Alaina Housley died on Nov. 7 when a Marine veteran clad in black and armed with a .45-caliber Glock handgun entered the Borderline Bar in Thousand Oaks while Housley was line dancing and shot her and 11 others to death.
“We have just returned from celebrating [Housley’s] life in Napa,” said Punzalan-Makis. “As one way to cope with their loss, my sister and her family have started a grassroots movement at Alainasvoice.org."
The daughter of Punzalan-Makis, Moorea Makis, a Point Loma High School alumna who is a sophomore in college studying English and elementary education, wrote a recent letter in her school newspaper about Alaina.
“I remember us reading our fairy books,” said Moorea in excerpts from her letter. “I hated books and I absolutely loathed reading. I asked you, ‘Laina, why are we doing this?’ …You looked at me, with your straight, no-nonsense face and said, ‘Rea, how do you expect to become a better speller than me?’ ”
“Once I became a stronger reader and we grew, reading became our thing,” Makis continued. “Every Christmas together we would rip through books like it was nobody's business. … But the book I’ll remember us reading will forever stay in my mind and memories. It was our last Christmas together and the last book we would ever read together. The book was ‘Wonder’ by R.J Palacio. … Now after everything, I remember a quote by Dr. Wayne Dyer in the book, ‘When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.’”
Added Moorea Makis, “I’m wondering what would have happened if someone was kind to your killer. What if someone had looked him in the face that day and smiled? Would you be here now? Would we still read together on Christmas day?”
Concluded Makis, “Let your story serve as a reminder to the dark world we live in, and to the simply human people who live in it, to be kind, to be generous, to be loving and to never give up on one another … With my broken heart and tears covering my face, I urge the people reading this to be more kind. To love people even when they are unlovable. The society we live in will never change if we do not choose kindness and love over ourselves … Watch over our family from heaven and I will love them and everyone in this world with kindness.”