I wanted to tell you Brian's marker is beautiful. I love what it says. Truly an inspiration to all who read it & an acknowledgement of your son's mighty spirit which lives on in the hearts of all who knew him.
Oct 21 2011 we will be having our 1st Annual Peace in the Streets here in Fayetteville NC. It is for all of our young people who have become victims to senseless crimes! We remember them...
Mei we all strive to live peacefully & love freely~
You are very welcome & I thank you for sending me a message in return. As I went back to read what I had sent I was filled with gratitude for my relationship with God who is so good all the time.
I know that time alone does very little for a broken heart but time & God together is a sufficient combination. His grace is sufficient & through these years he has poured out his grace in abundance.
I read your letter at 6 years & it touched my heart. What a gift you have in your son & I have no doubt his daddy is watching over him. I believe his love is channeled through you & your love for Brian is the strong tie that binds the two.
Your son is beautiful. The heavens are definitely smiling down on him! Mei God continue to give you strength & wisdom to live each day with peace& love in your heart.
Six Years / Sara
You know six years is a long time...what's even crazier is that you would be turning 29...what an old man =) This year my heart has been heavy...you know the struggles and see what the little guy has gone through...my heart aches beyond what I can express - hoping that the decisions I make and the life he lives is one that would make you proud and be the best for him...I have to tell you that watching Lorenzo with Warren is beautiful but hurts just the same...Dante never had that bond from the beginning - having his dad to play with and laugh or pick him up when he cried...it makes me more angry at the person who stole that from my little boy...but you know I'm just going to focus on the beauty of this moment - our son is alive and has survived some incredibly huge obstacles...our family tries hard to love and make the best of each situation that comes...as we grow and move through life - you are always in each of our hearts...until we see eachother again Close
our son / Sara
BJ I know God has let you watch Dante as he grows and I know that you are always watching out for him...it's just been hard to go to first kindergarten events and first baseball games and feel your absence so strongly...I know you are proud of me and Dante and Warren...he ran three miles just to make it to Dante's first game (but you probably know that) but it doesn't take away from the pain we feel without you...keep protecting our little guy - I know you will Close
five years and still learning / Sara
I often tell myself that I should be happy for the people who don’t understand The ones whose only concept of murder is what they see on TV There is no way to comprehend what our family has endured by losing you There is no way to explain what we continue to face as your son grows and wonders Many people are uncomfortable with your death…it doesn’t fit into what we as humans find explainable or understandable Many find it easier to only remember your life and how amazing you were But to discount what you endured and our family has endured is even more painful Murder is not a far off concept meant for story books or movies It is our son looking at random people on the street and asking if that’s who killed his dad It’s the anger I feel when he asks me questions about you that he would have learned on his own if someone hadn’t taken your life in their hands It is the longing to have peace through forgiveness but always falling short because your murder is still unsolved and your murderer still walks the streets I worry about your son as he grows – his heart is so precious and kind – just like you I hope that I will find the wisdom to guide him through this journey and that his spirit will not be broken that he will not live in fear that he will not be overcome with anger We are incredibly strong and I know that we will take this pain and transform it but the process is long and takes our breath away at times BJ Today I honor your life and death It is because of your life and the legacy you left behind that our family has faced the aftermath of murder with strength and endurance…that we never give up when it oftentimes would be much easier and for refusing to hate when it would be completely reasonable So many will never learn the lessons that murder teaches and although we continue to learn on this journey…we know we are forever changed As our lives have gone forward we have not left you behind You are with us in the decisions we make and the way we love Rest In Peace – We will see you soon Close
Feb. 22, 2010 / Clare
Precious BJ The memories of your life and your leaving are right here-right now. So many beautiful thoughts... you humming Vivaldi and saying "Cherrio" and the next minute freestyle rapping with Ian and Josiah... the days of teaching kids basketball with the white pants white shirt and tie are emblazoned in my memoryyour calling my "wet chicken" good when you hated it :) One of the most beautiful memories we have is the look on your face when you saw Dante's ultrasound... you witnessed a miracle and knew it! You were our miracle BJ. We will never forget what you did for Sara and subsequently for Dante. God brought you into this family and this family praises God for the gift of your life. You may have only lived to 23 but you gave us more in that short life than we have time to thank you for... our hearts hold you always. With each passing day and each loved one that leaves us eternity is more firmly settled in our hearts. We love more deeply cherish our moments and long for our reunion day... Close
