I was eighteen years old when I gave birth to my first born, Angel. He was perfect and beautiful. I fell in love with him in an instant. I was in an abusive relationship at the time but Angel made my days brighter regardless of the situation. I eventually walked out and was determined to make it on my own. With the help of my parents, I was able to start my life over again.
By the time Angel was ten years old I was married with three children and expecting my fourth child. At this time Angel was a typical child and enjoyed life. He was a great basketball player and a talented artist. Sports kept him busy through high school. He suffered from depression most of his teenage years, which continued, through his adulthood. Needless to say he was a troubled teenager; he struggled with the fact that his birth father played no part in his life. As a mother I struggled with him; his pain was my pain.
On December 31st 2008, a friend of his came home from Iraq to spend the holidays with his family. He invited my son to join him and his family for dinner. On their way home, around 1:30 a.m. (January 1st, 2009) they decided to stop at another friend’s apartment to wish him a Happy New Year. They were not sure which apartment it was so they asked a young man that was walking out. This person not being in his right state of mind (he was high on cocaine) took a gun and shot both my son and his friend. I prayed all the way to the Hospital in hopes that God would not take my son away. I was not ready to let him go. By the grace of God, the doctors were able to save his life after several operations and he was released from the hospital after two weeks. The recovery was long and painful but eventually my son was able to return to work; unfortunately, he was never the same. His depression only got worse but he would not seek help regardless of my pleading.
On August 12, 2010 he received a notice in the mail that he was awarded two Pell Grants to attend Community College. He was excited but somewhat nervous.
August 16th 2010 was the beginning of a nightmare. At approximately 1:30 a.m. the police came knocking at my door to give me the bad news. My son was hit by a car while crossing the street and died instantly. I still don’t understand how I did not die with him when I heard the news. I buried my son on August 20th; the day that would have been his twenty-seventh birthday. There is not one day that I don’t think of him or miss him. The only thing that helps me have peace of mind is remembering his last words, “I love you too, mom.”
Today I still struggle with living my life. Getting out of bed is the hardest part of my day. Regardless of my sadness and the pain in my heart, I thank God each day that my son was not left to suffer due to the injuries he may have received. I don’t know how long it will take me to feel better or to accept the fact that my son is no longer with us. For now, I just try my best to live each day and to make the best of every minute.