I am now at that point in my life that some may have anticipated and that some may have dreaded. The bubble that I was placed in as a child has now been burst. Please allow me to unleash my truth.
Lets talk about destiny.
It generally has such a positive connotation. People say, â€œits my destiny to be such a great person and do all of these great thingsâ€¦â€
But the word destiny is but a mere mask to buffer the neutral but sometimes brutal term, reality. All I know is what is real. What is factual. And what I know is factual is that not all futures are bright.
I hate to be so pessimistic and negative as thatâ€™s quite out of character for me but this is one of those moments where the blemish of my usual illumination gets its time to shine.
I am pissed off. At who? Iâ€™m not sure. But to whom or whatever, please welcome the brunt of my frustration and confusion. Yes, loss is a part of life but it is completely different when the loss is a result of insolence. I understand illness. I understand neglect of health. I understand accidents. But the destiny of one of my first Earthly guidesâ€¦I do not understand.
It was destiny for there to be an (EXTREMELY CHEAP MIGHT I ADD) price tag to be put on life. It was destiny for me to see so many loving people in pieces. It was destiny to observe an almost unrecognizable shell of what was my brother.
Why is it that the last time I spoke to my own brother was in a dream? Why is that I even have to write this post? An unfortunate reality.
If I could divide my future in half, portion out my current and future success, marginalize the energy that is my beingâ€¦ and give some to my brother so that he may returnâ€¦ I would give whatever was necessary and then some.
I believe there is no sensible entity that could convince one to commit such evil as to purposely end a life. That is nothing more than failed humanity. And yet, it cannot be fixed. The circle will remain open for as long as I live.
Alas, as insane as it may seem, I have forgiven. There is no purpose in harboring hatred for what cannot be undone. However, I will never forget. And I will continue to reflect.
This remains incredibly unfair. I'm so sorry that this happened to you. Wish I could undo it. I love and miss you.[08.17.2016]
Good Morning Justin. We Are All Missing u So Very Much Especially ur Father. There Are No Words I Can Speak To Him That Will Bring Him Solace or Stop His Heart From Hurting and That Saddens Me. But I Do Know That u Was Needed Up in Heaven God Looked Down One Morning and Knew He Had a Special Project That Only u Could Carry Out So He Brought u Home Earlier Then Anyone Could Have Expected. ur Wings Were Already Fitted For u and ur Place Was Already Set at The Right Hand of God. As ur Up There Completing ur Heavenly Task Know That u Have Not Been Forgotten Nor Will u Ever Be. I Know ur Always Watching Over Me. Give Mom Mom a Kiss For Me Please and Tell Her That I Love Her. Tell Her That Her Sons Miss Her Greatly. I Love You Justin. You Will Always Be My Guardian Angel 0:)[05.14.2015]
I was thinking about you today. I miss you! Thank you for being such a good friend to me all those years ago! We didn't know each other very long, but you had a very big impact on my life...
I wish you were here today... :([01.23.2015]
I was thinking of JB today. I saw the news article and couldn't believe that it had been 7 years. JB was always so sweet and funny. He was able to light up a room with his smile and was always thinking of others. He was seriously one of those amazing people who brought so much positive into the world. I just wanted to let his family know that I was thinking of them. Life isn't fair and I can not imagine what pain you guys have gone through. Justin was a stellar human being and the world became a little darker when it lost him. [03.31.2014]
Happy 32nd Birthday Justin!! I Miss u So Much and Love u So Much More.. The Are So Many Things That I Want To Tell u But I'm Sure It's Nothing That u Don't Already Know Because I Know That u Are Looking Down and Watching Over us Everyday.. Our Guardian Angel <3[03.31.2014]
Thinking of JB today. Its officially his bday, which I'm sure everyone still remembers, as he would never let anyone forget. I miss this silly guy. [03.31.2013]
Happy B-Day homes.[10.24.2012]
Reading through the memories I understand there is a DVD of the service. If you happen to read this and have the ability to make a copy of the service for me I would GREATLY appreciate it. If you?re in MD, I can pick it up. ATL, we can drop it in the mail. Either way, let me know the cost. Get with me via email@example.com[10.23.2012]
Justin was my very first best friend. I?m Kai. We go back to the days of Ben W. Murch Elementary School in Washington, DC. I had no clue that any of this had occurred until last night. Since that time it hasn?t left my mind. Nor has Justin or the Brown family after all these years. Even though we lost consistent contact not long after the family moved to Gaithersburg I have always kept him and the family in my mind and close to my heart. I connected with a mutual friend of ours on Sunday and yesterday when she stated, ?I?d hate to be the one to tell you? I knew it couldn?t be good. I guess Google knows when to keep things from you. Looking for him not to long after I graduated I found nothing. But instantly with the right combination of words this became my reality. The last time I talked to him was 9 years ago not to long after our 21st birthdays. Sadly enough it was to send my condolences for the passing of Mama Felicia. We said we?d stay in touch, but with the madness of college life we fell back off. TILL THIS DAY, every year my birthday rolls around I always think what he?s gonna do for his. Especially this year being that it was our 30th. To find out he didn?t see his 30th or any other b-day since really pains my heart. I?m the 23rd of March and he the 31st. That was my dude!
Pops Brown, jdbrown0407, I can?t imagine all that you?ve had to endure. I pray that you?re holding. JB and Mama Felicia were phenomenal beings!!!!!!(not enough exclamation points!!!) I?m blessed to have had the opportunity to spend countless weekends of my childhood with your family. You all ALWAYS treated me like I was another son. To his mother, if you read this, THANK YOU as well! I remember those trips to Frederick too! If you all would like to reach out please don?t hesitate. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I LOVE YOU ALL![08.02.2012]
I miss you Nephew....Keep resting, I 'll see you again someday!!! YOU ARE ALWAYS IN MY THOUGHTS!!
A great person always leaves a noticable impression!!! YOU ARE A GREAT PERSON....[08.02.2012]
It's amazing how quickly 5 years can go by. The last time I saw you, I was just entering middle school. Now I'm going into my junior year of high school. I never really imagined going through this stage of my life without you here. I'm once again getting ready to be the only child in the house. I understand why now. When I was younger, I didn't understand why all off my siblings, my best friends, were leaving me. As I got older, I realized that they needed to go to college and get on with their lives. But, still to this day, I don't understand why you're not here. You're not in college or employed. You don't have your own apartment. I can't even hear your voice. I just don't understand why you were taken away from me. It's been a whole five years, and I have still yet to figure it out. The amount of pain I still feel to this day is indescribable. I can't call or text you for advice. We can't go out to the movies. We can't play video games with each other. It hurts so much. To know that you were taken for no good reason is just absurd to me. Today I'm going to do all of the things we always did together, in your honor. Although you won't be right next to me, I know you'll be smiling down. I love you. I miss you.
I lost another friend this weekend. I spent a lot of time thinking about you and missing you and re-living that terrible day. But now, much like with Greg, I am thinking about all the fun times we had. I don't think you two knew each other, but make sure you find him up there, and have a beer with him, you two are going to be the best of friends. Miss you man, tell Greg i miss him already too. Cant wait to see you guys again.[03.31.2012]
Today is my son Justin Sterling Brown's 30th birthday. Guess what, he is not here. Justin was killed almost 5 years ago. As wonderful as my son was all his life, I am left with him being murdered almost five years ago. What a memory...Today I visited Justin's grave sight. As I traveled to Justin's grave sight I stopped by to place flowers at my mothers's grave sight which is only 50 or so yards away from Justin's grave. When I arrived at my mother's grave I tried to speak...I could not. So I placed the flowers in the vase at her marker. I used my scissors to clip the flower stems and opened the bottled water and poured some in the vase. Your sons love you Peanut. I sure could use you to lean on...But now I must move on to my son's grave. When I arrived at Justin's grave sight his vase was up and flowers were there. Of course, Justin's mother was here earlier. So I added my flowers to the flowers that were there, opened my bottled water and watered the flowers. I could not help but wonder, what was going on under this maker. The marker that read Justin S. Brown 3/31/82 - 8/2/07, loving son and brother. I wondered, where are you Justin? [03.31.2012]
Happy Birthday Big Cousin!!!! I Love You So Much And Miss You Dearly. I Still Can't Believe That Your Not Here Justin. It's Really Mind Blowing As I Think That It Will Be 5 Years Since You Been Gone Soon. I Found A Picture Of Me And You When I Was Little. I Loved You So Much And I Still Do. I Am Trying To Get Through This Without Crying Because Then I Know I Won't Be Able To Get My Thoughts Out Straight But I Can Already Feel The Tears Starting To Fall. We Miss You So Much Justin But I Know That You Already Know That. You Will Always Be Loved By Everyone That Was Around You. You Were Such A Amazing, Wonderful, And Loving Person. So I Just Wanted To Give You This Special Birthday Shot Out On This Very Special Day. Because This Is Indeed A Special Day. 30 Years Ago You Were Born. WOW! Your 30, Justin Your Getting Old. But 30 Years Ago My Big Cousin Was Born. And You Blessed Our Family Ever Since Then. You Got Your Wings A Little Earlier Then Any One Wanted But I Know That God Needed You To Do Great Things So That Is Why He Brought You Home. Tell Mom Mom That I Love Her And I Miss Her Too. We Will All Be Reunited Some Day But Until Then R.I.P. Justin And Keep Watching Over Us. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!! Kisses. [02.15.2012]
I was just thinking about you today and how much I miss you. I was my brother's birthday the other day. I hope you got a chance to spend some time with him up there together. I miss you all the time and I love you.