your son misses you / Sara
I know it's been a while since I wrote...there are different stages to this journey and I am finding my way through...my heart breaks for Dante and I know you see how his little heart hurts...he wants to know who the bad man is that killed you - I can't tell him because I don't know...he gets afraid and angry and I know it would be wrong for me to try and downplay the real emotions he is feeling...he cried today and I asked him what was wrong - he said he never got to ride in the car with you...little things that people - even I - can't fully comprehend - and it also makes me afraid and angry...afraid because there is no book that gives you step by step instructions on how to walk with a little one through these moments and angry that the evil person who took your life has also taken a part of our sons...it's not fair and it hurts that he has to deal with this...please watch over him give him strength peace and joy...he deserves it...we love you Close
Gone Home / Kelly
I feel bitter and lonely, I feel anger and hate. I feel sleepless and coldness, I feel it's too late. My life is in shambles, My life is a mess, My life is worth nothing, I can't stand the test. Then I looked, there you were standing, saying give me a chance, I said what could you do?! How will I inhance? With me you're never alone, I'm here 'til the end. With me I'm your savior just let me in. Why should I do that, I'm nothing to love. You are, yes you are, You're my precious dove. I will never leave you, no never alone. Then I let him in publicly, now I could go home. I feel his love, his peace is alays there. My life is so much better, now I have to share. I went outside, from one end to another. I witnessed to everyone, my sister and brother. You have done well my son, I am very pleased. I'm taking you home your coming with me. My family is upset right now, since I'm gone forever. But some now know I will see them in heaven.
I wrote this years ago and I felt the need to share this with you because it just reminded me of him in a way. BJ, you were a joy to have around in good and bad times. I just wish there were more of them to share. There's nothing like having those dining room discussions and trying to figure out what the next step was going to be. With love Kelly Close
Another Birthday In Heaven / Dante's Grama (D's grama )Read >>
Another Birthday In Heaven / Dante's Grama (D's grama )
Another Birthday in Heaven
I know you're
I try to picture your moments on assignment for God, for your beloved Sara and Dante
Are you helping paint the rails in Dante's home up there? Are you teaching younger ones 3 point shots. Are you playing violin or rhyming with Paul or Donna.
I know you're in awe of Jesus, surrounded by holiness and goodness, filled with the presence of God.
You have inspired Sara to be the most amazing mother to Dante. She is giving him life and love every minute of everyday. You couldn't have picked a better mom for your son. God picked her. Now you know that. Now you know so much.
Dear God, let the knowledge of heaven come to Sara and Dante. Let them feel the love of God and the Love of Brian today. Let the things that Brian intercedes for them be realized. And let the peace that Brian feels in your presence guide them waking and guard them sleeping, all the days of their lives. Please tell Brian HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Please tell him he is loved and missed. Amen Close
We miss you / Jaime
BJ You are missed very much, and thought of often. I am sure you are so proud of Sara and Dante. What a beautiful boy. Sara is such an incredible Mom to Dante. I don't know a more selfless person, she loves him so much. You know he is in the best hands in the world. I hope you had a great birthday. Love, Jaime Close
We never realized all the gifts Brian Rashad Jones would bring to us. Brian came into our lives as a rescuer. He leaves our lives as a son. When he first moved in with our family he turned our house upside down. Scott, Josiah and Brian sang Christmas carols and cracked us up with their terrible harmonies. Ian, Josiah, BJ and Scott played hoop and learned some street ball techniques and words that they're still talking about. He always told me he loved my food (even my attempt at fried chicken which he called wet chicken) though it left alot to be desired. I watched him make my daughter laugh and cry --fight and forgive. Brian helped her feel life again. Then, they shared a life together. I'll never forget them studying Dante's ultrasound picture. Brian kept saying "for real!" It was for real!! I will thank God for Brian every day of my life, he gave us our daughter back and a grandson that is the joy of our home. I pray that God would tell you all that you have meant to me. Brian, God used your life to transform this family forever and I love you. Mom Close
To Brian's Friends and Family, I am so sorry that this world is a violent place. I am deeply sorry that a beautiful life with such potential was cut short by someone who felt they had the the right to do so. I am angry that the system is so unable to bring justice to an unjust world. Yet, I will be forever grateful that nobody could steal the value of Brians life or his eternity with God. Because of Brian I am committed to make a way for each of these sorrows to inspire the way I do life with my time, talent and treasures. His life will live on through mine. I pray for each of you today that God will bring you His peace. That he will bring this murderer to justice and repentance. Above all, I pray that his life will challenge us all to change this world.
