I’ve been trying to write my testimony for the past few weeks now and I never imagined it would be this hard. I remember at the end of 2020, saying that it was the worst year ever and I was so glad it was over. Little did I know what 2021 would bring.
On February 2, 2021, my eldest son’s 25th birthday, I received a call from my brother, telling me that our younger brother just died. He was sitting at his desk, working from home and he collapsed…heart attack. He was only 45 years old.
10 days later, on February 12th, my then 16-year-old son called me early in the morning to tell me that he just witnessed his father shoot and kill his brother, my 25-year-old son. As I type this, my eyes are swelling up with tears, my skin is getting hot, and my mind is taking me back to that morning. I thought maybe, just maybe I’m not really awake so I ask my 16-year-old again, what did you say!?
My dad just shot my brother 4 times and he is dead! Not my son!! No, no, no, not my baby! Time stood still…
My son is dead, killed by the man who helped me raise him, who my son loved as a father, who I once loved with all my heart, the man I had a child with. Not only did he kill my child, but he also killed a part of our child. This is the ultimate betrayal, an absolute tragedy.
I am no longer a mother of three, but of two living and one deceased. My daughter, who is the eldest, is so broken by the loss of her brother, they were a year and a day apart. She describes the loss of her brother much like losing a limb. She was recently diagnosed schizophrenic with major depression. My youngest son, who is now 17, is suffering from PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
There are days that I awake with a heavy heart, days when I can only think of him and it hurts like hell. It doesn’t happen as much as anymore, but I would wake up crying and it would last all day. I didn’t want to be around people who have all of their children because it would remind me that I will never see my son again. I will never get one of his famous hugs again, never hear him call me mama, tell me he loves me, or see his big beautiful smile and most of all, I will never be able to tell him how much I love him. I would often think of what was going through his mind as he lay on the floor dying. What were his last words? What was the look on his face when he looked for help and there was none? Did he repent? Did he remember Jesus?
As his mother, it is hard for me not to feel guilt. There is a part of me that feels like I let him down because I was not there to help him, to save him, to protect him as a mother should. Sometimes, I think, if only I had been a better mother and done things differently, maybe my son would still be alive.
As I sit here and type this, I thank God for keeping me. Yes, my heart is broken, but my God is amazing! It is God who not only wakes me up but holds me up. My strength comes from Him! I am in my right mind and I am moving forward. I can honestly say, I have more good days than bad. God did not bring me here just to leave me. He has a plan for me and my children and I believe He will work all of this out in the most magnificent way!
It may look like my world is crashing all around me, and sometimes it feels like it, but I will continue to trust God and rely on him for everything. No matter what, I still choose Jesus!