Hey Nephew...thinking of you man on this Father's Day 2011. Been four yrs since we shared time together at Dad's/Grandad's 2007 dads day! What an amazing time we had,and what a wonderful "BROWN MEN" picture we all took!! We all miss you so much ...and Im sure you know we keep you with us in our hearts,souls,and prayers constantly. Couldnt ask for a better nephew and young man.You were and always will be the greatest to us all. Saw your lil-bro. Javi play some ball today...Dude hit a screaming line shot basehit with an RBI,,and later scored. The kid is doing quite well as he travels along the path his big brother laid out for him!!! We'll see each other again someday my man....UNCLE JEFF LOVES YOU ,and will always be so proud of the wonderful young man you grew to be!!!
Until that time young Brown!!! R.I.P.
Everyday I am constantly thinking about you and how much I miss you. The pain is so immense that words can't even describe it. But then I think of all the happy, funny, and nostalgic times we had. It can't help but put a smile on my face. I miss you so much.
Your little brother,
Happy Birthday! 14 years ago yesterday, I told you that I thought we should just be friends, you agreed and yet, we stayed on the phone for another hour. Best break up conversation I ever had. Little did we know that it was the beginning of our real friendship and our friendship was one of the best I ever had. I miss those times when we would talk every night on the phone but mostly I miss you.
Love you and miss you lots,
Happy Birthday to my son. Justin Sterling Brown. Really the day Justin was born was very, very happy. Today, well, I am not very happy at all. Justin would be 29 years of age. Instead he remains 25. I have no potential for a daughter-in-law. I have no potential for any grand children from Justin. No potential for our blood line to be continued by Justin. I can not tell Justin how proud he makes me feel, how much I love him. I can only wonder what could have been, what might have been. Justin remains 25 now and forever. This will never change.
How sad to stand in the wet grass and mud, the rain drops falling, to look around and know that you are standing in a cemetery. To look down and read a marker with your sons' name, date of birth and the date that your son took his last breath on this earth. And this is the day that my son was born twenty five years ago. What a joyous day and time that was. And this was the day. Your Dad loves you and longs for you.[03.31.2011]
Happy Birthday Justin.
Miss you buddy.
Happy Birthday Justin!!!!! I love and miss you so much. I just wanted to say happy birthday to the best big cousin ever. I Love You!!!! Muah!!!! <3
Love Your Little Cousin Ty.[02.19.2011]
Leah and I were talking this evening and Justin came up, which happens often. Every time his name is mentioned, we smile. It's hard to put into words, but the smile reflects the amazing memories we had. Leah tells me about high school memories and who first introduced her to JB. And even still, I can't get him out of my mind tonight. These posts are so filled with love and sorrow. Justin - you are always remembered, loved, and missed.[12.15.2010]
I still think of you often and miss you always...
Hey big cuz just wanted to say I love and I miss you very much!!!
Your little cousin Ty <3[08.21.2010]
Hey big cuz. Ima be 18 on tuesday. Your little cousin is growing up. I got accepted to Bowie State on friday. I'm going to major in nursing. I know your watching down on us. Jerrell is playing football for JV at Bowie High School. You should see him. He is pretty good. I think about you everyday and miss you every minute. I love you so much big cuz. Say hi to Peanut for me and Aunt Felicia. My love for you goes without saying.
Your Little Cousin Ty <3[03.31.2010]
Happy Birthday to my son. Today Renita, Javi, Cort, Tiff, Erika, and me, your Dad had dinner together in your honor. We love you and miss you.[03.30.2010]
Happy birthday, JB. I wish I could have been in Atlanta to celebrate your birthday with everyone, but I was definitely there in spirit. I know they made you proud. You effect the world on a daily basis and make it a better place. Miss you.
Hey nephew,it goes without saying that I miss you man!!Your "BROWN" blood runs through my veins,so you'll always be with me,a part of me!!It's difficult to accept how you left this physical world so soon.The reality is, all of us,your family and friends can never replace what was taken away,instead we must struggle with the senselessness of such a great loss.I do know, that no one will ever forget the amazing person Justin Sterling Brown was and will always be remembered as.Keep watching over your little brother,Courtneys doing a fine job helping him also.Peek in on your young cousins as well.I know you see them growing up, all teenage like now....Uncle Jeff "gonna be aight"you know how I do!!Big Brother always got my back. I miss you Nephew and will never ever forget how wonderful,amazing and great a person Peanut's first grandchild turned out to be!!! See you around, J.B.Fourth in line......Love,Uncle Jeff [03.02.2010]
I miss you so much big cuz. I got accepted to UMES on monday but daddy or uncle jeff as you call him doesnt care for that school though. He really wants me to go to Towson, I had a college tour there on saturday. It is a nice school and its close to uncle jimmy too. I'm not sure whether I'm going to get into that school yet though. I take my SATs on the 13th for the second time. I also applied to Coppin St and Stevenson Unv. So hopefully I get into both of those too. I graduate soon!!! On June 3rd at 9:00 at the Comcast Center in College Park. Prom is only a few more months away too!! I cnt wait! Im so excited!!! My bestfriend Corey asked me to go with him.. =) I cnt think of a better way to end my last day of school, May 14th is just around the corner. But back to prom, my dress is so pretty. Its a new style dress. Its base color is cream or an off white, then it has this beautiful multicolored print. Its a one of a kind. I wont see anyone else wearing that dress that night. =) YAY ME!!!! Sorry I havent wrote to you in so long. But I talk to you everynight so I guess that makes up for my lack of writing. School is doing fine, because I know you are wondering how school is doing so lets just get that out of the way. I dont have a boyfriend, I know you like the sound of that one to. Guys are such children. I havent found one that is worth my time yet. I'm supposed to Cali this summer or I hope to atleast. I really want this summer to be big. I plan most of it out of town and with my bestfriend Sabrina. She is like a little sister to me that is around my own age. Cora is doing fine too. She will be 8 years old in 15 days. She is growing up so fast. =) Jerrell is doing fine too. And so is Uncle Jeff and Aunt Diane. We are all doing well around these parts. I just wanted to write to you and let you know that I miss you and I love you!!! =)
Your little cousin,
As time goes on, as the sun rises and sets, as the seasons change, less and less is thought about my son by most. Not me. October 21st, I will be in court again. This time it will be Muhammad Ahmad Abdus Salaam...
The other four convicted murderers are currently in state prison. They are not together. They are in four separate and different state prisons.
I miss my son.[08.25.2009]
Please get in touch with me.
