Class of 1999-a great bunch of people.

These two pieces of news have disturbed me greatly today.

The first link takes you to an article about an Army reserve veteran by the name of Roderick Burton Jones. To some people, including myself, he is known as BJ. I have known BJ since we were seventh graders at West Middle School.

I have also known the young lady whose obituary can be viewed in the second link since seventh grade. It shows her name as being Gabriella, but we all called her Lynn. She was sweet, quiet, and loved her family.

We kind of grew up together in that we went to the same schools from seventh grade all the way up to our graduation in June of 1999 from Ypsilanti High School. Ypsi is not a city that is known for much, but I cannot say enough about my classmates. I truly enjoyed my time with them. A lot of people were not so fortunate as to have a decent adolescence or teen years. I had a blast during mine, despite the attempts to bully me or make me feel bad about my appearance by a small handful of people. In particular, my classmates, class of 1999, hold a special place in my heart.

So it is disheartening to find that two of them were lost in such a short span of time. Both of these individuals had families that are left behind to find their way. Lynn’s passing is a little baffling to me at this point–I have no idea what happened–but BJ’s seems particularly senseless. I was infuriated to find the reason he was shot–because he threw a few losers out of a nightclub in Detroit. That is worth killing someone over now???

I have many thoughts racing through my mind about both deaths that I am having difficulty sorting through right now. Of course we know that we are not guaranteed to live to see a hundred, but I can’t help but have questions. However, my questions can wait. The more pressing urge is to pray for the families of the deceased, and to pray for my remaining classmates as well.


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