John was a person who was loved by so many people. He touched so many lives with his ways and a lot of the time he did not even know it. He was carefree and happy. He knew how to make a person smile just by being himself. He loved life and had plans for a future.

He was only 18 years old when he was murdered. He was my best friend. He and I lived together and shared so much of our lives with each other. We had so many good times and even shared the bad times that crossed our paths.

When I met John I never expected him to have such an impact on my life. He had his ways though, and with a little time and much effort he showed me things in life through his eyes, which changed me in a lot of ways.

He taught me what it was to love and showed me what it felt like to truly be loved unconditionally. He taught me to keep going when you want to give up. He helped me find happiness that I had never experienced before.

John wanted to be a police officer one day. He wanted to be married and have lots of children. He wanted to travel more, something he loved to do but had not yet gotten to do much of. He hoped to see the ocean one day.

John's favorite color was blue. He loved having fun with friends. He liked to play pool. He loved being outdoors, from just hanging out in the summer with friends doing not much of anything to late nights of him and I out just driving and talking. He loved the rain and the snow. He loved looking at the stars and the beauty of a star-filled night sky. He loved children. He loved music. He loved having fun and being happy. He loved his family and his friends....... a very important part of his life. Most of all he loved life.

John could always make my day just by seeing his smile. He had a smile like no one else I have ever known.

On July 20th, John was at a Sonic Drive-in with two friends. It was 10:34 PM when he was shot. He was a passenger in the car and they had just gotten cokes and were leaving and John was coming home.

As they were leaving Sonic, gunfire started from behind the restaurant and a bullet hit John in the back of the head. He was never targeted to be killed. It was gang violence and John was in the wrong place at the wrong time. An innocent bystander of a horrific crime.

John was sent by helicopter to a wonderful hospital where he underwent surgery, but he never regained consciousness again from the moment he was shot. Everything that could be done was done to save his life but it was not enough. He died 12 hours later at 10:34 am on the 21st of July.

His murder remains unsolved. Three suspects were arrested, but 7 months later released. There was not enough evidence for a trial. No one was willing to talk. Too scared maybe. I do not know. So many people there that night and someone had to have seen something but nothing! This is just another punch in the gut from a loss we all have suffered since losing John.

John was a son, a brother, a cousin, a nephew, a grandson, and a friend to many. His murder has affected the lives of so many people. I can speak personally on what it has done to me.

From the moment the hospital called me that awful Friday night, my life has changed forever. When John died, I became a survivor of homicide - something I would never wish upon any person in this world. Something that, until that moment, I never was familiar with.

Grief in a sense has become my best friend and my worst enemy. I say my best friend because it is with me always, no matter what. It is something that has taken me and made me into a new person. It has been a very long struggle full of heartache and pain.

When John died a part of me died with him. A part that I can never get back. The first few months after John's death I really truly believed I was going to die myself from the pain. It is a feeling so intense and horrible yet there are no words to describe it.

So much is taken away from you when you lose a loved one to murder. The devastation is so horrible and the worst feeling of all is being completely powerless to do anything at all to change what has happened.

It is waking up and briefly thinking it was a bad dream then quickly realizing it was not and you must yet another day endure living through the pain.

It is no longer feeling safe. It is wishing so badly you could see that loved one just for one more second. It is hurting so much yourself that you can barely function and yet hurting even more because you feel you can't reach out to the people around you who are also hurting.

It is going from a strong and confident person to a weak and desperate person. It is wishing over and over again that just one brief second in time could be changed to somehow avoid what happened.

It is coping with every-day life to the best of your ability and some days wondering if you honestly will have enough strength, hope, or faith to get you through that day, one moment at a time. It is learning the hard way why it is so important to love the people in your life with all your heart no matter what because at any time that chance can be taken from you.

It is knowing that if you have something to say to someone you should say it because you may not have that chance tomorrow. It means looking at life so differently now and then quickly remembering why you see things so different now. It is the bad days you have with your grief recovery when you look in the mirror and wonder who the person is looking back at you and where the old you went.

The result of murder is so many things.






Rainbows

Rainbows appear after mighty storms,
When things look their very worst.
Just when skies are darkest gray,
Look for the rainbow first.
The rainbow is a sign of God’s promise,
That He will guide us through all our trials.
No matter what their form,
When you feel battered by life’s storms,
And you are filled with doubt and dismay,
Just remember God’s rainbow will come,
For it’s only a prayer away.






A Message From a Friend In Heaven

Perhaps you weren't ready yet
To have to say goodbye
Perhaps you’ve thought of things
You wish you’d said—well, so have I.
For one thing, I’d have told you
Not to worry about me…..
I’m with the Lord in Heaven now—
You knew that’s where I’d be.
I’m sorry that you’re feeling sad,
For I’m so happy now…..
I’ve asked the Lord to ease the hurt
And comfort you somehow.
It’s hard at the beginning,
But I know you’ll make it through…..
I hope it helps to know
That I’ll be waiting here for you.

 

 





   



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The painting used in this set is called "Small Angel's Prayer" by
 

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