Jimmy and Joyce...I just heard about Justin via this memory page. I'm speechless and not quite sure of what to say. But, please know that you are in my prayers. xoxo
Justin I'm 17!! Your little cousin is 17 today. I'm growing up!! =)
Wow, I still can't believe that you're not here. Its not fair, I don't care how you look at it. It is NEVER going to be fair in my eyes. People say that you are supposed to embrace the fact that your love one goes home to be with the lord. I beg to differ, I'm not embracing the fact that I can not pick up the phone to call you for advice or just to talk because you can't answer. You CAN'T! Do you know how bad it hurts my heart to scroll down my cantacts and see Justin (R.I.P.) even if you can't see tears that doesn't mean they are not there. Please don't ever think that becasue my heart is constantly crying missing you. Wishing you was here. Look at me talking in the past tense. You are still here in my heart, you spirit will always be here. I have a note under your name in my phone that reads : I miss you so much, I will Love You to the very end... (The Number 1 Cousin) I do mean every word of it. EVERY WORD!! I really do miss all the time. I even have a song I dedicated to you because it reminds me of you to the fullest. I'm sure you already know because you see me shed tears everytime after I listen to it, it never fails. But I'm going to tell you anyway. It's The World's Greatest by: R.Kelly. This song is all about you. I'm sure other people didn't realize this but I did. All you have to do is turn the I to a he and its all describing YOU... THE WORLD'S GREATEST. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH JUSTIN, YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN...[08.05.2009]
JUSTIN I MISS YOU SO MUCH... THE THOUGHT OF YOU NOT BEING HERE HURTS MY HEART SO MUCH. I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU....
YOUR LIL COUSIN TY[08.05.2009]
JUSTIN I MISS YOU SO MUCH THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH WORDS TO DESCRIBE HOW MUCH I MISS YOU. ITS NOT FAIR THAT YOU ARE NOT HERE WITH US ANYMORE. JUSTIN THEY SAY THAT YOU HAVE TO BE STRONG. BUT ITS NOT ALWAYS EASY. I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE ALWAYS ON MY MIND. I LOVE YOU WITH ALL HEART AND EVERY BREATH IN MY BODY & AS LONG AS I LIVE THAT WILL NEVER CHANGE.[08.02.2009]
The pain remains. The sadnes still lives in me. Reality is the worst. They killed my son. This has not changed in two years. I do not feel better after two years. I just miss my son more. I just ask the questions and still get no answer, why? Why did GOD let this happen. My pain has much hatred embedded in it.
I have experienced things that I did not ask to be a part of. I did not want to part of a murder trial. They killed my son. I did not do anything to these people. And yet, and still, there has not been one bit of remorsefulness or any human attempt at expressing a sense of humanity towards me or my family. So, I hope that my GOD shares my deep, deep sadness and pain in the worse way with all of the families involved in the death of my son. I hope they suffer for the rest of their lives like I must.
On this day two years ago I received the worse phone call that I could ever have imagined.
Justin Sterling Brown was shot and killed by people (a person) he did not know nor had Justin ever, ever done anything to them, their families or friends in his life. And none of thier families could ever know my pain. They just don't care. No one should want people like this in their community. You should do what is necessary to have them all removed.
I miss my son. I cry often. Today, I have and I will cry alot. I find it most difficult to believe that Justin is not here with me. The truth is that he is not. How horrible!
I miss my son!
James Brown, Justin Sterling Brown's father.[08.02.2009]
We're still thinking about you JB. Love you and miss you dearly friend. We've gone through a lot since you've been gone. It hurts that you aren't here in a physical sense, but your presence is felt. Too many things have happened to lead me to believe that you are still here with us. Helping us get through tough times and being just as supportive as you have always been. With that being said I'm sure I speak for many in saying that we will take your memory and the lessons you have taught us with us for the rest of our days. Justice has been done, we lifted our heads a little higher. It still hurts though. I want to celebrate your life, I don't want to be sad because I don't think you would want me to. You were all about the party, all about having a good time. I'll celebrate your life the way you would've wanted.
Rest easy friend
I love you JB![05.18.2009]
Hi J.B.... and everyone
Today is the first day that I am reading all of these amazing posts. I have posted, but couldn't bring myself to read the rest. Ben still can't believe that I haven't watched the DVD of the memorial service. But, the truth is... I have never fully grieved. The truth is... on the day one of my closest friends was taken from me, I was on the other side of the country to spend 2 weeks with Rocky's family before he deployed to Iraq. It was the only time that I have ever been that far away. I had only arrived that morning to Washington State when I got that gut-wrenching phone call from Ben. The entire conversation (mostly of Ben talking and me passing off the phone because I just couldn't find the strength to even hold onto it anymore) plays through my head constantly. This was also the same day that I was to meet Rocky's family for the very first time and so I had to find soooo many ways to hide my pain in order for them to see the happy person that I usually am. But, I cried every night and had to surround myself with people so that I wouldn't sink into the hole that I so badly wanted to be buried in. Being that I was there for a full 2 weeks, I could not make it for the memorial service or the funeral and so it didn't seem so real to me. I remember the night we flew back to Atlanta and we met up with the "fam" at Laseter's directly from the airport and I cried realizing that he wasn't there and this was one of the places we could always find him.
Attending the trial and being around J.B.'s amazing family has been so bittersweet. Reading all of these posts have been as well, but it has made me realize that he is living in all of us. In order for all of us to get through this tough time, we have each other. And, the fact that we can still manage to laugh and have a good time despite the circumstances, I KNOW he is with us. You all have helped me to deal with something that I had hoped I would never have to go through. And we will ALL come out of this as stronger people.
I love you all... I miss you, Bizzle!!!
PS - Ben, I think I'm ready to watch the memorial service, FINALLY! :-)
I miss him...
It is time. Although you've never left, we that are in the physical stand to see the right thing done to those who chose to take our hero away from us. Every single deep breath I am taking, every single place that I am looking, everything is you-I will never stop believing in your example, and I will look forward to seeing our justice system prevail. Justin Sterling Brown-friend, hero, son, brother, man-I am with you. Save me a seat, and happy cinco de mayo; I know we'd be hitting it later. I'll do my best to get them dancing-[05.01.2009]
I am a mountain
I am a tall tree
I am a swift wind sweeping the country
I am a river down in the valley
I'm a viesion and I can see clearly
If anybody asks you who I am
Just stand up tall
Look'em at the face and say
I'm that star up in the sky
I'm that mountain peak up high
Hey I made it
I'm the worlds greatest
I'm that little bit of hope
When my back's against the rope
I can feel it I'm the worlds greatest
I am a gaint
I am an eagle
I am a lion down in the jungle
I am a marching band
I am the people
I am a helping hand
I am a hero
If anybody asks you who I am
Just stand up tall
Look'em at the face and say
I'm that star up in the sky (oohhhhh)
I'm that mountain(peak up high)peak up high
Hey I made It (I said I made it)
im the worlds greatest( I'm that little bit)
I'm that little bit of hope (ohhhhhhohhhh)
When my back's against the wall (when my back's against the ropes)
I can feel it( I can feel it)
I'm the worlds greatest
I'm that star up in the sky (star up in the sky)
I'm that mountain peak up high (oh yes I am)
Hey I made It ( I made it)
im the worlds greatest( I'm that little bit of hope)
I'm that little bit of hope (ohhhhhhohhhh)
When my back's against the wall (when my back's against the ropes)
I can feel it( I can feel it)
I'm the worlds greatest
again first bridge
His the greatest (his the greatest)
His the greatest can you feel it
I LOVE YOU JUSTIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
YOU WILL NEVER BE 4GOTTEN........
THIS SONG IS A TRIBUTE 2 U.........
TY YOUR LIL CUZ.......[04.01.2009]
Hey big cuz i miss u so much words cant describe it....i think about all the time..there is not a minute in the day when i dnt think about u...Justin u are loved by so many ppl...we jus want u 2 know tht we miss u dearly....I LOVE U JUSTIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You are we
We are you
You'll always BE
I love you Justin,
Today is my son Justin's birthday. Yesturday, I cried alot. I tried not to but, I could not stop the tears. Pretty sad huh. I tried to talk with one of my best friends but, I could not continue without falling apart. He tried to comfort me by asking what would "Peanut", the loving nick name for my mother, want for me. Even, what would Justin want for me. In both cases, I could not answer. I feel like I am disappearing in the pain and sorrow I carry with me each day. I wonder if I did all a father could do to protect his son. You see, I get no more father-son conversations with Justin. Justin dosn't get to introduce me to my future daughter in law. Justin will not be able to introduce me to his son or daughter, my grandson or grandaughter. Justin will not able to soothe his mother with his kind words and his loving hug. Never, these things I say will never, ever happen. My GOD, that's a long, long time-never ever. Yet and still, this is what Justins' mother and I are left with. I have no control of anything. Whatever there is, is in the hands of others. Where things go from here, is not my choice.
