Aj, it stands for Anthony Junior, named after his father, who also happens to be my mother’s brother. Aj and I grew up together, just a few houses apart, with our grandparents living in between. We did everything together, from going to school, to doing arts and crafts and playing tag on summer nights. As I said in a previous blog, some of my most favorite memories in life were with my brother and our cousins, Aj and Michael.
Growing up, Aj was always the neighborhood smartass, he was usually always the one getting into trouble. I didn’t understand much of why Aj was the way that he was, because I was too young to understand. All I knew that no matter what my Aunt and Uncle would do, Aj still always found a way to act out. Regardless, our family was still extremely close.
Not too long after Cailean passed away, the family noticed a change in Aj. Deep down, hidden underneath his rough, spikey edges, lied and empath. Aj easily related to those grieving my brother’s loss, always eager to help me, and my brothers friends. We’re all thankful for Aj, more than he would ever begin to know. Hopefully he reads this, and realizes he has more purpose than he thinks.
Aj has struggled with his mental health, having his high-high’s and his low-low’s. Checking himself into mental health facilities with the will to live for his beautiful little girl. Being a daddy’s girl myself, I could speak on her behalf that little girls are lost without their daddy.
Aj is young, but he’s hardworking and the most honest person that I know. Luckily, aside from his daughter, Aj was blessed with a woman with a beautiful soul. Sabrina- just so you know, we’re all thankful for you. You’re a bright light that has entered Aj’s life, which has also illuminated the entire family. You remind Aj that he is worthy, that he does matter, and that when he is feeling hopeless, you’re there to restore his hope. We love you.
Aj, you’re a warrior. You’ve won battles that you thought were impossible to beat. You have a strong army standing behind you, and will continue to help you with your fight. Let them be reminders that love is real, and it conquers all. We love you, Aj. Never forget we will continue to fight any battle you’re in with you.