Michelli Gil Jaimez was gunned down by terrorists in front of La Belle Equipe while she had dinner with friends, celebrating a birthday.
She was engaged to be married just 18 days prior to her murder.
We were heartbroken to see this picture on world news sites, but held out hope as reports stated she was in serious condition in the hospital.
But a few hours later the worst news came: that Michelli succumbed to her wounds.
She was just 27, the youngest daughter of Araceli (Imelda) Jaimez Cruz, my longtime girlfriend. It is as if Michelli were my daughter, as I only have sons.
Michelli's mother is the kindest, sweetest, gentlest, most loving and thoughtful person you would ever meet. She raised beautiful, educated, cultured, kind, principled young adults.
Here is Michelli last month with her sister and mother after the engagement celebration. Michelli is on the right. You can see how happy they are and the pride that shines in her mother's face.
Michelli was from Tuxpan, Vera Cruz, Mexico. She was the outgoing one, the vibrant one, the one who explored and traveled and made many friends. Michelli was fluent in three languages and went to school at Presbyterian Pan American School in Kingsville, Texas, University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico, and EM Lyon Business School in Lyon, France, where she graduated in international business. She held Mexican and Spanish citizenship.
Michelli was a fun-loving person who had friends of all nationalities, from not only Mexico, the U.S. and France, but also Tunisia, Congo, Romania, and more. She was vivacious and beautiful and deeply loved.
She had the brightest of futures. Her mother and family are terribly heartbroken.
That I met her mother, Araceli, is a great coincidence. We are from completely different worlds. She marvels at our luck sometimes: Me from the heart of the USA and her from the heart of Mexico (Puebla).
I grew up and went to school in Iowa and then lived and worked in New Orleans for 25 years. Then I moved to Mexico about 8 years ago where I met Araceli. She is the love of my life and says we have found a "big love." It is one for the ages. We are deeply and forever in love, but her children are her priority, always. She is a great mother and a great person. She always does right. That is why this tragedy is so profoundly difficult to understand.
Michelli and her fiancé , Filo, an Italian young man, had gone to her home state of Vera Cruz Mexico last month to introduce him and ask her family for permission to marry.
But she will never marry, never bear children, and never live to see her grandchildren. We grieve for her.
Araceli and two of her surviving daughters and a son-in-law wen to Paris to claim Michelli's body and bring her things home. A beautiful public ceremony was held on Sunday, November 22 in front of her church in Tuxpan, and the funeral was the next day. We are asking for help with Michelli's final expenses, and to support the family in their time of extreme grief.
We say with deep sadness, adieu sweet Michelli, you were an angel on earth and now the heavens have you.
You beautiful beautiful soul. Our hearts will ache for you for all of eternity.
I will be sure that Michelli's mother receives the funds. The money will be used for travel, funeral expenses, and counseling. No amount of money can stem her grief, but your help in this time of tremendous sorrow would be greatly appreciated and will be of comfort to the family.
Thank you, and let love reign. Peace to all.
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