I began this day at my sons' grave sight. Imagine that. I got down on my hands and knees and traced my sons' name, Justin S. Brown, his birth date and yes, that other date with my finger. What else can I do. Inside myself I screamed and hollored so much that I became totally exhausted. The pain did not go away. I know now that only pure and complete justice will lighten this enormous load I must carry forever. I prayed to GOD to just lighten the load that I carry just a bit. Pure and complete justice.
Please, my son is slipping away from me. He hasn't come to me in my dreams. I haven't felt his pressence. I can no longer hear his voice on his cell phone voice mail. There's some strange mans' voice where Justin's voice use to be.
And so here I sit writing to you all about a fine young man instead of this fine young man writing to me to tell me about his wonderful day that is planned for his birthday. You all know, Justin's birthday.
From all of us to you Justin. This is the day you were born...a very, very short time ago.
I love you and miss you son,
Hey my man!! Thinking about you a lot today. So many thoughts and memories storm into my mind when I think of you. We had some good times, huh? Thank you so much for visiting me on Friday...that meant a lot. Have an incredible birthday up in the sky and keep looking over us...tell Poncho what's up too!! Love yah man...
On Friday, a bunch of friends got together at Ben's house to have a birthday party for JB. I wasn't able to make it down to Atlanta for the weekend so decided to do a little road trip down to AC with a couple of friends to have some fun. On my way to meet up with the group, I see a group of fifteen high schoolers in front of a hotel entrance getting together for some sort of event. They were all wearing black t-shirts that had the "I Love NY" text, but instead of "NY" it said "JB". It was incredible. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was in passing so I couldn't stop and ask them who they were or why they were wearing those t-shirts, but it put a smile on my face and reminded me that JB is always with us in some sort of capacity or way. Keep your heads up and let's keep celebrating the wonderful life that he lived!!!! We love you JB...[03.31.2009]
Happy Birthday hun. You're missed so much and thank you for watching over us. I know you've been there.[03.27.2009]
Tonight we're getting together to celebrate you, Jibb. I'm so glad for it. Last week the album Stankonia came on at work, and totally without warning, I burst into tears. I was assaulted with memories of singing along with you to that album when it came out, you dancing all down the sidewalks of UGA when you and the C4 boys came to visit me so many years ago. I miss you, sweet boy.
Justin's birthday is coming at the end of the month. It seems that the legal process will pick up in April. Please, to all, remember and support Justin.[11.03.2008]
halloween wasn't the same without you buddy. miss you.[08.08.2008]
I can?t believe it?s been over a year. Its sometimes hard for me to express any of my feelings, good or bad, just because I?m not that great of a writer. So many emotions run through me when I think about you man. That morning, getting the call, the long quiet tear filled drive from work to meet Angel and B. Having to make those phone calls, my heart broke a little more every time I had to speak the words. Sitting there that day I reminisced:
I remembered of course all the good time. As angel mentioned, the frat parties, the dance circles, we?ll never forget Jeanel and the guacamole, the front nazis and drakes friend who ?beat the kid out that dude?, or even ?the street you need to be on to get on the highway?. Street? (this was all on the same day folks). I?ll never forget taking you with me to go country line dancing, we both thought itd be so easy because we knew how to dance, and watching us stumble was great, but we still managed to be the life of the party, meeting Kelly Coffee and Dana at thirsty Thursday at your place. I?ll always remember the house parties at your place in collier ridge, the late nights with Jorge and lanky.
I even remembered some of the not so great times. The times we?d butt heads, the times we irritated each other and just couldn?t stand to be around each other. And it was until the last six months or so before you pass my brother, that me and you finally realized why we?d been such a roller coaster. We were so much alike. Hearing people at your memorial describe me and you as such close personalities, not only made me feel honored, but saddened. Someone saying I am like you, someone who cares loves and does what he can to enrich the lives of the people around him, I was twice as sad to realize the world lost you, so young you still had so much good to do on this earth.
I didn?t sleep much a year ago. My heart screamed at night and kept me awake. I still dream about you and feel you presence a lot. Every night when I pray I know your listening. And I KNOW you were behind the little trick at the bar the other night, just your way of letting us know u still now how to have fun no matter the spiritual plane.
I was listening to this song by R. Kelly the other day, (I know I know just hear me out!) It?s called I wish, where R. Kelly is calling out to one of his fallen friends and wishing he was there with him. Every time I hear that song my thoughts immediately go to you, and how I wish you were here. We, your friends, your family, your loved ones, pledge to continue to do that good on this earth you were set to do. I know I could never mean as much to so many people as you did, but I do my best to try and be the best I can be to those around me in your honor.
To most people, the color purple is just a move, to me, purple has so much more meaning. It represents love, charity, good spirits, and honor, and more over, a lifelong dedication to these things. It reminds me of a fallen friend, yet reminds me to love my friends. It makes me remember how life can be enriched with love, and reminds me to enrich others lives with love. It reminds me that?s there?s so much more to life than the things you can buy, and that the meaning of life, is to live it.
I will always hold you close man, you may be out of sight, but you are never out of mind.
?I will see you again one day?. Not yet? not yet? ~Gladiator
I spent last night going through some old pictures. You are in so many of them! (usually dancing, of course!) We had so many good times and great memories. Seeing these pictures reminded me of even more great stories that weren't captured by film! I'm still thinking of you all the time! You are so missed!
Dear Sweet Nephew,
We all miss you, you are very special and will always be remebered for your smile and your laughter.
One year ago. 364 days ago, my first born, the greatest accomplishment that I have ever, ever been apart of, had anything to do with... he was breathing, living, and loving life.
I know things now that I would not want others in this life to know and feel. The deep, deep, deep, alone saddness that a father can feel. I am missing my son each and everyday that I live. Everyday brings more and more pain. Pain that I must continually hide. I must hide what and how I feel each day. And each day this task gets more and more difficult for me. Time passing may be soothing to others but, not to me. But, I continue the masquerade. I can not show Justin's family and friends my pain too often. My children, Renita, my family, all whom I am responsible for, well, they all go as I go. I want to be the one that carries the weight, I want to be the one that they depend on. I want to be the one that fixes what is broke, I want to mend what needs mending, sooth what needs soothing. I want to be the one... I would not have it any other way. And so, it is important that I remain conscious and aware as to how I am seen and perceived. But, I tell you I would trade places with Justin, I would die so that Justin would live. I was not given that chance, that choice. Although I try, I can not seem to do my son justice with my words. I love you Justin. Justin! Justin! Justin! I call you. I miss you. You do not answer. Justin! Justin! Justin! I call you. You do not come. I miss you Justin. I cry for you Justin and you are worth each and every tear and yet I can not cry enough. Each day is bitter sweet. I often see things and/or do things that remind me of you and then I run the emotional rollercoaster. I'm happy and then sad and then extremely angry. I ask GOD many, many questions and it seems that I am and will continue to be the living answers to all my own questions. How crazy is that.
To all who visit and write on Justins' my space and welovejb web sites I say thank you. These sites are a source of strength to me. Angel, Ben, Brandon, Linsey, Rachel, Kevin, Paul, Roger, Calvin, and the mamy, many more than friends please, please stay in touch, keep writing. Jamal, I love you and I will make it OK again, some how. Joyce, lean on me, when ever you need to. Tiffany, Pilar, Javier, Courtney, Erica, I am Daddy, Father, Mentor, Roll Model, Leader, now and always. I will never let you down and I will aways pick you up.
Jeffrey, it is still and has always been you and me against the world. I am sure Peanut is proud of us. I am proud to be your big brother...forever. Thank you for being here with me and for me.
Renita, how I need you. You are to me what I want to be for everyone else. I will lean on you because I know...you got me. I love you. You are the closest to my everyday experience with this. And I do thank GOD for you each day.
Well today, one year ago, a man that I now know today to be great, made a phone call to me. A call that he knew would change my life forever. He called me to tell me that my son, Justin Sterling Brown was shot and killed in a parking lot in Georgia. He was killed by people he did not know nor did they know him. He was killed by people that were supposed to be like him. On this day I still wonder, what happened!!!
DEAR GOD I MISS MY SON. PLEASE SEND YOUR SON TO HELP ME.
It's been a whole year, man. Sorry I never really wrote anything down about my personal experience of being your friend.
You were the best kind of friend. Always concerned, always smiling, and never putting your burden on anyone else. Very selfless. You always put your friends first.