Brian, Having the opportunity to sit and talk with you told a much bigger story than what was seen on the outside. Like so many of us you were wrestling with the best life you could in the context of the resources, opportunities, and relationships that made up your life. Open to take steps of faith, not only toward Christ, but also to believe you could obtain things that at one time seemed impossible. Yet you did it and I am so proud of you. Your love and care for people was beyond what could have ever been expected. Your love and concern for Sara from the start was obvious.Beyond words your care for Sara was displayed in actions which I will never forget.We spoke about your son and the hopes, thoughts, and dreams you had for him. Things you desired to be different for his life. Sara is working hard to make sure your desire will come to pass. She is doing an amazing job in the midst of obviously missing you. Clare, Ian, Josiah, and I will do all we can to see your dream realized. You are missed, you are loved, I will see you again. Close
Dear B.J. / Anna P.
Dear B.J., I didn't get to know you very well, but the amount of time I got to spend around you was amazing to me. I loved to see your big smile that told me that even though you had been thru horrible things you still enjoyed life. I loved to watch you at the CCA basketball games. You were so excited, so enthusiastically willing to help. I remember crying when uncle Scott told us about the new hope you had found. I was so happy for you. But to be honest, my first hand experience with you was nothing compared to how I see you everytime I look in Sara's eyes. That is where it is clear you will always live, always shine. I honestly don't know what to say. I can't express how incredibly grateful I am that you gave Sara something to live for again. Since the time I can remember Sara has been my hero. I love her so much and I would honesltly do anything for her. This is why I can't thank you enough for rescuing her. I know how much she loves you. I can see it when she looks at Dante and when she sees the kids at youth group playing basketbvall. I know she misses you BJ. But I know you gave my Sara something that has changed her life, that will change countless other lives. I wish I had gotten to know you better. I wish I had been able to truly thank you for giving Sara what you gave her. I think about you a lot. I think about what a hero you were. I know you made mistakes but everyone does. You made it through unthinkable circumstances with enough love and strength to impart to one of the most amazing people I've ever met. I promise I will never forget you and what you gave to all those who knew you. Close
Thinking about Brians(our son-in-love's) 2nd birthday in heaven is full of so many unknowns. Yet, there are some things we can be sure of. He sees things that the greatest prophets on earth today don't see. He could teach us things that the most insightful teachers couldn't communicate. His life points in a direction that the best GPS system couldn't navigate. He knows Jesus today like none of us do. He doesn't know in part anymore, he understands fully. He is now a part of that great cloud of witnesses in Hebrews chapter 12 that encourage us to go forward. To Sara, Dante and his loved ones he would say: "Keep trying, keep loving, keep pressing on, keep dreaming, pursuing, enduring KEEP LIVING!!It's worth it!" Honoring BJ's birthday today is about living in a way that matters for eternity, living in a way that presses on to become part of that great cloud in Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
We promise we will not lose heart. We love you and we'll see you soon, but until then, we will press on with your encouragement!
