Rosalie Estevez

We lost our beloved Rosalie last July. It has been a very long and trying year filled with the rollercoaster of emotions you would expect any parent to have after losing a child. We decided to take some time, but we knew that at some point we would like to share our story with others and we feel that we are finally ready to do so.

Anyone who has come to know or meet Rosie would agree that although shy at times, she was full of life and was a very determined and courageous two-year-old who had such a beautiful soul and spirit that people fell in love with her instantly. Among those things, she was also very smart and as curious as any other child her age.

Who knew that on the fateful day of July 17th, 2017, we would lose that ray of sunshine that lit up our lives every day for the 2 years and 11 months that we were allowed to have with her. The night before that day my husband and I packed up all of the kids into our car to get on our way to the airport where I was scheduled to get on a flight to Puerto Rico to visit family I haven’t seen in years. It was a trip that I went back and forth on because of the mom-guilt we all feel when we take any time for ourselves, but that some friends and family finally convinced me to take as a much needed and deserved break after being a stay at home mom for 6 years and juggling 3 young children day in and day out.

We arrived at the airport in Phoenix at about 4am and after my husband dropped me off and I said my goodbyes to him, Jayla, Rosalie and Julius, they checked in to a nearby hotel to rest before getting back on the road to head back to our home in Yuma. They made some stops along the way and finally got back at about 5pm. My husband exited the car and carried the two youngest, one in each arm, into the house to get ready to settle things down after a long and tiring night that dragged into the next afternoon, unintentionally leaving the car door unlocked and the garage door open. I FaceTimed with them for a while then let them go so they could have dinner. Everyone fell asleep about 3 am.

Later that morning, after only a couple hours of sleep everyone woke up and started on their day. Julius who was understandably still tired, a one-year-old after all, was ready to be put back to sleep. In the process of putting him back to sleep, my husband who was also exhausted ended up drifting off to sleep with him. Our oldest Jayla, who was playing with Rosalie during this time also fell asleep.

Rosie’s curious nature led her to explore while everyone else slept. She then went into the garage where our 2011 Dodge Durango sat. This car had a feature where if unlocked, a slight touch to the handle would automatically open the back door. She climbed inside and unfortunately locked herself in with no way to get out. Track of time got lost when my husband fell asleep and when he found her, it was too late.

Our little girl who loved music, dancing, and anything that’s considered girly, was gone.

We’ve second guessed sharing her story because we know that some people could be cruel, but we wanted to raise awareness and if sharing this can save even one life, then we know her passing wasn’t in vain. So PLEASE parents remember, they may be small but they can register and memorize so much information so don’t ever think that they can’t or won’t. PLEASE try to remember to keep things locked at all times if you can. Also consider getting an alarm for your house doors just in case, my husband and I discussed this right before my flight and he planned on getting it the day that she passed, but we didn’t get it in time. Also try putting a plan in place and discuss with your children what they can do if they ever get locked inside a vehicle. Here is a link below where you learn how to keep your child safe.

https://www.kidsandcars.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/LBYL_English_both_25Mar2015-small.pdf