Growing up my brother Hoan, better known as Harry among family and friends, and I were never close. He was eight years my elder so you can imagine we neither shared the same interest nor did we hung out together much. As siblings go we had our share of brotherly fights but when we both reached our early adulthood and both of us living the single life we actually hung out from time to time and bonded over those moments. As I advanced into my 30s I settled down and started a family. Him? He was still enjoying the freedom that single life offered. Our parents and other siblings wondered if he was ever going to settle down and would ask him that when he came around for the kids’ birthdays and holidays. For a while he didn’t give us an answer that we can pin him to. We thought he was going to live the single life forever.
But three years ago he stated that he found someone and we were ecstatic to hear that. He would introduce my future sister-in-law Peijuan better known as Kat to us in one of the family get together dinner. She is a kind and gentle person and one that can put up with his imperfections. Lucky him. They got married shortly thereafter in December 2015 and since he wasn’t a spring chicken anymore we started to interrogate them about when they were gonna have kids. For the next 2+ years Harry and Kat danced around the question so expertly that you think they were getting dancing lessons from the DwtS dancers. Finally this past April they confirmed that they were expecting in August. They are having a baby boy - Benjamin! He tried to put up a front but we could tell he was very much looking forward to fatherhood.
Unfortunately Harry won’t be able to see his baby boy come into this world, feel Benjamin’s gentle tiny hand wrapped around his finger or suffer the sleepless nights that all proud, loving fathers do. On the night of May 22nd, 2018, I received a frantic call from Kat. She was hysterical and incoherent. I couldn’t make out most of what she said besides words that sounded like Harry passed away. I wasn’t sure and asked her to say it again but another voice came on the phone and calmly informed me something happened and that I should come right away. Even as I pressed for more information he said he couldn’t give me anymore over the phone. I grabbed my jacket and drove what seemed like an eternity to Oakland. Upon arriving I saw flashing siren lights and police vehicles blocking off the entrances leading up to the street and yellow crime tape fluttering in the wind. As I raced up the street on foot I saw Kat crying hysterically. When I got close I heard her repeating that she doesn’t want Harry to be alone. She kept on insisting that he is cold and she and the baby wants to be with him to keep him warm. At that moment it hit me that what I heard over the phone was true. Harry was no longer with us. My heart sank. It was gut wrenching to come to the realization that Harry died, my sister-in-law is now a widow and my nephew will be born without a father. Later a detective came over and informed me that my brother gave his life to protect Kat and their unborn baby from the would be robbers. Kat and Benjamin are unharmed because of him. Harry died a hero.
Kat is grieving hard at Harry’s passing. Not many moments pass without her thinking about my brother and crying her eyes out but she also knows not to let the grief overwhelm her lest it harm their unborn child. She is doing all she can to hold it together for the sake of Benjamin.
My brother was the primary provider for his family and now he is gone. Kat and Benjamin is in need of financial assistance. Any contributions you give will go to supporting Kat and Benjamin through this darkest of times and give some security to baby Benjamin’s future.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and share this page with others. We are grateful for any donations made and assistance with spreading the word.