As 2024 rolls in, for most this is a time to celebrate the new year. For the Silva family, it’s a reminder of their last moments spent with 11-year old Amethyst Sistine Silvia.
Dec 31, 2022, started out like any other day.
Father Robert Silva and Amethyst decided to spend the day together.
“Me and her spent that day together, it was daddy daughter day. We went to Joe’s Crab Shack. She ordered her favorite plate – big ol’ plate of crab,” said Robert.
As the family settled, midnight rolled around, and Robert, Melinda and Amethyst decide to capture the moment.
Robert wanted to take a photo of mother and daughter not knowing this would be the last moments Amethyst would be seen alive and smiling.
“I take a picture of them; we move to the side right and right about midnight and I show Amethyst the photo. I hear the bullets whistling by my ear but not the shots. Before I can say anything, Amethyst says, “ouch”. It’s like she went with the bullet and fell,” said Robert.
Amethyst was struck by stray bullets as fireworks were deployed for the 2023 new year.
The Thanksgiving holiday, meant to bring family and friends together, was a challenge.
The Silva family made the best of things.
“It was really hard. We fixed her a little plate for her and left it at ‘Amethyst home’ on her grave at Rosehill,” he said, “We said, ‘Happy Thanksgiving, we love you’. It’s hard not hearing her say, ‘Daddy, can I have some more turkey’.”
Rich’s Billiards on Weber held a ‘Justice 4 Amethyst’ event Nov. 24 with five bands in attendance.
Friend and musician from Modern Day Renegade, Mark Pantoja, felt that they deserved to be heard and wanted them to be part of the event to show support for the family.
“I saw the monument the family made in front of the apartments. I saw Robert grieving while I was dropping my daughter off. I pulled over to talk with him, he broke down. I mentioned to him about putting something together to honor Amethyst,” said Pantoja.
Imagining had it been his own daughter, who lives near the area, can only imagine the pain a father has losing a child.
Musician from Shadow of the Giant and owner of Rich’s Billiards, Richard Nunez agreed to have the Silva family pay tribute to Amethyst at the show.
“We wanted to support immediately. Who wouldn’t do anything for a child. Were always involved in events for families’ losses. This is the saddest event we’ve had,” said Nunez. “As a father myself, the family will never feel justified in anything that happened.”
When asked what advice would the Silva give to families who lost their child through similar situation Melinda Salva said, “Make sure you cry … you mourn … I have yet to do that … don’t let it build up. Best thing I can say.”