When the sun began to set behind the fountains at the Arboretum, the palest of rainbows peeked through the clouds and people began to notice. It seemed a fitting moment for the prayer vigil for the little boy so many have taken into their hearts, Aramazd “Piqui” Andressian II, to begin. Several hundred family, friends and community members who have been touched by this boy, his mother and their story, came out to honor him.
Singers opened with Reach Out And Touch Somebody’s Hand after which, Piqui’s mother, Ana, welcomed the crowd and spoke about her son. It’s obvious from his mother’s words and the words of others that Piqui was one of those special spirits who was just the right balance of compassion, kindness and fun. This was later echoed by his teachers, Ms. Flynn who spoke of Piqui being “that kid”; the special one you hope for, while Mr. Trinh said the first time Piqui visited his class he introduced himself by saying, “My Mama’s the Principal!” He said Piqui was so proud.
Monsignor Connolly, of Holy Family Church in South Pasadena, led the vigil and spoke about the thousands of people who have been touched by this child and how each of us honors him by “living the gospel of Piqui”; a gospel of love, of friendship, of compassion and a love of life.
Piqui’s Uncle, aunt and cousin told stories about the joy they all felt when they first heard he was on his way and what it was like the day he was born. They went on to tell their stories of fun and special moments they each shared with him. Over and over, we are left with impressions of this extraordinary little guy who was taken far too soon. For in his short life, he affected so many. His mother described him as a magnet because people were drawn to him and couldn’t get enough of him.
When you see the videos and photos of him, it’s not hard to imagine why; the cuteness factor is high with this one. Everyone who spoke had a profound experience with him and there was definitely one thing they all touched on; this was not the end. They want justice for Piqui. Ana Estevez said, “my son mattered. My son’s life mattered.”
Monsignor Connolly acknowledged Chief Art Miller and members of the South Pasadena Police Department and the LA County Sheriff’s Department and applauded them for their efforts in this case and for all they do. They received a moving standing ovation from the crowd after which everyone remained standing as they were asked to join hands in a final prayer.
Ana and Piqui’s song is You Are My Sunshine which closed the vigil in the most beautiful way. The back of the program shows a silhouette of Ana pregnant with Piqui and a quote from The Giving Tree. “And she loves a little boy very very much…even more than she loves herself.”
And a final message from Ana, “Thank you for loving my son.”