(NEWSER) – “When I opened the letter and saw his handwriting, tears filled my eyes,” Tyra Vickers-Kearney tells CBS Sacramento.
Her brother, Aaron Vickers, was killed in a drive-by shooting in 2002 in Stockton, Calif., when he was just 19 years old.
But this month, a letter from Vickers arrived for his family, Fox 40 reports. A 16-year-old Vickers wrote the letter to his future self as a high-school assignment in 2000.
But when his old teacher, Daryl Hutchins, went to mail the letters to his former students, he discovered Vickers had been killed.
He connected with Vickers' family on Facebook and sent them the four-page letter.
“I’ve never felt his presence like that in the past 14 years, but I felt like he was sitting right next to ... me,” Vickers' mother, Deanetta Vickers, tells CBS.
The letter contained Vickers' "innermost thoughts and dreams," including the desire for a family—Vickers' son was born after he was killed—and the prediction that America would soon have a black vice president and female president. "To me it was his way of saying, ‘It’s OK, Mom. Thank you for taking care of my son, thank you for keeping my memory alive, and I’m OK,’” Deanetta Vickers tells Fox.
The person who shot him has never been caught. (A son received a letter written by his resistance-fighter father 70 years after the fact.)