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the ocean always dreamed blue dreams

In Memoriam

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One of my former students-he graduated last year-was shot and killed last night around 10 o'clock.

He had just finished playing a game of basketball and was sitting in a car on a dark street, with his cousin. They were waiting for his cousin's ride when another car drove up. It was someone they knew and they argued over a girl his cousin had been seeing. The young man in the car pulled out a gun and shot them. Victor was shot two times in the back. He was treated at a nearby hospital, but he died. His cousin, who survived, is in critical condition.

Why did they argue? Why did that person, that unknown quantity, think it was a good idea to pull out a gun and use it? He changed his life as irrevocably as he changed Victor's.

What I do know is that I wish Victor was still here on planet earth tonight, doing whatever it is nineteen year old boys do. Scrapping and yelling and mixing it up.

But not dying.

He had been annoying in class-he was far more interested in socializing than in reading MacBeth or writing essays, go figure-but we both survived. He came back to see me last fall and we had a good talk. He was working at a restaurant, and was planning to go community college this year. In December some co-workers and I went out to dinner-and there he was, all grown up and responsible. He was our server. He sent us a complimentary appetizer and was so very attentive.

Today, when my class let out, and my current annoying student was leaving, he said, "Hit me up, Miss. Hit me up with a lollipop. I know you got some." I rummaged around in my desk drawer, but couldn't find any. I did find a bottle of vitamin water. "Here, D, take this," I said. "Are you sure, Miss?" he asked. "Yeah," I said. "Do you know why I want you to have this?" I asked. "No, why?"

"Because you're alive."

Recquiscat in pacem, Victor. We love you.

Updated 04-06-2012 at 02:51 AM by qimissung (updating information)



  1. mtpspur's Avatar
    I am sorry for the loss -- any loss leaves an empty irreplaceable gap in a life. Grieve well--your tribute was very nice and personal--the best kind.
  2. Neo_Sephiroth's Avatar
    My condolences are with the young man and his love ones. I'm glad you took a little bit of time to pay this humble tribute.
  3. LadyLuck's Avatar
    I'm so sorry Qimi. It is always hear wrenching when someone who should be here is gone.
  4. PrinceMyshkin's Avatar
    I'm so sorry to hear this, Qim, and cannot help wondering, again, what is it about the gun culture in the US. I had in mind to compose a bumper-sticker once: "GUNS DON'T KILL. THE NRA DOES!"
  5. qimissung's Avatar
    Thanks, Rich and Neo, LadyLuck and Prince.

    I hate guns-and this is exactly why.

    I thank you all for grieving with me the loss of a sweet boy and what might have been.
  6. TheFifthElement's Avatar
    What a terrible story Qimi, I'm sorry this happened. No matter what there can be no explanation, no understanding. He was simply a boy of whom you were fond who was there and now is gone with no reason whatsoever. I'm sorry for your pain, but glad for your fond memories. I hope they can give you some small measure of comfort.
    Thinking of you. Fifth xxx
  7. qimissung's Avatar
    Thank you, Fifth.
  8. Maximilianus's Avatar
    It's a caring touch of yours to remember the departed, qimi. It's not much for consolation when a life that was (and could keep being) valuable has been shut off without standing a chance to give a fair fightback, but at least he has someone to remember him, and not everyone is actually remembered once gone.
    As a side note, I find it kinda curious how great teachers share similar features apparently everywhere. My grammar teacher often keeps a few lollipops in her purse for the time a student gives a correct answer, as a prize. She also shows up with a bag of lollipops every time we have a test. I think it's a therapeutic activity while one is writing the answers, at least for those who reasonably know the answers to a grammar test. It's good to be a student when you have a great teacher. It's the sort of possession I feel we take with us to the other side at the time of the departure.
  9. Buh4Bee's Avatar
    God bless the work you do. No community is too big to be affected by something so great!
  10. Virgil's Avatar
    Sad story Qimi. Reminds me of growing up. Actually it feels like a flashback. Not that I was involved in anything like that, but one heard stories, especially during the 1970s when crime was rampant. Actually it sounds like Victor was just a by stander. Poor young man. May he be in God's bosom now.
  11. qimissung's Avatar
    Thank you, Max, I don't think I could have expressed my sadness at his passing better than you have.

    Thank you, Buh4Bee.

    Thank You, Virgil. I like the idea that he is in God's bosom now.

    Thank you all for reading and responding, for being the loving people you are. I appreciate it more than I can say.
  12. Monamy's Avatar
    Sorry it took me actually a lot of courage, self-control and 5 days after reading this blog to write this reply. It just that the heaviness of life was something I didn't understand until I, in my turn, lost someone and experienced life without one daily element that didn't look much when it was around, but feels like a big part of me is lost once it no longer existed.

    Qimi, been a long time. I wanted to say "hope you're doing well" and "hope Life has it better for you" but I could almost 'see' you smirking in a painful playful attitude. But I really hope you're doing well.

    Life isn't something we think about everyday. Sure, we have our ups and downs, but we always think we could 'live' through it. We never seem to debate the possibility of never getting the chance to see if we can or can't 'live' through things. And when we move on and look back at life, we always seem to belittle the things that cuased us unbelievable frit and stole the sleep off our eyes. I can't compare the shock I encountered with yours, but I think I can say I empathize with you.

    Argument over a girl, led to crime.
    Where is the future of this world heading? To snuff a life because of selfishness. I honestly can't blame pessimistic people now.

    I'd hate my life to end because I fight with someone over something like that. Poor Victor didn't deserve this.

    May his soul find a better place.