I remember all the Georgia Tech days. The Wet Wednesdays and Thirsty Thursdays at 6th Street. I remember that Maryland game when we beat them and they were ranked 8th in the nation. We were jumping around like two idiots hugging each other and high-fiving after each spectacular play. I remember the six flags excursion with Jeanel's guacamole. I remember Spring Break in Florida and definitely the RIB TIPS!
I remember we always had fun dancing. I didn't want to admit it, but you had me on the skills (except for bboy footwork, that is haha). I remember Emory, when we showed a whole school what it really means to turn the dance floor out. I remember all those frat parties we used to go to and get the dance circle going and then left.
I remember how close you were to all your family. I remember you and your mom were so kind to let me stay at your house while I found an apartment when I left Tech. I remember how proud you were of your stepmother's Cuban heritage. I remember how proud you were of Javi. You'd always tell me about how smart he was and how cool he was and how good he was with the ladies (Hope I'm not embarrassing you, Javi). How much you looked up to your father and how much you loved your mother. It's a shame I had to meet them under such circumstances.
I remember when Brandon first called me at work to tell me what happened. I lost it, fams. I said some choice words in disbelief you'd never catch me saying in an office again (despite what I once told you in the middle of campus haha). Then I broke down. That whole day was just terrible, and my heart was broken. But something happened. My heart felt more broken having to tell people and having to hear their reactions. It was really a pain I didn't like to bear. I knew that somehow, someway, I was going to be able to deal with my pain. I guess when you passed, though, part of me wanted to take a little bit of your place in being somebody to help people in easing their pain.
I hope I followed your lead well. I know Brandon and Ben particularly, but really everyone who had any part to do with all the services, memorials and impromptu gatherings, did an excellent job in keeping us all together. I wanted to do right by your family and friends as they had done by me in the past, man.
It was tough, but hopefully we served your memory right. Hopefully we continue to serve your memory right. I had to move from the spot. I remember you were so proud when we first got it. The balcony, the domino table that we never quite got to use, the beer fridge, the tall ceilings, it was a nice place. It felt so empty when you were gone, man. I used to tell people jokingly that you were never there anyways. It's kind of true, you were always working and out making people's lives better. But still, there was all your stuff serving as little tiny reminders of all your life experiences.
After I was finally able to move from there, I was living out of boxes pretty much for a few months before I moved in with Kevin. Kevin's a good guy. All your friends are.
You probably know, but just 2 months after you passed, they shipped me off to DC. Given the circumstances, it was not really the right place for me. I felt like I had just gotten over that initial grief period, and have finally cleared up some of that mess from the whirlwind of events that occurred after you passed. I was ready to be close with all my friends and form a closer bond with them. Instead I was sent to spent most of my nights away from the people I loved and cared about, at a time I needed them most.
I finally got through that project. But it was hard hearing about all the fun and all the gatherings people were having in my absence. When Jen and Eric got married, she told me she was glad I could make it and that she was glad she could get me that room, because I deserved the vacation. I literally held back tears when she told me that. But she was right.
I remember when my cousin got married just two weeks ago, I was telling them how this had been the toughest year of my life. To have to lose one of my best friends, and then to be sent away from all my other ones was tough. When I was driving to DC from the wedding, I was listening to a song called Harlem Renaissance. It was about the plight that poor Harlem residence faced and continue to face. The beat was a bittersweet violin loop, and for some reason, it just reminded me of you. The plight, instead was the plight of all of us trying to recover from the tragedy of losing a great person in their lives. I couldn't hold back the tears.
But yet and still, I made it. I made it past the deep sorrow of losing you. I made it past the logistical nightmare of getting everything out of that apartment. The logistical nightmare of moving twice in three months. I made it past only being able to see my friends on Friday and Saturday nights. I made it past the troubles I was having at work only a few weeks before you passed. I made it past all the troubles I was having, and hopefully emerged stronger in this year full of trials and tribulations.
I made it, but that doesn't mean I passed it. My heart still aches thinking about you from time to time. Thankfully, there are more good memories than there is sadness now. But I'll never remember the effect your passing had on me, on all of us. I was so heartened to see such an outpouring of love and such a large group of people getting together to celebrate your life and to heal together.
I know you're up in heaven loving it. Maybe a little tired of us remembering you all the time, but I'm sure you're poppin that collar just a lil bit too. We can't help but remember you. I want to thank you, for the positive effect you've had on my life. I'm a little less of an introvert, a little more confident on the dance floor, and I have an amazing group of friends that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world, including a higher salary in DC.
I hope we can continue to do more beautiful things in your memory, and more beautiful things in the spirit of friendship.
We love you and we miss you, man.
A letter to an angel-
There is such a hole in my heart and a void in my life now that you?re gone, JB. I can?t put into words how much your friendship meant to me. It?s obvious that there are a great many people that feel the same way I do, but it still doesn?t make it hurt any less. There isn?t a day that goes by where I don?t think of you. Sometimes I smile and sometimes I cry, but I always think about the great person you are and the wonderful memories I have. I?ll never forget my birthday last year?it is a week after yours and we were planning to celebrate big (because when did we not?). But plans changed when I found out my grandfather passed that day. I can?t forget how you just let me cry on your shoulder and comforted me?you were just there for me like you always had been when I needed you or when anyone else ever needed you. You sat there all day and all night and never said a word about not going out that night. It was just another example of how patient, selfless, and giving you were.
I am amazed when I see how many people you had such a positive impact on. I can find some comfort in the fact that you seemed to live your life to the fullest and make the most of everyday.
You laughed hard, played hard, and worked harder. You had such a dedication and drive that not many can match. I have such a respect for the life you lived?it was a good one. And on top of that, you are one of the most genuinely good and caring people I?ve ever known. I could honestly go on all day.
I am still amazed at how you continue to work in my (and others) lives...people are still being brought together in your honor and I continue to make new friends because of you. But that still doesn?t replace you, and I?d do anything to have you back. I know what you?d say, ?no regrets.? However, I can?t help thinking about what it would be like to hear you call me one more time on the phone and greet me with the same laughter and positivity as always. And I know I?ll get that dance off again someday?maybe you?ll even let me win too.
My heart just aches sometimes knowing that the world lost such a wonderful example of a human being and God forbid we should ever forget. I will always and forever miss you, JB.[07.30.2008]
the day that I found out that you have passed will never erase the pain and loss that i feel now a year later. Justin, you are the standard that i judge meeting new friends. I will always remember your smile and wealth of knowledge related to sports, especially college football.All of us who have known you will always remember the times we with you Justin. Griffin.[07.18.2008]
I miss you, JB. You were in my dream the other night, telling me you are okay. Today I found out a friend of mine just lost a friend in a similar way, and to me this still feels so fresh---a year heals the initial shock, but does so little to heal the pain of losing you. It's a selfish pain---you are with God, and I believe what you told me in my dream, but I still miss you so much.
Every time I dance I think of you, and I dance all the time. Every time I hear a song you liked or a song you would like, I think of you. I miss you. Thank you for visiting me the other night, and you're always welcome in my dreams.
Hotep meaning peace., i never had the pleasure of meeting J.B. however I do know the family. starting with the Grandmother "peanut" whom i love dearly, she was one of the most beutiful people i ever had the pleasure of knowing. i never really new grand dad however i know he is a wonderful man also based on the fact that i know j.b's dad and uncle. jimmy has always been one of the kindnest and gentle persons i ever met. he was so soft spoken and loved his family. it doesn't surprise me that so many people loved justin because i remember when jimmy and joyse first got married they were so much in love that i know that justin was concieved in that same love. He was Love incarnate. Uncle Jeff was like my Big brother who showed me nothing but love. in a world as it is today with so much evil things happening it feels great to know that love had incarnated even for a little while to share so much light and love to so many. do not be saden, justin is fine. just apart of the universal etherizing or spirit essence of love thats in all of us. i feel him in me and if you love than you have him in you too. peace and blessings to all from your brother leon moss. in case you forgot i am timmy robinsons twin from sicklerville.[06.24.2008]
I miss you Justin! I will always love you, you meant a lot to me and soo many other people.
this is ur little brother. i miss u
javi aka javibear[06.10.2008]
Justin Sterling Brown. I remember the day you were born, and could not wait for Joycie & Jimmy to tell me your name - Justin Sterling Brown.
