Shakespeare did it best. His captivating romance of two young lovers hooked me from the moment I read it. Romeo and Juliet have by far passed any expectations he could have ever imagined for his work. English teachers still promote it as required reading and movie stars are still doing movies about it, but still it’s the same love story. Message? True love never dies. That’s where I got my tag line for my book promo for Radiance: Love after Death.
Every day, I read stories about love going beyond life, as we know it and our own human understanding. Romeo was a fictional character, but let me share three real life Romeo’s that not only deeply loved their Juliet’s, but also sacrificed their lives in honor of that love.
Jon had always enjoyed movies and this night he was excited to take his girlfriend, Jansen Young to see a premier of his favorite super hero. He never knew when he was purchasing their tickets that he was experiencing his last moments on earth. A short time later, he threw Jansen on the ground and eventually took a bullet for her. He made sure that he kept her pushed out of the line of fire and never left her side.
When the reign of bullets slowed, Young attempted to pull him closer, to only find out he had been shot and mortally wounded. Jon Blink was only 26 years old and had been planning to re-enlist in the Navy. Though not on active duty at the time, he still died a hero just the same, not for his county, but the woman he loved.
In another area of the same theater, Matt Mc Quinn had been looking forward to a night out with his girlfriend, Samantha, and her brother Nick. Anxiously, they quieted down as the movie started to play. Moments later, the jarring sounds of rapid fire echoed through the air and as Matt and Nick both shielded her with their own bodies, Matt took three fatal bullets. The last thing his eyes saw was the woman he loved and cherished. His sacrifice gave her the rest of her life, while he unselfishly never hesitated to give up his own.
Close by, Alex Tees, 24 years old, sat with his girlfriend chatting and smiling as they had waited for the movie to start. His advisers had always said he put his relationships and friends first. They were more than right. Teves had earned a master's degree in psychology as early as June. His future with Amanda was bright with plans for a home and family. There was no time for hesitation as shots rang out through the theater. No time to say good bye, no making plans for the future, or to speak words of love. His future obliterated in the span of brief seconds, seconds that would mark one of the worst tragedies in Denver, Colorado history.
The Aurora theater massacre has many stories of heroism besides those three brave men. The women they left behind are always in my mind. I refuse to look at them with pain or sadness. Their love for these men graced them with honor and respect that can never be diminished with time or death and will last forever. They were cherished, respected and loved deeply. They are shining stars of grace and dreams that’s pure and untainted by the evil of this world.
So, Shakespeare, you have been dethroned with your Romeo and your Juliet by three men named, Jon, Matt and Teves of our age and time. To their families, I bestow upon you a word of honor and good standing to them all. They are heroes not only to me, but the world.
As a writer, I think about love, write about it and desperately seek it. My novel, Radiance: Love after Death is about finding that kind of love. Yes, love me like that, Mr. Prince Charming. I know you’re out there somewhere. I’m waiting.
Bio: Debra Jayne East was born the oldest of six girls, in Martinsville, Virginia. For as long as she could remember, she loved to keep journals, write poetry and short stories.
She researched her family tree and suddenly she understood why. Her distant relative, Violet Florence Martin was an Irish author, born in 1862, who co-wrote a series of novels with cousin Edith Somerville under the pen name of Martin Ross in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
After she encountered a near-death experience during a routine surgery, she realized her time had come to follow her heart and realize her calling to be a writer.
Her first novel, Radiance: Love after XOXO Publishing released Death in June of last year. Debra lives in North Carolina close to the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoys photography, volunteering and spending time with her family. Her next book, Crimson Snow, her new paranormal romance, will be released later this year.
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Debra Jayne East
XOXO Publishing: http://t.co/skrRzpQD