The essence of Aaron Vickers has returned his family in the form of a letter, one that the teen had written 16 years ago, before his life was tragically cut short.
Aaron was 19 years old when he was killed in a 2002 drive-by shooting near his home. His family has been mourning every October 4 since. But, this year, they received a special gift.
Just days after the anniversary, when his family visited his grave and the place where he was murdered, they received an unexpected Facebook message.
It was Aaron’s high school teacher who told the family he’d given the class an assignment to write to their future selves that he would mail the letter to them 10 years later.
He wanted to know where he could mail Aaron’s.
“Yo, what’s up dude. This is me, yourself,” said the opening line of Aaron’s four-page letter.
Aaron was just shy of his 17th birthday, and in the letter, he talked about typical teenage boy things, from girls to wrestling. He even almost predicted the future, saying that we’d have a black vice president or woman president by this time.
“It was really emotional. My brother has always been quite the character. It was sad it was coming from my brother but it was kind of lifting my spirits,” Aaron’s sister, Tyra Vickers-Kearney told InsideEdition.com.
The timing was perfect, the family said, especially because Aaron’s son, who is now 13, was able to get to know more of his dad through it.
Aaron’s girlfriend was six weeks pregnant when he died.
“It couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. He was able to read this letter and get a feel of how his dad was,” Tyra said. “I believe timing is everything.”
Aaron’s mom, Dee, said she’s just so happy that the teacher thought to do an assignment like this.
“He has shown us how to follow through. He’s following through with an assignment from 16 years ago,” Dee said. "When receiving the letter it was really bittersweet. We cried, we laughed and we cried again.”
The family says the letter will be something more that they can hold on to. And, of course they plan on framing it.
“It was kind of like Aaron was reaching out from the grave for this letter come at this time. To say, ‘Mom I’m doing okay. Thank you for keeping my son and continue to keep my memory alive.'"