BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Alean Thomas Johnson sees the eyes of her son all the time in the eyes of her grandson. It's a heartbreaking reminder of what both of them have lost.
"I get emotional when I talk about it," she said. "But I thank God that I can talk about it. I'm going to talk about it for the rest of my life."
She is talking about the loss of her 19-year-old son Demarcus Thomas. Somebody shot and killed him in her front yard, the 5200 block of Washington Avenue in Baton Rouge on January 21, 2013. Almost three years to the day, and still no answers.
"What lays in the back of my head is why. My child didn't bother anybody. He was out working taking care of his son here, who will be four on March 7."
His son was just 10 months old at the time. How old will he be when his father's killer is finally found? The days keep ticking by like every visit to the grave site. She still goes very often, at least once a week. And something her little grandson recently said, really hit hard.
"He said 'I want to go to my daddy.' Do you know how that makes me feel? His daddy is in heaven. He's still young, but one day we'll have to tell him what happened. I pray to God that he doesn't become violent."
She's doing a lot of praying these days. It helps get her through those tough moments, and there are a lot of them.
:Everybody passes by and says 'Oh that's Demarcus' mother, she's strong.' They don't have a clue. I am strong when they see me because it's still very, very hard."
She remembers hearing the shots that horrible night, but had no idea the bullets had her son's name on them. She's held vigils, been to many others as well. The hope is that at some point, hopefully soon, the community that she has been a part of for so long will give her family what it needs. The almost mythical closure you hear so much about. Because you never fully recover from something like this.
"You never get over your child. It's not a common cold. You can't take Nyquil or Theraflu and it's over. Couple of days and I'm well. It doesn't work like that."
No, it doesn't. Not for her, not for the rest of the family, and not for his son, Demarcus Junior. How old will he be when we finally say enough is enough? They're waiting.