $300 on Selena shirts and accessories! As we were getting ready to leave, it started pouring rain and thundering outside and my Mom had lost the card to the taxi cab driver who had driven us there. Suzette over heard us bickering over the lost card and offered to give us a ride to have lunch and then pick us up in an hour so we could all go to the museum/recording studio where Selena Heaven (for me of course) was located. I was in disbelief! My Mom jumped at the chance and said "Yes!", and, yet again, I was mortified! Anyway, we went and it was amazing! We got to see Selena's outfits, her car that she owned, her popular stage microphone with stained red lipstick, her countless awards, her clothing designs etc. I was eternally grateful to Suzette for even doing that for us, she didn't have to whatsoever, but for some reason, to this day, I believe Selena had something to do with us meeting that day.
Now in 2011, the only reason I have a career in the Entertainment Industry is because of Suzette! Let's just say she REALLY hooked it up! I've worked alongside with her and it was a treat to had done so. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagine doing such a thing, let alone have Selena's sister know who I am and say my name, "Erik", and I still get chills! Suzette, if you're reading this, THANK YOU!
As much as we, the fans miss Selena, I can't imagine how her family everyday that goes by miss her so. The beautiful thing is that they get to see how much she's still being loved and so many visitors come from all over the world just to see her memorabilia. I've been able to showcase my love for Selena in many ways throughout the years, one in particular was a shoot I designed inspired by her in January 2010 and the show I worked on at the time caught wind of it and filmed my shoot for a "Selena Tribute Special" which aired on KWHY 22 in March of 2010. At my salon station, since I started working as a stylist 10 years ago, I've had a portrait of Selena on there for people to see that she's forever present!
Selena, our hearts may never heal from your absent presence, although, you left us with immense love and a quote none of us will never forget, "The IMPOSSIBLE IS POSSIBLE!" I am a TRUE testimony to your words! Thank YOU and I will ALWAYS LOVE YOU!