My story begins on June 27, 2013. I was in my car, taking my lunch break to go to a care meeting at the nursing home my mom is in. I realized I missed a call from my oldest son, Vince, and my husband. I called my son back, and he asked, “Have you talked to Dad?” He said, “Call him. Call Dad.”
My husband said, “You need to get here to the hospital.” Now he was crying, “They shot him; they shot AJ.”
Our 18-year-old son, AJ, was shot in a drive-by and died in his brother Vince’s arms as he arrived at his house.
Our lives were turned upside down that day. We lost both of our sons that day. Vince died 18 months later, in a car accident, but he was never the same after that day. Our middle and only living child, Brian, still struggles with PTSD, anger and fear.
AJ was an artist—kind, smart, funny and with a desire to help other young people that he often said were lost. We are pursuing ways to honor him by making his dream come true.