We had our own secret language, you and I!
We'll speak it again one day.
Meanwhile, my birthday is coming and all I can think of is you. Strange isn't it, sometimes the happy events are just...events, when you know someone is missing from the celebration.
Justin, you were/are/forever loved. Thank you.
JB, Love you! Miss you! Always thinking of you and your family! [04.18.2008]
It was nice seeing everyone on JBs Birthday, I miss him soooooooo much =( I just read what Ben wrote and you know that was touching. JB is an angel and with all the love he has I'm sure God needs some quality help. On his birthday I knew he was with me, I had a day that morning, I know JB was watching and with me, he was with me... he is with all of us, love is so powerful and as MUCH as this is hurting me inside I just have to really believe God has a better plan,I dont know what it is, but I really feeel it. I will always have so much love for him in my heart. I want my friend back, its not fair. Much Love to everyone.[04.10.2008]
I haven't written here much. I'm not that good with words and spelling and such. I am a man of emotions and expressions, and since this site is not yet equipped to upload emotions and thought in the form that I express them currently, I will have to turn them into words.
There hasn't been a single day that has gone by where I didn't think about JB. Hes on my mind every big decision I make, hes on my mind every time I hang out with my friends. Hes on my mind every time i reminisce, and think about how much more fun whatever I am doing would be just by him being in the room. I know hes up there right now, hopefully visiting my grandma from time to time, and taking care of Andrew (Daynas little brother), definitely out in heaven partying with poncho (Jorges cousin), and I smile, because I know hes happy where hes at, and I know hes looking out for all those he loved while he was here.
I think thats why God made him so love, I think thats why he knew and loved so many people, because God knew he was leaving us early, but wanted as many people as possible to have an angel in heaven when the time came. He is looking down on us when we are in danger, hes looking down on us when we are sad, hes looking down on us when we are happy.
Just in the past month a couple things have happened that re-assured me hes was watching out for me. I was caught in a tornado outside the CNN center (I wont tell the story again) but when you see the pictures of where I was standing, it looks like no man should have survived that. I know he was up there shielding me from debris. Just a few days after that, Dayna lost her little brother in a car accident. At the funeral it was nice to see all of his friends banding together, holding each others hand, and helping each other to get through this tough time.
A few weeks ago a friend payed me a compliment, she told me she was grateful for everything I did in the wake of JB's death, and I told her, love is a powerful thing, you'll be surprised what it can do. I know he'd have done it for me. Me, Angel, Brandon, everyone, we could not have made it without each other. Theres a picture that im sure every black household has, where there is a black man leaning down over a wall, to help his brother up. Every time I see this photo I think of our group, we all at any point in time will have to reach down and help our friend out, because we know if the situation was reversed, they reach down for us too, and thats what friendship is about.
Lastly, I'd just like to say I miss JB, a lot, as I'm sure we all do. He will never be forgotten and I don't plan on there being any day where hes not on my mind.[04.02.2008]
Hi everyone! I just wanted to say how glad I was to see so many smiling faces on Monday night at Laseter's. I am so sorry that I could not be there on Friday night for the celebration, but I was needed elsewhere for another very special occasion in which another hero of ours, Rocky, had returned to us from Iraq. I know JB would have loved to be there with open arms to tell him he was proud that he is home with us, but we all know he was there in spirit. I cannot explain to you how great it was to see so many of you on Monday and to see his picture back where we always hung out. Without JB, I would have not met any of you and my life would not be the same. He is ultimately the link in some way shape or form in all of our lives. He is forever apart of us and will always remain on our hearts. I miss him so much and wish I was there to help bring him to justice on that day.
Missing him always,
Happy Birthday, Justin. I miss you terribly.
To Justin's family: you are in our thoughts and prayers, especially today.
Happy Birthday JB!!
I miss you everyday.
Thank you, "Friend of Justin" for the beautiful roses. You did bring joy to my day. It was a lovely collection of red, pink, orangy, and peachy blooms and although they are now drooping and turning brown, I hate to throw them out.
I wish you had signed the card. I can't be sure you will get this thank you, but I hope you know that I am so grateful for your thoughtfulness in memory of Justin.
Well now, I know that my prayers will not be answered. You see, I have prayed that I did not receive that phone call on August 2, 2007. I was driving that morning. It was a bright sunny morning, I was happy. The boys were in the back seat and Renita was at my side.
I answered the phone and, the man said, "can you go somewhere and sit down?" I was driving at 75 miles per hour on the freeway! I could not stop, I could not go anywhere. Dear sweet GOD! Dear sweet GOD, please! please! please! please! Don't let me hear anymore. But, that did not happen. I did hear. My prayer was not answered.
Now, life has changed again forever. My son was shot and killed. I have prayed that this not be true. But, it is true. My prayer was not answered.
My son, Justin worked so hard to finish his schooling and to graduate. But, on graduation day he was not there. Thanksgiving, Christmas and the begining of the New Year, Justin was not there. I prayed for something from Justin, anything. My prayer was not answered.
Justin Sterling Brown will be 26 years old on March 31ST. I have noticed the request for many of Justin's friends to gather in memory of him on Friday, March 28, 2008. Both in Georgia and in Maryland. I will be painfully, painfully sad on his birthday. There is no way around this for me or Joyce but, I do hope that you all will have a wonderful, wonderful time together as I know Justin would want you to.
Know that I continue to live the life of the father of a son killed by people who do not deserve to walk the streets of this earth again.
I have prayed and prayed and prayed and yet my prayers have not been answered. Now I pray again. I pray that you all pray with me and Joyce and our entire family, pray that the justice system agrees with me. That these young men do not ever get the opportunity to bring any type of hurt or harm to any other human being again. Please grant me this prayer even as I sit at my sons grave site on his 26th birthday.
Thank you to all of you. Special thanks to Angel, Lindsey, Ben, Brandon, Kevin, Rachel, Roger, Manik, Paul, Calvin, Sara, Josh, Scott, I could go on and on and on...
Please stay in touch. I need you all.
Justin's Dad. [03.09.2008]
Every time I see the Acres Mill exit on the highway or drive past Laseter's or see a little red Saturn driving down the road, Justin is in my thoughts. Every time I goto the gym or hear a joke Justin would like; Every time I hear an Outkast song or notice somebody doing something good for someone else, I smile a little for Justin.
Justin is in my thoughts whenever I see or hear the things in this city that are good. But, he is also in my thoughts when I don't see or hear those things. When I don't see people doing good for their fellow man, I am reminded that Justin is no longer here. I miss you terribly, Justin.[02.28.2008]
Justin....something's not right.I figure it'll never be right without you.
Keep watching over us. I miss you. Mourn you till I join u. [02.10.2008]
I miss justin soooooooooooooooooooooooo much. I cant believe such a terrible thing has happened. I ask him and GOD for guidance to get me through this terrible mess. I pray for all my siblings, and Justins parents. Justin has been visiting me in my dreams, (and now, he probably thinks i am crazy because of the dreams that i have) and i thank him so much for that. I have a glass object and in the middle of it, there is a picture of Justin and i. Underneath it, it says "My Brother and I". It is my most prized posession. My prayers are always out to Justins loved ones and his parents.
I love you, Justin.
I miss u big cuz I stay thinkin bout u each day & how u r not here with anymore. I really love u & it will always be that way.[01.15.2008]
"Everyone who loses somebody, wants revenge on someone. On God, if they can't find anyone else."
God, please help us all.
I just miss him so much....[12.26.2007]
James, Javier and the Brown family,
I know this Christmas will not be very Merry and this New year's will not be very happy. But I hope you know that all of us here on this site, all us who are his friends, and all of us who looked forward to this time of year because Justin came back to Maryland and we got to spend time with him, all of us share a bit of your pain this holiday season.
Justin, we miss you[12.25.2007]
I miss you son. This day and date like all remaining days and dates will never be the same. I try to be OK. And to some, I will seem just that.
But, I am not. What can I do? I think of you constantly.
All my love for you dose not ease my pain. Even this Christmas day dose not change the truth and my reality. You...are not here with me.[12.25.2007]
Merry Christmas, JB. Thinking of you always.[12.06.2007]
In addition, you would be so proud of me...I got a new job at the University near my family's home! I accepted a position as an Admissions Counselor. I will get 75% off while earning a Master's Degree.
We spoke so often about goals and the future, I know you would be happy for me. I love you and miss you more than you will ever know....
