Mireya Gonzalez packed a lot of life into her short 17 years.
As family members and friends mourn the loss of the former Wise County resident, who was killed in a car accident in Dallas early Sunday morning, they take comfort in the memories full of laughter, her loud voice and her energetic demeanor.
“She was the life of the party,” Gonzalez’s mother, Petra Lopez said. “She had her moments, but she definitely liked to have a good time.”
And according to other family members, she liked to make sure everyone else was happy, too.
“If I wasn’t having a good day and she knew, she tried everything to make me laugh because she hated to be around people that were down,” said Teresita Fraga of Decatur, Gonzalez’s cousin. “It was late at night when we went to the gas station, and she knew I was a little down so she got out while I was pumping gas and she turned on the music really loud and she started dancing ’til the guys at the gas station turned off the lights.
“I will never forget that night.”
The two said Gonzalez loved all kinds of music but especially corridos (Mexican ballads) and going dancing. In fact, she had been at a popular Mexican dance club in Dallas the night of the accident.
Although it is still under investigation by the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, Lopez said friends that were with her daughter tell her the group that included her, her boyfriend and two other friends had left the club and gone to eat and were on the way home when the accident occurred in a construction zone near the intersection of Walton Walker Boulevard and Northwest Highway just before 5 a.m.
According to information from the DCSO and Lopez, Gonzalez was ejected from the car after it hit a construction barrier. She sustained traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding and multiple broken bones and was transported to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, where she later died about 6:45 a.m.
Gonzalez was not wearing a seat belt.
The teen was listed as a resident of Irving but she grew up in Decatur and last year had lived in Chico with her grandmother and attended Chico schools.
The last pictures in Gonzalez’s phone, taken the night of the accident, provide consolation for her grieving family members.
“She looks really, really, really happy,” her mother said. “She’s hugging her boyfriend tight and has a big ol’ smile. She and her boyfriend, both of them have the biggest, whitest smiles. She looks so happy.”
She admits she and her daughter hit plenty of bumps – those that come “with her age and her process of maturing.” But more than anything, she says the two of them were like best friends.
“I had her when I was 15 so I raised her like a little sister,” Lopez said. “I grew up with her. She went through so much stuff with me at her young age, at my young age. Like they say in Spanish, ‘Es la due a de mi coraz n.’ – She is the keeper of my heart.”
She and the many people that knew Gonzalez will remember the artsy young lady’s many talents.
Lopez enjoyed cooking – pasta and food with rich flavors were her favorite, her mother said – and baking – desserts were her specialty. She was also “really into heels, fashion and makeup, especially Mac makeup.”
“She was a diva,” her mother said with a laugh. “She always had different hair styles, a different hair color. She was definitely not a bland person. She was always showing me tutorials she found on YouTube, and she could follow the tutorials perfectly and get the exact same look. She was so good at it.”
Although she changed her plans frequently, Lopez said Gonzalez’s major interest was cosmetology.
“At first she wanted to be a chef, but I think she was made to do cosmetology,” Lopez said of her daughter. “She would do my makeup and my hair. That was our bonding moment. That’s when I felt her so close to me. When she would do my makeup, she would touch my face, fix my hair. Those are my best memories of her.”
And it’s through treasured memories like that that her loved ones will remember their beloved “Mireyita La Tremendita” – Mischevious Mireya.
“Let’s just say what didn’t she do,” Fraga said with a laugh. “She really didn’t care what people thought of her … She lived her life fast with no regrets.
“It hurts because I know I won’t see her around anymore, but I know she will always live in my heart.”
Funeral is 2 p.m. Thursday, June 27, at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery. Visitation is 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home.