Friday, February 26, 2010

Rest in Peace, Rajaan

If you know much about me, you know that I love Alabama football. But when it comes down to it, I am really a fan of the SEC and *most* of the time I want all SEC teams to do well. (There are a few exceptions but that’s not the point of this post). I read the SEC blog on everyday, and I found an article today that literally made me cry at my desk at work.

Rajaan Bennett was an 18-year-old from Powder Springs, Georgia, who was shot and killed in an apparent murder-suicide on February 18. He had just accepted a full scholarship to Vanderbilt University.

From what I’ve read about him, he was quite a guy. His father was killed in a car accident when he was 10, and after that he became the man of the house and helped his mom take care of his special needs brother. You can read the article on the SEC blog
here or CNN’s article here. I won’t get into it too much because I think you should read the articles, but even if you don’t read the articles, please at least read the essay he wrote the week before he was killed (taken from the SEC blog on

by Rajaan Bennett

Somebody once told me that, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). Life hasn't been a walk in the park for me, but I'm thankful for the obstacles, hardships, and accomplishments that GOD has provided for me. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be the Rajaan Bennett that you know today. I wouldn't have things any other way.

Strength is the ability to do or bear things in the state of being strong.

In the year of 2000, I moved from the streets of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to the suburbs of Powder Springs, Georgia. A year later, my dad died in a horrible car wreck, and as a ten year-old, I knew he wasn't coming back. This tragedy rattled me to the core. I felt as if there was no need for me to live. I wanted to be as happy as the kids with dads and moms.

Some days I would wonder - why me? But eventually, I realized that it was my turn to become a man. As I became older, I came to notice that in life you use strength as a blanket to protect you from this cold world.

I am the oldest of 3 and I have a brother with special needs who I have to take care of. I have to balance school, sports, friends, and family - and it gets so hard, but I push myself. I push myself like a sprinter who is neck and neck with an opponent with 10 meters left. With the strength that I posses, I feel like I'm Hercules.

I matured faster than all of my friends - and there will never be a time that I will give up. I may complain, I may refuse, and I may even cry about it, but I know I have to do what I have to do.

I work hard at whatever I do - just for that man upstairs to smile down on me with the rays of the sun ...and they feel so warm. My drive cannot be stopped or even slowed down, because every obstacle has a way around it. Every day I become stronger from the weights physically, the books mentally, and life emotionally.

There is no limit to my strength and at the end of the day, I want to be known as the strongest.


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