By Mayra B., age 17, California
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
If I were to magically find a lamp holding a genie I would be happy. I would ask for three wishes, each alike, each filled with hope. The genie would be confused. He wouldn't understand why, if I had the chance to wish for anything, I wouldn't wish for this. He would say, "Why are you not wishing for all the clothes in the world and all the money that others desire, not to mention the luxurious cars!?" In response to his questions, I would say, "Genie, I don't need that, but what I will wish for is for you to bring our friend Jason back".
I wish life could be that simple. Find a lamp, then wish, wish, wish, and boom! Granted. Only life is more complicated than a fairy tale.
Jason was a guy full of jokes, laughter, charisma, and a great sense of humor, the type of person who was able to fill you up with joy and happiness with the magic of his voice. Jason was constantly known for his way of making you laugh, his short conversations, and for being a friendly person to everyone. The jokes, laughter, joy, and happiness ended on October 6, 2007, when Jason was killed.
That Monday afternoon, October 8th, I was alone sinking in boredom, with complete silence in the house. There was nothing interesting on TV and I was not ready to clean my room. I decided to give my best friend Julie a call. Our conversation began by catching up on a few things, but then her voice grew still and her tone became unusual. "Guess what happened?" she said. "Oh my god, don't tell me ... no!" I replied. In my mind I was sure she was going to say, "Well, I broke up with my boyfriend". I was wrong. Julie told me that Jason had been killed over the weekend, and I was left in a state of confusion. I said, "What? ... Jason?" And then from the other side of the telephone came the answer my mind denied to hear.
Tears ran down my face, as if I were a heavy cloud ready for a stormy night. Indeed it was a stormy night, one filled with pain and memories. I laid down in my bed that night, crying endlessly, tossing and turning with emotions ready to erupt out my chest like an active volcano. I couldn't believe it, and I didn't want to believe that the person I had seen all my life was no longer here with us.
I'd met Jason through my dad. He was a very good friend of Jason's uncles, and because of that our families got a chance to meet one another. That friendship led to invitations to family parties and other events. In time I saw Jason around our elementary school. He would always be making some sort of comment, and even making fun of me. When we finished 5th grade we all went our separate ways, and it wasn't until our sophomore year that Jason checked into my ex-high school.
After years without communication, I decided to send a message to Jason through Myspace. We caught up a little bit and laughed about random things. Today I am grateful that I had an opportunity to catch up, to have him in our class, and most importantly have him as a friend ... a friend who will live forever in my heart until the day we meet again in heaven.
With Jason's death came a great sense of realization. I learned that life isn't something we have in our hands, nor have any sort of control over. Life is borrowed to leave a legacy behind, to mark a place in people's hearts. Sometimes we find ourselves complaining about our lives and forgetting that we should be grateful for our existence, for having the privilege to be here when others are not.
Jason Valdez Perez
You will forever be in our prayers & in our hearts.