I Am Jillian Johnson and Mayci Breaux Strong

For months I tried to figure out the perfect first post for my newest blog. I had finally settled on a post where I’d introduce myself and what to expect of my blog, which is what most upcoming authors do; the post was due to go live a few weeks from now. However, I had a change of heart. I still plan on releasing my original post, but I felt it wasn’t nearly as important as this post.

I’m not very big on watching the news. Since I’m a Sensitive Sally and find the news highly depressing, I tend to stay away from the news. But every so often, there’s a storyline that catches my attention; for example when the Sandy Hook shooting took place in 2012, I was drawn to the story and the victims. Even when the Aurora shooting took place in 2012, I found myself back in front of the television, tuned into the story. But never in a million years did I think such a travesty could happen in my own state.

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On July 23, 2015, in Lafayette, Louisiana, during a showing of Amy Schumer’s film, Trainwreck, an armed man killed two beautiful women, Jillian Johnson and Mayci Breaux, and injured 9 people before killing himself. Although these women were a part of my community, I didn’t know them personally and I won’t pretend to have known them. However, I know a few of Mayci’s friends, as well as a family member.

When a person usually passes away, you can never tell what that person was really about because so many people are set on trying to make that person’s death about themselves. However, in every article I’ve read and every person I’ve heard speak about Jillian and Mayci say the exact same things. Jillian and Mayci were positive women and still had a lot left to do in this world.

Jillian Johnson was only 33-years-old. She owned a gift and toy shop, Red Arrow Workshop. She was a mother, daughter, sister, and a wife. Jillian was also an artist, a musician for a band, The Figs, and an entrepreneur. Jillian died at the hospital. Jillian was with a childhood friend at the theater, who was shot multiple times.

Mayci Breaux was just 21-years-old. She was a daughter and a sister. Mayci had a full life ahead of her. She was a student at Louisiana State University Eunice. She was at the theater with the love of her life, Matthew Rodriguez, who was also injured. Unfortunately, Mayci died at the theater.

Both of these women had so much more to give to this world, but God had better things in mind for them. The shooter, who’s name I won’t be mentioning, had no right to play God in Jillian and Mayci’s lives. This senseless act never should have happened, and these families shouldn’t have to mourn the loss of their loved ones.

My prayers and condolences go out to Jillian and Mayci’s families and friends. I hate that our community is going through this. It almost feels as if we should be living in fear, and while that may sound like a good idea, it isn’t. We should be aware. Aware of the fact that this could’ve happened anywhere and to anyone that we know. There’s no rule book telling us how our community is supposed to go on without these beautiful women, but I pray we can move forward.

I chose to not say the shooter’s name in this post, because this isn’t about him or his cowardly ways. This is about two beautiful young women who were taking away from this world far too soon.

Both Jillian and Mayci were laid to rest yesterday, with their family, friends, and members of our community at their sides.

As I said before, I didn’t know Jillian or Mayci, but yesterday I mourned with their families. I cried for the lives that were taken so soon.

My hope for the future, is that when people hear the names Jillian Johnson and Mayci Breaux, they remember them as the loving ladies our community expressed they were. It’d be ashame to remember them as two slain victims in the Lafayette shooting or as (the shooter’s name) victims. These women had names, faces, and lives. So I ask that you remember their real stories and the good they did while they were here. Remember them. Rememeber their names:  Jillian Johnson and Mayci Breaux. May they continue to touch lives as they fly high.

Just in case anyone is considering living in fear, I’ll leave this quote for you, made by one of my best friends:

“You can’t let that stop you from living your life. It’s a shame things like that happen, but you’ve got to press through it and get back to life cause the world isn’t gonna slow down and wait for you to catch up.”

~ Scott B.