On my Monday (in the Philippines)/my families Sunday (in California), I found out that my cousin A.J. died. He didn't just die...he was shot 8 times. I'm incredibly sad about this and angry. Part of me is mad at myself because I wasn't close to my cousin at all. I stopped talking to that side of the family years ago when my parents and them had a falling out. Then it definitely became an extremely distant relationship after my dad died. But A.J. was still my cousin, we share the same last name, and we will always have a connection.
I remember him as a sweet kid. He was always quiet and nice. Even last year when I saw him at my brother's wedding, he was the sweet guy watching over the nieces and nephews while they ran around.
A.J. was taken from his family way too soon and three days shy of his 21st birthday. Today would have been his 21st...today his friends and cousins should be taken him to bars to get his first legal drink. Instead, A.J. is getting used to those new angel wings.
My heart and prayers go out to my Uncle, Auntie, and little cousins. I hope and pray they catch those stupid...STUPID boys that thought it was okay to walk up to a young man standing outside a house party and shoot him. Then runaway shouting gang language. To my knowledge, A.J. was not part of a gang...he was just at the wrong place during the wrong time. You murderers need to be caught and be brought to justice.
A.J., I want you to know that I do believe you are watching over your family and that you are an angel with my dad up in heaven.
And to my book friends...please keep my family in your prayers...and hope with us that the cowardly bastards who did this get caught.