I continue to look at this site daily, and think about you all the time....I miss you so much!! My thoughts and prayers go to you, your family, and friends. I miss you more than ever, dear friend. Save a place for me up there, for the future...
First let me thank all of you for the well wishes that have been received by me and the family. It is true that life has not gotten any easier for me. I do not expect it to... I wish only that all the pain and sorrow that my family and friends feel or may feel, to be removed from them and given to me. I have no choice in this. Life has been changed because of the choices of others. I struggle to maintain a strong positive path for my son, Justin's brother. I watch him closely. I have found two writings of his that I will share with you all. Hopefully, others who are not aware of the pain and suffering that we now must endure, will begin to understand and possibly do whatever they can to try to make things better and not worse.
Hey, what's up big Jus! Hope you are doing fine. I'm not. I really miss you like crazy!!!!!!!!!!! I just don't understand why you have to be gone and away from me. I just don't get it. How the guy can just kill you and runaway from himself and the law. I'd better not see him face to face. I'd hurt him so bad and u know I'm a passive guy, like you. But, I can't let this one slide. He killed my best friend in the whole wide world, my second father, but, most of all, my big brother. I can not stand for this. You meant the world to me. I love you so much I can't explain it. GOD, what did I do to deserve this? Why did my big brother have to be away from me? What did I do!? I have to live with 2 horrible things now! Anyway, I hope you are OK. When I come up there, could you ask GOD to put my kingdom, which I hope to have, to put my kingdom next to yours. Because I am going to spend too much time without you. I love you bruh!
A few days after I found that, I found this:
It's pain we felt, it's pain we feel
It's so much we wish it wasn't real
I wish that they were back, and you do too
We've had a lot to gain and a lot to lose
We were climbing up that ladder, hoping for the most
So we would reach the top and be proud and boost
But we were stopped, losing players on the team
So instead of happiness, we were left with pain.
You see, saddly, my young son feels what I feel. He ask the same questions I ask. I wonder how five beautiful mothers would be blessed with five beautiful young boys. I'm sure at some point in time it was said, look at my beautiful, handsome young baby boy. These five boys grew and somehow turned. But, GOD said, let these five young man grow and grow and decide to do something that they know is wrong. GOD said, I put these five young men on earth so that on August 2, 2007 they could go out and find my beautiful handsome, loving, careing, young man, my son and shoot him. Eventhough, they know him not, eventhough he has never, ever cause them or anyone that they would or could know any hurt or harm. They would go out and shoot my son and leave him to die on the ground on a parking lot in the dark away from his father, his mother, his siblings...alone away from us. I find it difficult to beleive that GOD would have these five young men go and do this to my son. Or, did they do this without any guidance from GOD? Did they do this without any guidance from anyone? None of this brings my son back to me. None of this changes what these five young man have done to change my life and Justin's entire family and friends. So what is... is ahead of us. I ask that justice be served. Justice from all who are involved in this case. Law, legal, family and friends. I will not see my son today, tomorrow, the holidays, his birthday, his graduation day. I will not hug my son again. I visit a mound of dirt. Dear GOD!
My thoughts, I have been gathering for several days but, they leave me now. I had the words but they escape me now. I want what I can not have. I need what I will not receive. I get only what is given to me. I take nothing. I ask that I be given justice for me and my son. Please.[11.27.2007]
To my friend and his family:
I haven?t written before because I couldn?t find the words. This morning I woke up and had something to say. I believe in people, the kindness and goodness in their heart- that life is all about the ones you meet and the mark he or she leaves on you forever. I met JB 4 years ago: a people?s person, always willing to help: a genuine soul with a great heart. I have traveled around for the past 2 years, and have learned who my real friends are- those people you can talk to and see as if not a day has gone by. My most recent 2-month stint in Atlanta came to a close with an impending 18-hour drive to Massachusetts which I was dreading.
Life at that moment intervened: ?You?re going to Maryland this week!!!??? I?m stopping in DC, ride with me; I?ll drop you off!!,? I said. Thank God, I thought; a friend, someone to keep me company, someone to keep me safe just like he always did. On the morning of June 13th of this year, after sleeping 3 hours, I drove to pick up my friend. I glanced at my back seat and thought: hmm, I hope he doesn?t bring too much because who knows where he?ll put it. The idea flew out of my mind as I said, ?Ehh he?s a guy? no worries.? Imagine my surprise when JB came walking to my car with a large suitcase and another bag. I said, ?JB, what IS all that??? ?Well, I gotta have a bag for my shoes,? he replied. I just laughed. 12 hours, 1 flat tire, & a lifetime of stories later, we arrived in Maryland where I took him to his family- his brother who was graduating; everyone just so happy to see him while I was sad to see him go. He gave me the biggest hug & we parted ways.
I didn?t understand for a very long time what happened. ?That only happens on TV & movies- not to my friends? I thought. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would drive back to Maryland to see my friend part ways again- to somewhere better. I was worried about making the drive from Massachusetts alone under such conditions; at least on the way there I anticipated being with people who were feeling what I was feeling, and who cared about me & who I cared about. When I left to drive back on Sunday, I stopped and asked God to help me on the drive home because I didn?t know how I was going to make it. For some reason, I looked over at my passenger seat, and there, glaring up at me was JB: somehow 2 of his programs from the service with his smiling face on the cover were sitting right there next to me. I sat in my car for a moment, smiled, looked up at the incredibly blue sky and said, ?Thank You.? My friend was there again to keep me company.
I believe in the power of people to impact you and change you forever. I believe in making every minute count and being happy NOW. I believe in the strength of others when you have none and vice versa; the friendships that know you better than you know yourself. I believe in respect and admiration for those who can overcome obstacles and do the impossible- RESPECT for those who had the STRENGTH to pull together a memorial service with over 200 people when a friend deserved it- ADMIRATION for the willingness of people to help and come together whether they know you or not; a shoulder to lean on, a new friend to be made? I believe in life.
Meet people, help people, say thank you, care, love, laugh, cry, sing, dance, LIVE! I want to dedicate this to those who were strong when I wasn?t; who listened to me when I didn?t understand, and to those who I admire for doing what needed to be done in a dark hour. To his family, for taking in a whole slew of new children, brothers and sisters just because they were JB's friends. If I know you, know you have a place in my heart. If I haven?t met you yet, you still have a place in my heart for we were all friends of JB. I leave you with what JB told me that I will never forget: Do what you gotta do when you gotta do what you gotta do.
Live every day, every moment & enjoy the people in your life because they are what make this road of life a little brighter.
?When youre down and troubled
And you need a helping hand
And nothing, whoa nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest nights.
You just call out my name,
And you know whereever I am
Ill come running, oh yeah baby
To see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall,
All you have to do is call
And Ill be there, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Youve got a friend.?
Miss you JB,
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I wanted to share that I am so thankful to have known Justin. He will be my forever friend and his legacy carries on. [11.10.2007]
JB, what you think about my new pup, sweet right. You obviously know that I think of you and miss you everyday, I do think of Skye and Ocean also, you had mad love for them, I keep them in my prayers. One day i hope to see them again and let them know the MAN you were!I will get a real crab cake! JB I LOVE YOU!!!! Thank you for being such a good friend, you will never be forgotten! ILOVE YOU,m lindsay[11.09.2007]
I rented a movie today and thought about you cause I first saw it with you in theaters months ago...and I remembered how you were late to meet me cause you were helping someone that was having car trouble. You were always helping someone. : ) In June, you were the calm in my storm when I was having all that trouble with my family, school, and my car. God I miss you so much!!!!! You will always be with me.
I was lookin at all the postings and I thought I posted what I wanted to say about Justin, but perhaps I kept my thoughts private. To Justin's family, I can feel in your posts how much pain and suffering you are going through and I wish there was something we could do to help ease your pain...but I know that may not be possible. Hopefully, you will find a time when you can feel some happiness again because I know Justin would want that for you. Perhaps that day will be the day these men are put to justice. I am thankful they have all been caught and await the day they are sentenced.
I also wanted to share with you the email I originally wrote to the author of one of the first articles written about Justin that I think I meant to post earlier.
