Remembering Pernell

Heavy heart today. What are you supposed to do when your best friend loses her brother unexpectedly? I never know what to do or say in times like this. Everyone expresses grief differently, and my outlet always seems to be through writing.

I wasn't close to Pernell; he was always the quiet, gentle giant our guy friends were afraid of. I've known Paula since we used to dance to 'Poison' and other classic hits while passing the time in junior high P.E. Her family has always felt like a second family to me, so naturally I always felt safe and protected around Pernell and her brothers.

The Aio family has that effect on everyone. I don't know anyone that's met them that doesn't think they are the nicest, warmest, most loving family on earth. While I'm at it, they're the most athletic too. Even my MMA fighter boyfriend wants to be as fit and active as Paula's dad. Everyone knows Paula's dad, a.k.a. the friendliest county sheriff you'll ever meet. If you're lucky enough to know Paula's mom, fills my heart to know there's another mom out there who's just as proud of me as my own mama.

<3 <3 <3

So it's no surprise how much love and support has poured out from the community of friends this beautiful family has built. If there's any family that truly embodies the spirit of 'ohana', I know it's the Aios. Now they have a gentle giant looking after them from the heavens. What a wonderful guardian angel to have.

Rest in power, Pernell. We love you.