Brian the Teacher / Uncle Shawn &. Aunt Kathy (Aunt & Uncle )Read >>
Brian the Teacher / Uncle Shawn &. Aunt Kathy (Aunt & Uncle )
Although your journey on this earth was not an easy one, you chose to live beyond your pain. Your life has taught so many people in ways you could have never imagined. Thank you for teaching us to:
We are grateful that God brought you into our family and that you allowed your life to teach us. Your son will have a glimpse of the beautiful person you were through all you have touched.
Even though your short journey on this earth is over, your spirit lives on and continues to teach. You would be so proud of Sara—she is an extraordinary mom to your beautiful son, Dante. We are looking forward to getting to know you better through him. Until we see you again. Close
Another sad loss / Kay-mom Of Joshua Delaney (visitor)Read >>
Another sad loss / Kay-mom Of Joshua Delaney (visitor)
This story sounds all too familiar to me. I know the pain in having a loss of this magnitude. I am so sorry for another young man cut down in his prime. When will the madness stop. I am oh so sorry for you loss. I am sure Brian is singing with the angels now. God bless us all and bring some peace and serenity to our lives.
I lost my Brian to the same evil... / Lynda Simmons (Brian Colletti's mom )
To BJ's family & friends, I am so very sorry for your loss. The insanity of our world and the cruelness of such acts is beyond my understanding. My Brian was murdered one week before his 25th birthday.
I know your pain and will keep you in my prayers. It has been 19 months since my son was murdered, I never imagined I would have to endure such a horrific event in my life. With God's help I have been able to survive so far. There were many, many days when I felt I could not make it one more day, but that day passed into the next and the Lord carried me through it. For months I had to make the choice to 'live' each morning, waking up to the awful reality that my son was gone...but I was determined to live so I could honor him.
I wish I could take your pain away. I know that is not possible and it would be an injustice to you and your loved one. Your pain is a direct reflection of the deep love you feel for your Brian. Trust me when I tell you that there is ultimately comfort in your pain...when you let yourself surrender to it and crumble under it's weight, once you have exhausted yourself theough your tears and crying out at the unfairness of losing your loved one, it's at that point when you are quieted deep in your soul...that quiet is actually a peace that comes from God, it is a result of the cleansing from your tears and in that peace you will find rest...you will be a little stronger. Eventually when you cry out and give in to your grief, you will begin to trust that you will make it to the other side of each episode, that you will survive it and you realize you are in the grace of God. His grace is sufficient~I promise you this.
I have no doubt BJ was a special young man and he will be missed by so many. His love will live on in those grieving hearts and his spirit will never die. I saw many references to him being a teacher...what a beautiful legacy...he left a legacy of love, and that wil help carry you through as well.
My birthday is also on Feb. 23. I want to share with you that I believe BJ celebrated his birthday with God, with the angels and with the many other young people who have gone on ahead of us. My Brian loved birthdays! His own and everyone elses, I know he was there! The hardest thing I have had to do is learn how to move forward, when I have been left behind. Being left behind is so hard! We will see our loved one again one day. I will not tell you that he is in a better place, that never brought me much comfort! I wanted my son here, with me! I will tell you that I believe he is at peace, safe in the arms of God and dancing witht he angels. He is no longer burdened by this world, with it's hardships and injustice! I know my Brian was there to greet him! He loved people and he was always helping others, so I believe he is there to reach out and welcome other loving souls into God's glorious heaven!
I hope I have been able to bring a little comfort and light to your darkness. We figure out how to live with it...for me reaching out to others who share the same pain as I do helps me. Please feel free to contact me anytime.
May God bless you with his peace & love. May you feel the presence of your loved one and know that he is never far away, he will be with you always...
Peace & Blessings~ Lynda Simmons Brian Colletti's mom www.brian-eddie-colletti.memory-of.com
One more thing..... / Lynda Simmons (Brian Colletti's mom )
There is basketball in heaven! I am very sure of this, because if there wasn't when my Brian got there, I know he had God put in the best basketball court ever! And then he organized teams! Brian's greatest passion was basketball! We now honor him with a tournament every year. God Bless~ Lynda Simmons Close