A couple could not hold back their tears when their daughter surprised them with a family portrait that included their late brother, who the siblings never knew and died when he was just five years old.
Hannia Saurett Martin, 22, and her sister Isle, 24, never knew their older brother, Gerardo, growing up, but they had always seen him as a “pillar of the family.”
According to Hannia, Gerardo – who would now be 28 – died of a stroke on November 5, 2000, after falling on some stairs on October 25, the previous month.
The experience was extremely tough on Gerardo’s parents, as his mom, Maria, 52, was pregnant with Hannia at the time.
During Hannia and Isle’s younger years, Maria and her husband Roger, 53, would speak of Gerardo with great affection – and so the siblings, now adults, wanted to give their parents something to truly remember him by.
Having sourced some photos of Gerardo when he was younger, the pair contacted artist Nahomy McQueen, a popular illustrator on TikTok, and asked if she could create a work that included their sibling.
As Nahomy worked on the piece, she documented videos every step of the way.
Then, on December 24, 2022, as part of their parents’ Christmas gift, Hannia and Isle presented their parents with the portrait at a restaurant in Los Cabos, Mexico.
As soon as Roger and Maria laid eyes on the work, they immediately welled up, fighting back tears of joy at the image of their beloved son as part of their family.
Artist Nahomy later shared that video and her creation process on TikTok, where the clips received millions of views and positive comments.
Hannia, from Villahermosa Tabasco, Mexico, said: “When we saw our parents’ reaction, many things went through our minds, among them how much they were looking forward to a moment like this, and what it meant to them, our dad is a strong man, and when we saw my dad’s reaction when seeing.
“The painting filled us with feelings since we had never seen him react in that way; at that moment, we knew that there could not be a better gift than that.
“Appreciate, care for, and value your loved ones very much because you never know when they are going to leave, and loss is a pain that never goes away, and above all, live every moment, every hour, and every second as if it were your last.
“We want many people to know the story of the wonderful child he was in life and keep him in their hearts.”