Justin knows more people than anyone and is a friend to everyone. He was never one to judge or turn anyone away; he accepted everyone for who they were and made them feel like they were the most special person out there. He blurred the lines of race, religion, and culture and brought everyone together. He had an amazingly diverse group of friends and often attended venues that most African-American men would steer away from, such as predominantly white/alternative bars that were not used to seeing people of other ethnicities...and he acted like it was home. No place made him feel uncomfortable and he always had a great attitude for whatever and wherever we were going. He loved to have a good time with his friends and whatever we did, he would be the shining star of the night...He was the most amazing dancer I have ever seen...whole groups of people would crowd around him just to watch him move. His friends and family were more important to him than anyone else and he made it clear to each and everyone of them. Justin was always trying to stand up for his friends...he was very protective of them and he always wanted to make sure they were taken care of and safe. And this is what has taken him away from us now. He was always playing the role of the hero and he will always be my hero - the most caring, loving, and outgoing individual I will ever know. [11.06.2007]
It's Aunt Bev. I know we didn't get a great deal of time to be together. I regret that, but I DID know the moment I met you, you were a very, special person. I can tell. You had a huge heart, ready to give to anyone, always willing to help, a warm, kind heart and deameanor. Someone that everyone needs in their life. ... an angel. I look at you every day now and bring flowers once a week which I hope honors you and lets you know how much love we have for you and wish for your continued blessings.
I've seen the accounts on the web which serves conflicting feelings 1) confirms what I knew about you .. a blessing to everyone that came in contact with and 2) sadness that we had not spent more time together.
You are now, where you were destined, with our God and Lord. Please watch over the rest of us and help us be the person that you are.. an angel. Please help guide and direct those that you have contacted be the person that they all looked up to.
Sometimes the loss is just...to great to bare..let alone speak of. I will try to find words fitting of my baby cousin, but right now..I just can't. The world has lost a prince.
Sometimes the loss is just...to great to bare..let alone speak of. I will try to find words fitting of my baby cousin, but right now..I just can't. The world has lost a prince.
I miss you Justin. Wish you were here.[10.25.2007]
I just wanted to say to Justin's dad that your words are always so moving. I truly think your words always come out the way you wanted them to. I truly do miss your son and I hope that one day your family can come to peace with everything. Justin was a good person and I don't think he would want any of you to suffer. I wish you all the best and please let me know if you need anything. I am here for you, just as Justin was here for me.
JUSTIN I MISS YOU VERY MUCH AND I LOVE YOU SO MUCH YOU ARE ALWAYS WITH ME A LITTLE SLICE OF YOU LIVES INSIDE OF ME. JUSTIN YOU ARE SUCH A WONDERFUL PERSON AND I AM GLAD TO BE KNOWN AS YOUR LITTLE COUSIN. YOU WILL BE IN MY HEART AND SPIRIT ALWAYS. SAY HI TO MOM-MOM FOR ME AND TELL HER THAT I LOVE HER.
R.I.P. BIG CUZ
P.S. I LOVE YOU SLICE AND I ALWAYS WILL. [10.17.2007]
Each day I cry and cry out for my son. I still... can not beleive that Justin has not answered my calls, my screams. I try hard not to let others hear me or feel my pain. Each Sunday night Justin would call to talk to me, Renita, and his brothers. But, now the phone is silent. Not only on Sunday nights, but each and every night and day. The crys of Justin's younger brother has taken the place of the joyous laughter I would listen to when Justin would call. Each day I am reminded of the... what can not be. For me, Justin was all that could be. What a shame. A terrible, terrible shame. Justin was not in the wrong place at the wrong time. Justin was not wrong. There was nothing wrong with Justin or where he was. He was a free man! A good man! Living in a time where he was free to go and to be where he wanted to be. He did nothing wrong! There are five young men who decided, in fact who planned, who used what twisted brains they have to plot to do wrong. They were successful in there plan to do wrong. They were successful in mudering my son. Without knowing me or my son Justin or our family, without any of us ever causing them or their families any hurt or harm-never. They were successful in causeing the deepest pain in me and in Justins' family. Life as I knew it has ended! My plan is to make the criminal justice system in the place where my son was murdered know that there is no place-no place worth any tax dollars for these five persons. No food, no water, no air. No light, no heat. No sitting, no standing, no walking, no talking. No-thing! Nothing. Do not spend another penny on them. It is a waste. They do not care! They will not change! Check the records! They will not stop hurting and harming others. If allowed, they will continue to shatter the lives of others. For the price that me and my family will now pay forever, I ask only that the five of them be given no mercy. No mercy! No mercy! I am sure they understand this. It is their language. It is their world. Action and consequence. The five of them are ready to leave this world. They have nothing to stay hear for. They have no family. They have no children. They have no dreams. They have no plans. Or, do they? Or, could they? The cost should be for me to forever wonder about these five, because they are gone forever! What do I want! What do I want! I want there families to say to me, in fact to all that have been touched by the crimes of their person...
Sir, I wish that I could have made a difference in the life of the person who was involved in taking the life of your son. So that my child, my son, my cousin, my boy would not have been the type of person to commit such wrong doing. I wish that this had never happened. I wish that your wonderful young man - Justin were here to accept his diploma that he so deserved. And so because I, we are so deeply, deeply sorry for the sorrow you now and forever will feel, we offer you the truth about this and these boys. They are bad. They are no good. We can not do anything to change them. Therefore, please accept their lives as they are worthless to us. They committed this action and now they must suffer the consequence. They are no longer useful in this life. We are forever and ever sorry for your loss and this is how we feel.
This not coming out they way I want it to! I can't gather my thoughts! Why do we let them live? Why do we let them kill?
If you hurt and harm and kill dogs...you go to jail. If you kill or are apart of the killing of a young man...you go to death.
There are two things left for the five of you. The truth and death. I look forward to both.[10.05.2007]
i will never forget you i know that you never seen me but i'm a friend of you brothers:i know that you two were very close.sorry[09.27.2007]
Brandon here. I'm finally finding it easier to add my thoughts to this memories page now. It has been very tough for me to come to grips with the idea that I have to do this now at such a young age. I intended on doing this when we were both much older men. It hurts that I've been robbed of the chance to continue to enjoy watching what was sure to be an amazing journey through this life. I met JB nearly 2 years ago and it has felt like I've known him for much longer. For many of you who know me, you'll know that there was a time when me and JB were nearly inseparable. Things had changed in both our lives that wouldn't allow for us to have that same time together like we once did, but the respect and the love was always still there. We didn't agree on everything but again the respect and love was always there. The pain of losing such a dear friend has been heavy and I deal with it as best I can each day. One thing that I learned about JB very early is how easy it was for him to accept you for who you were and to pull you into his family. It didn't matter where we would go, you knew that JB knew at least a dozen people there. It takes a certain level of character for a person to affect people on so many levels like that. There are lessons that I learned from JB that I'll take with me for the rest of my life. I'll close now only because I've got to save space for everyone to write. I could go on for days about my boy JB but I'll end here. I want to thank everyone for your kind words of support and encouragement. I don't want to continue to be sad about this. I want to remember JB for what he was to me and so many, the life of the party. The dance floor won't be the same with out him in the middle but you better believe he's watching down on us all. He's dancing with us all with that big grin on his face.
A toast to my brother. I love you and miss you man. Save room for me on that dance floor man.
I miss JB so much sometimes. Not a single day goes by that I don't cry out with questions. Not a single week goes by that I don't have tears flowing down my face. He was such an amazing person. I continue to stand firm in my faith that God has a plan for everything in this world and that if he can bring us to it, he can bring us through it. It's sometimes easier said than done in those really hard moments when all we'd like to do is wrap our arms around his neck and tell him we love him one last time. I don't even begin to try to give advice on how to cope with such a tragic loss, because I don't have a clue. I just want to offer up my friendship, and my listening ear to any and all who need it. I want to be able to be there for anyone who is reaching out, just as JB did so many, many times for me. If anyone ever needs to talk, shoot me an email at email@example.com. I'll write you back as soon as I get it.
With all the love in the world for JB,
Lindsay, I remember that day at Lasseter's. It was a wonderful day and I was glad to meet all of Justin's co-workers and the customers. I said to Justin that it seemed you all got along so well, and he just laughed. I was so shocked to get the watch from Justin. It was beautiful. He had good taste, I know, but how special of him to ask you guys what you thought. Of course, I look at it all the time and think about that wonderful visit when we were there with his nephew Skye to pick of his niece Ocean. It all seemed so innocent. God, how could this happen.
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