Saturday, July 28, 2012

5 Years Ago, the World was Robbed: In Memory of Yumi Demicco

The following article was written five years ago in memory of a close friend of mine named Yumi Demicco whose life was cut short five years ago today. She truly was a gift to this world, everywhere she walked, she left a lasting, loving impression. 

What was great about Yumi was, as sweet as she was, she had this way about her that commanded attention and when she needed to set someone straight, she had a way of putting people in check like I've never seen...all 4' 11 3/4" inches of her. I guess having the head of north jersey's DEA as your father has other perks besides never getting a speeding ticket no matter how many times she's been pulled over.

She was the closest thing I had to a sister, and she was murdered, and that sucks, no other way to say it. Her boyfriend beat her to death in her apartment, wrapped her up in plastic, then tried to kill himself by drinking windshield wiper fluid. He called an ambulance to come pick him up after his failed attempt at suicide, waited outside for the paramedics, locked the apartment door, and they took him to the hospital where he stayed for a week. 

When Yumi didn't show up for work all week, her boss, a close friend of mine, went to her apartment to check on her, and found her body. The boyfriend, laid up in the hospital, saw the report on the news and confessed a day or so later.

I honestly thought it was a dream when I heard what happened. No way. No one could do that to someone like her, impossible. Clearly not a dream, and still, five years later it still feels like I'm gonna wake up and she'll be there cracking some dumb joke about me. 

One year she dressed up like me for halloween. She stole my jacket and my sneakers out of my car, put electrical tape on her face for a beard, and did the most embarrassing (for me) impressions of me all day. It was awesome. She was awesome.

The "anniversary" of her death today got me thinking about how amazing she was and always will be. I met Yumi working for a marketing firm. She knocked the hell out of our sales team and smoked everyone in her training class. Not only that, you couldn't help but be in a good mood when she was around. 

When it was time for me to branch out and run my own office, I needed someone I could trust to help me, so without hesitation I called Yumi and offered her a job as a sales manager. I still have no idea how the hell we survived as long as we did, but we broke every record in Philly for that company.

I could honestly sit here and write about her all day, but all I want to convey here is that she is still missed. I miss her, she shouldn't have been taken from us the way she was taken, and I just want to make sure the world remembers Yumi Demicco...miss ya kiddo!



"The celebration of a short but beautiful life" 
by Mychal Massie

For many, it is difficult to accept that evil exists in existential form and interacts with us, and around us, every moment of every day, even if it chooses not to reveal itself as such.

People want to believe there is some primordial good that permeates within us all. They want to believe that external forces are responsible for evil committed, not the biblical summation of same. Many want to believe that if we just treat others nicely, smile and have positive thoughts, everyone will get along and the world will be a better place.

People can be deceived by said evil that masquerades as or presents itself adorned in vicinal good. But not everyone believes in a primordial good, nor is every person fooled by the vestments of normality and decency often worn by evil sociopaths to obfuscate and conceal the true blackness that is in their soul. Those persons look beyond the evil, in a belief that they can make a difference where others have failed. So strong is their confidence that their good can overcome the other persons' bad, they realize too late that if angels of God's creation were cast out from heaven because of the evil of their hearts, how much easier is it for sinful man who has never looked upon the face of God to rebuff good works. It is this latter that I believe most accurately describes the tragic loss of a beautiful
light that was recently extinguished by the hands of the evil person she sought to help.

Yumi Demicco was the 24-year-old daughter of my very good friend. She was smart, outgoing, beautiful, confident, wise beyond her years and possessed of a spirit that can only be attributed to God. She loved her country. She cared about the men and women entrusted with the honor of preserving our way of life in a way that was truly extraordinary. She was inquisitive and questioning – not in a rebellious way, but for the purpose of knowing. The Yumi I knew loved to learn, not for the purpose of warehousing bits of useless information, but to be more complete and more prepared to share of herself. She asked simple yet probing questions, and she expected straightforward, honest answers.

She was quick-witted and yet respectful – it was a challenge to one-up her when it came to getting in the last word, unless she chose to surrender the point. I will always remember her chiding me for "blowing off," as she had put it, her father's 60th birthday party – the fact that my son and I had tickets for a boxing match at Madison Square Garden in New York, that same evening, notwithstanding. How could I have known that short time ago would have been my last time to see her in this life?

I have thought much about the brutal way in which Yumi was taken from her family and friends. Sometimes, at first glance it is hard to see God's greater good in tragedy, but I believe that through her seemingly untimely and senseless death, our Father in Heaven speaks to us.

Her passing provided her father and family an outpouring of love, encouragement and reunion from colleagues (both past and present), friends, allies and counterparts from every corner of the world. In her passing, her family was reminded not only of her impact on the lives of many, but their impact on the lives of many around the world.

Her passing is a message to every parent
– to love their children and spend time with them while they are young – because it is seldom that children want to spend time with parents that weren't there when they were young.

The funeral service for Yumi's passing was a celebration of life, and it could not have been so had she not, through faith in Jesus Christ, overcome death while she yet lived. Her pastor's eulogy was for one whose father and mother had indeed "raised her up in the way she should go."

In passing, Yumi bears testimony of the fact that life is fleeting, and the only guarantee we have is last breath we took. Unfortunately, same is too often not reflected upon until we are no longer able to take our next breath here on earth.

In reality, the finality of her passing wasn't final at all – it was the start of a glorious new beginning of a new life. Not one as a dog, cat, flower, or even as another person. Yumi's new beginning is now before the throne of her Heavenly Father and His Son, the angels and those who have gone on before her.

She leaves behind memories and a life that brings a smile to faces every time she is remembered. In that way she will be forever with us. How many people can but hope to leave this world so great a legacy? She reminds us not to grow weary in well-doing, and most importantly, Yumi reminds us that we must be prepared, for we know not when our time here on earth will be up.

Note: Memorial donations can be made in Yumi Demicco's name to:

DEA Survivors Benefit Fund
Attn: Richard Crock
75 Spring Street SW, Suite 800
Atlanta, GA 30303

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