Your Life Matters…And So Does His!

by Eugene on January 16, 2015

Aaron Rogers

At some point you must realize, your life matters…and so does his! I realize violence has been around since the beginning of man but that doesn’t make it any easier to understand. I lost someone very special to me today to senseless violence, but then again, all violence is senseless right? I mean what’s the point? I’m not looking for retaliation, that won’t bring him back.  In fact, it’ll only perpetuate the issue.  Justice must be served, I do believe that.  I know my thoughts will be all over the map on this one as a ridiculous amount of emotions are flooding my mind right now. I can barely see the screen through the tears. What am I feeling right now? I’m feeling hurt, loss, anger, frustration, disappointment, failure, a sense of numbness, and confusion. I’m frustrated because I don’t know when, as a unified people, we’re going to declare enough is enough, when peace will become the norm rather than murder, gun violence, assault, theft, drugs, and every other headline associated with our cities. Obviously Philly is my hometown but it’s happening in cities all across the country. What level of self-hatred is it when I can look at another man who looks like me, is from where I’m from, has lived a similar struggle, aim a gun at him, think you don’t deserve to live, and pull the trigger? WTF is that? Your life matters…and so does his!

I feel a sense of failure because I feel like I let him down. I couldn’t save him. And I know on a surface level it’s easy to say it’s not my fault but we’re all to blame any time any one of our sons is laying in a hospital fighting for their lives or dead in the street from senseless violence. I know this touches women too but far too often it’s the same story of our boys and men killing each other. And over what? Your life matters…and so does his!

Life is so valuable. So fragile. We’re here one day and gone the next. And I get it, death is a very inevitable part of the human experience but I think we were designed to die of old age and natural causes. It’s ok to not like someone, I’ve not liked people but I haven’t wanted to see them dead. No matter what, I have a respect for them as a human being. We’re living a shared experience. We’re all trying to make it. We can disagree, that doesn’t mean someone has to end up in a casket. Even if there is a fight between 2 people, which I know no one has a ‘fair one’ anymore, somebody can win the fight and someone can lose the fight but no one has to die. Death is so final. Back in the day, my friends and I could be playing ball, 2 of us might fist fight for a minute, the rest of us would break it up and we’d get back to ballin’ as if nothing happened. At no point did we discuss going to the trunk, calling up other people to come jump somebody, etc.  Life matters.

I’m remembering a text conversation my wife and I had the other day. She asked me something and of course I put a positive spin on my response. At the end of the message I included the hashtag #IdontKnowHowNotToBePositive And I’m challenged big time right now. I’ve been racking my brain to find the sunlight in this dreary situation. Although I’m sure I will shed more tears as time and God heal this void I feel, I’m hearing myself say, “don’t cry because he’s gone, smile because you knew him.” He wasn’t perfect but who among us is?  He and I shared a love of basketball and I know he’s probably up there right now talking trash to someone on the court! He actually won our last one-on-one so when I see him again, my sneaks will be laced and I’m gonna check him up. I admired him. I used to always tell him he had natural leadership ability and that he needed to be mindful of the direction in which he was leading people.

There is work for you to do somewhere else now.  Look in on us from time to time.  No more pain, no more worry. You are free Aaron! I will always love you, I will always believe in you, I will miss you, and I will smile because I knew you. Your Life Matters!

Aaron, God Gave You the Green Light!


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ayeshaa January 16, 2015 at 6:48 pm

My brothers, my everything . You can’t say Aaron without Tremaine & you can’t say Tremaine without Aaron. They were two but really they were one. My big brothers were my heros, I never had to call twice . I never felt more alone , first losing Tremaine that was hard enough but I had Aaron & because of him Tremaine was still here in a way but now they’re both gone. I got to see Aaron earlier yesterday .. His chest was moving so he was breathing , his hands were still very warm & a tear slipped through his closed eyes as I begged him to wake up. I least I got to say goodbye & tell him that I loved him something I couldn’t do with Tremaine. Losing Tremaine was so hard for everyone, Aaron took it the hardest, all he wanted was our brother & now they can be together again. We no longer have to worry, he’s resting now finally at peace not looking over his shoulder all the time. They’ve been through so much , but can’t nothing or nobody ever hurt my brothers again.


2 Eugene January 18, 2015 at 2:20 am

You said it just right Ayeshaa, no one can hurt them anymore. They are at peace now!


3 Carolyn Smalls January 16, 2015 at 3:22 am

You are so right it 0 is a senseless act, people ont value life anymore it crazy. What you wrote is so heartfelt. Im praying for you and the family of this young man, God is always close to the broken hearted so cry out to him and allow him to comfort you at this time. Gone to soon but God did have the final answer. May he Rest in Peace….


4 Eugene January 18, 2015 at 2:21 am

I’m in a great space today Ms. Smalls, “smiling because I knew him!” Thank you for your words!


5 Joyce Jones January 16, 2015 at 3:04 am

Eugene my heart goes out to you and your family. I am in agreement with everything that you said. May God continue to bless you and your family.


6 Eugene January 18, 2015 at 2:22 am

Thank you for your words of encouragement Ms. Jones!


7 Allison Walker January 16, 2015 at 1:54 am

Eugene, I know one thing that I believe with my heart and soul that Aaron is saying right now “thanks Coach for all of the love that you shared with me and please tell your wife that I said thank you for being that role model for me! I went home to be with my brother! Love, Mom


8 Eugene January 18, 2015 at 2:25 am

Thanks Mom, as I’m sure I was a beacon of positivity in his life, he added to my life as well and he will forever live in my memories!


9 Joy Taylor January 16, 2015 at 1:43 am

I didn’t know this young man, but I do know Mr. Eugene Bell. And his words above are so true. Everyone matters. I posting this only to say I’m sorry for the friends and loved ones left behind. God protect this young man and make him your brightest star. God bless


10 Eugene January 18, 2015 at 2:26 am

Joy, I appreciate you sharing and keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.


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