We have a family reunion in a different state about every two years. I always try to attend the family reunion. The preceding reunion always decides the next location. Atlanta, Jersey, NY, South Carolina, Detroit the reunions are always fun, seeing everyone growing up and having children. I remember we had one in Atlanta, I was hanging with Geoffrey, Norman, Anthony and my brother Jason laughing hysterically at our antics. It was a blast, I remember meeting Asia Adams, the daughter of my cousin Shelah. I can’t remember which reunion she attended but I remember she was too young to roll with the older cousins. That’s how the cousins associate at the family reunions, the age groups get together and party. Asia was always quiet, doing her own thing, too young and cool for the older cousins. you couldn’t tell her nothing, we were “corny” as they say, “old school” as the youngins call it. Asia wasn’t acting rebellious or bad, probably trying to be “slick” but she was just young and excited about life. When you’re young, that’s how it is, you’re living and experiencing things for the first time. It’s cool cause when I was young, I thought the same thing.
A few years ago I attended a family reunion and realized Asia wasn’t there, and I later found out I would never see her smile again. I wouldn’t get to hang out with her when she came of age, I wouldn’t see her marry, and I wouldn’t see her with children. It left the reunion empty, slightly numb. You see, Asia was murdered and until recently I didn’t know the details of how she died.
My cousin Shelah shared some details about the weekend she was killed. Asia was 21 years young and Shelah was away for the weekend. As my cousin says it, “Asia was playing grown” and had someone over the house the weekend Shelah was out of town. Well…the details are horrific but Asia was killed violently in her home by someone she let in. It was the end of her life.
When I spoke with Shelah, she reflected on how parents try to instruct children on all the subjects vital to navigating through life. I don’t care what your GPA is, I don’t care if you’re the smartest student in your class or you whole school, any parent can teach you something or help you with something you know little about…LIFE.
Most children, under normal circumstances, haven’t experienced enough about life to possess the wisdom to make the best choices. You don’t have insight about a predatory characteristic or a manipulative tone. There are villainous things and people in this world. It is a parental duty to protect their children from these people and things. It is a task of the parent to present these components of life without harm. To keep you out of a bad situation, before you suffer innocently at the hands of another. This is the duty of all parents. As a son or daughter you may not understand a decision that your parent made to restrict you from a party or a “bad influence”. Understand that you are being protected. You are being guided on the right path until you have the common sense or intuition to make the correct decisions and walk the right path. Parents have made mistakes as children, and they don’t want you to make the same mistakes! Would you rather take the advice of someone who has never had the experience or take the advice of someone who has the experience? That’s the difference between being smart and having experience.
Shelah explained that the man Asia let in her house was homeless and without knowing all the details, could speculate that he had mental problems or just was a bad person. As a parent, you can sense these things. Maybe if Shelah had spent more time with him things would be different, she could have protected or warned Asia. Shelah shared with me that the first and only time she met Asia’s killer, Asia said, “Oh Mom isn’t he cute” Shelah’s immediate reply was, “…but what kind of person is he?” Shelah’s response was because as she introduced him, Shelah could sense extreme arrogance oozing from him. When a young man meets a parent for the first time, he should never be arrogant. Be humble, be polite but never arrogant. We will never know but I share this with you because it may give you a deeper appreciation for the parent that’s always checking where you’re going, who you’re with, who you’re texting, what you’re watching, and what you are doing.
We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future. – President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Most things are good, and they are the strongest things; but there are evilthings too, and you are not doing a child a favor by trying to shield him from reality. The important thing is to teach a child that good can always triumph over evil. – Walt Disney
My cousin Shelah started a foundation to raise awareness of dating violence.
Asia Adams Save Our Children Foundation
The mission of the Asia Adams Save OUR Children Foundation is to empower children and youth (ages 4-24) to build healthy productive lives through education, advocacy and support. We encourage youth, particularly adolescent females, to improve self-awareness and esteem. OUR programs apply a holistic approach to help develop and maintain mental, emotional, physical and spiritual balance. We provide health education, as well as recreational and cultural programs to develop knowledge, resources and strategies for healthier lives. We strongly believe in social justice for women and children and promote programs and policies that strengthen, honor, and empower. We advocate across health, education, safety, and public welfare systems for the needs of children, youth and families.