Vigil for Jay Jay

I was asked to announce a vigil in Juan Jose Trejo II honor. It will be today:

5:30pm, November 15, 2011
Independence Hills Park (in South Laredo)

As had been mentioned in a previous post, Linda Mabry-Mandeville wanted to share her words on the untimely passing of her nephew. This is her message:

The passing of Jay Jay Trejo

Photo courtesy of the family with this quote, "I will be sending you a cute picture we have of Jay Jay when he was younger in a football pose playing around!"

I still don’t understand how life can change so quickly, and so dramatically…after marrying Jay Jay’s uncle almost 4 years ago I was introduced to a very polite young man, who was not only athletic, smart and had a striking charisma but also seemed to be very mature and centered for his age.

My husband and I could not believe what we had just heard that early Monday morning, around 1am as I communicated with some family members on Facebook. I began to see the postings saying “Rest in Peace Jay Jay Trejo.” At first I thought it was a joke in bad taste but as reality struck I realized that it was true, I didn’t know how to say to my husband who was right next to me, what had just happened.

Only 3 hours earlier we had heard about a car accident, a rollover specifically, and a young man being injured. Immediately I thought that the young man was our nephew but I was not sure. As the words struggled to come out I finally said what I still could not connect in my mind, Jay Jay is gone. They are saying he died. My husband could not believe it and asked how that could be. I told him that I thought it could be the accident we saw on tv.

Immediately we called a family member who was not even aware but eventually it was confirmed to us by my sister-in-law, Jay Jay’s mom. The next few moments and days leading to the funeral were a blur. We all felt like we were just going through the motions and still in shock, my husband asked me to sing some songs for him at his funeral. I quickly agreed because I wanted to honor Jay Jay by doing something I love, which is singing, since I know he lived his life doing what he loved to do; not only did he feel passionate about sports and was a great athlete but he gave so much back to the community.

He coached a little league team and he always encouraged kids and people he knew to do their best. He was the type of person who truly did light up a room. I truly did feel his spirit as I was singing two of my favorite bolero songs, La Gloria Eres Tu and Contigo En La Distancia, at his funeral. I hadn’t practiced and it was basically on the spot yet I had no mistakes and the words, music and melody just seemed to flow. It was as if he were letting me know I could do it. We were all honored to see all the people that showed up to his funeral and burial and although we remain concerned and vigilant about what happened that Sunday evening on November 6th, we are hopeful and confident that the police investigation will uncover all the details.

We don’t want to speculate but many are already saying [deleted until investigation is concluded – QF] and we will leave that to the police to investigate because we are sure that the truth will come out. These rumors which might be true make his tragic loss even harder to accept so we hope and pray that it will all be resolved promptly.

I always admired my sister-in-law and her family for always being such a united family. They are an example to my husband and I and our three children because we are also very connected to each other as they are. I was lucky enough to be around them at family get togethers and witness their love for one another. They were lucky to have a son like Jay, and Jay Jay was also lucky to have them. I couldn’t hold back my tears as my sister-in-law spoke at the funeral and said that Jay Jay, her 2 other sons and her husband were the best thing that ever happened to her because as a mother and wife I feel the same way about my 3 children and my husband. Her strength and the strength of the whole Trejo Mancha family is incredible. After having lost other family members in car accidents as well, they are still so strong. I was in awe of how resilient my sister-in-law and brother-in-law are. They were comforting others as they grieved the loss if their son saying that everything will be okay the love for their family gave them strength to go on.

At the burial, Jay Jay’s mom asked for a cheer for him and for the football players to gather around him and cheer as if it were at a game. It was surreal to be in that moment wondering about many “what if” situations but it all brings me back to one conclusion, which is that no matter what happens in the end, love always wins. It triumphs over all adversity and it’s not just turned off when someone we love is no longer physically with us. In fact, it gets stronger and it continues to grow even touching others and reaching many lives in the process. All the memories and the laughter we share survive all tragedies and in the end we are left with the solace that he loved the life he lived and in that life he showed us all his beautiful spirit and taught us a wonderful lesson about life: to live it to the fullest and to always do what you love with passion and to help others along the way. It’s with our talents and our hearts that we can do the most for our souls and for others and Jay Jay did not have to live long to realize that.

Though he was young, he was an old soul and the love he gave and received will live on forever. His memory will be kept alive by his family and friends and we hope that his name is remembered always by the city he gave so much to. Love really does conquer all and true love never dies. Not even death can end it. The love we share lives on all around us. Thank you, Jay Jay Trejo Jr., for teaching us so much while you were here and from beyond. May you rest in eternal peace Jay Jay Trejo. August 29,1994-November 6, 2011


About Que Fregados

Que Fregados is a quirky look at little things that strike us funny in Laredo and the unique Latino culture. Suggestions and comments are welcome. You can also email to
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5 Responses to Vigil for Jay Jay

  1. Roy says:

    On behalf of me, my Linda and my whole family thank you so much for posting this!

  2. Roy says:

    I meant on behalf of me, my wife Linda and my whole family thank you for posting this and letting the whole community know about the vigil for Jay Jay!

  3. Linda says:

    Thank you for posting this! I am honored that I was able to write this for my nephew and that I got to know him. I hope our whole family can find solace in his memory thank you once more for letting me post this article on your blog!

  4. peter says:

    I’m deeply sorry for your lost. may he rest in peace. Stay strong must go on for him and remember him always.Which he has taken you all in his heart to as remembering you all up in the heavens with god our heavenly father.

  5. I am so terribly sorry for the family’s loss. It is hard to find words that sound genuine and meaningful when something like this happens to someone you don’t know- but we mothers can relate to the unbearable idea of losing the part of ourselves that is our child. I am so sorry.

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