Skywalker is a JBSKATER from the JBGODS Skate Team


Skywalker joined the JBGODS Skate Team on December 31st 2022. Joined the angels in Heaven on 5 July 2023.

Skywalker is a JBSKATER from the JBGODS Skate Team
Skywalker JBGODS
Skywalker JBGODS
Skywalker JBGODS

Time slips away from my memory so quickly. It does seem like it was that long ago that we were all texting each other in our group chat to see who was gonna be at the skate session. Skywalker was one of the JBGODS caught my attention the most. During a time when I was recruiting skaters and asking if they wanted to be a part of the team, Skywalker asked me if he could be a part of the team. This, I will never forget. Allow me to give you a glimpse of the man that I knew.

He Kept To Himself

Skywalker child photo

Skywalker and I would ride to skate sessions in my car. That was the only venue that I’d ever see him at. Skating was something that he needed, like many of us JBSKATERS here in Chicago. So, when he needed to go, I’d take him. We didn’t know each other for very long. After a few short talks on the way to the rinks we realized that we had seen each other out there before but never spoke. Skywalker would have the most mature conversations with me. We talked about life in this dark city and the environment that we live in. He always talked about his lady Bri. I had only seen her a few times. I was pleased when she came along to a skate session. She must have been more than 5 months pregnant. Skywalker had that protector instinct. He was right there by her side, damn near walking for her, in my opinion.

Skywalker and Bri

They really loved each other. You could tell by the decisions that they made. Relationships come and go on a regular basis. People date, rise and fall, all within a matter of weeks. Those deeply felt sentiments are often short lived. But, I don’t think that was the case with Bri and Skywalker. What a gift it is for a woman to love you in the same way you love her. It’s a virtuous thing. I still remember the day he told me that he was going to be a father. Bri and Skywalker were soon to be parents.

So, this is where the story turns dark. Skywalker dealt with some mental and emotional stress. He seemed to smoke away his problems. He’d tell us about it, the gods, in our group chat. He wasn’t shy about it. I’m someone who takes mental wellness seriously. Of course, I can’t give the type of response that a professional can. But, as a friend, I can listen.

Noticing Mental Wellness

It didn’t take me long to realize that Skywalker didn’t think so highly of himself. In what way?? I’m not exactly sure. His confidence lacked somewhere in his image of self. At first I tried giving the small pep talks that I could to boost his morale. It didn’t seem to work. There is a lot of history behind this man’s hurt. Although, I had his back, I’m not the person who would help him through. This was someone else’s role. Let me tell you how I know.

There was a point when Skywalker was job searching heavily. I understood the urgency, there was only a matter of months before he would be responsible for an entire family. I told him about a line of work that he could likely get into very quickly and begin earning above minimum wage within weeks. The issue was that he would need to study, test and pay for a commercial driver’s license. His funds were low, understandably. So, I made my offer. This is a solid job. If you can study and pass the tests, I’ll pay for it. That would be my first gift to him and his family. This gift is non-recoupable. It’s not a loan. You don’t pay me back and I never mention it. After much back and forth over messages for some days he still hadn’t started. I got a little frustrated. This could be an easy opportunity for stable employment. He finally told me ‘I’m not gonna be able to learn this stuff’. And I understood.

He’s a Family Man

I stepped back and let a man be a man. He could handle it. Whatever life had in store for him, I felt confident that Skywalker would handle it. He was serious about his new family. That’s all he talked about. The last time we talked, the last time he rode with me to a session, his words carried a different meaning. He needed to prove himself. Skywalker needed to prove that he could be a provider and a father. He needed to prove to the people who had filled his mind with so much self-doubt that he could excel.

Skywalker would be fighting a very difficult battle. It was apparent that whoever made this made feel so low was definitely winning. Whatever these people had been saying to him, he believed them.

On the 4th of July 2023 I typed a message of caution into our group chat as I normally do. I like to encourage the men around me to choose peace over hood code any time that they could. My message was something like ‘..there will be idiots outside doing dumb things tonight, stay away from them if you can. Be smart and make good decisions..’ It took me months to realize that I went to sleep shortly after typing that message and I never pressed send.

Did Skywalker Pass

In the dark, early hours of July 5th 2023, our friend Skywalker was shot and killed at a block party in celebration of the holiday. I still have no knowledge of the situation so that is all that I can say about that day. Later that day, I woke up to messages in our group chat asking ‘did Skywalker pass’ and links to profiles saying ‘RIP’. I didn’t understand, it couldn’t be. He was gone. Images of this incident were already in the news. Skywalker was gone.

People had kind things to say about Skywalker at his funeral, the kind of nice things that you would say to celebrate a person. People mentioned how funny and outgoing he was and how he’d approach people and light up the room. I couldn’t help but disagree. This wasn’t quite the person that I saw. I saw a young man in pain. A young man who didn’t believe in himself. A young man who realized that he had a chance to prove people wrong, the people who shot him with their words. He had a chance. Skywalker had a chance, and somebody took that from him. That’s what I saw. And that’s what really hurt. He had a chance to be a father, a husband and a good man. And somebody took that away from him.

Skywalker, the JBGOD from Chicago, died before his son was born. He left this Earth before his lady Bri could get their first family photo. What a strong woman she is. It’s not fair at all. God brought these souls together, a couple of people who keep to themselves and keep a low profile, never getting into trouble, and this happens. It’s not fair. It’s not fair to Bri and it’s not fair to their baby son.

We still keep Skywalker’s name in our group chat. We keep his family in our thoughts. And his memory will be kept here as a JBGOD.

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