Loss of A Child

Dear God,

It’s me Sunny.

I couldn’t resist.

The second and third email I received were from the Mother and Godfather of a child that went home to be with the Lord on July 15, 2010. A child that lights up the lives of so many and who fought the long battle with Neuroblastoma and now knows no pain as the Lord has taken her home to be with Him once and for all. Her mother was inviting each of us to join the Neuroblastoma weekend and her Godfather was thanking all of the people who donated to #TeamElexis in her time of need in order to best bless her for her Homegoing on Friday July 23, 2010. I have included the list at the end of this post because it truly brought me to tears to see the number of people who donated to TeamElexis and if they are anything like me they truly wanted to give everything they had because there is no greater pain to be known than that of losing a child. No parent should have to go through that.

When I was 18 years old my life was changed for ever in the moment of one phone call one evening.  My entire family was at home and it was a school night. That moment between homework being done and almost time to get ready for bed.  My brother was 15 and my sister was 9 the day the phone rang in our home and changed our life forever.

My mother answered the phone and promptly sank to the ground as the caller on the other end of the phone spoke. All movement stopped in my house as every head turned in her direction and held bated breath to hear the word that would come from her mouth next and would surely give a clue into what the news on the other end of the phone was.  My mother never spoke a word over the duration of that phone call. Her face turned graver and graver and when she finished she hung up and stood looking directly at my father.

“I have to take the first flight out to Kansas. Jeremy is in intensive care. He accidentally strangled himself.”

My parents got on the phone with the airline and began moving around the house packing a few items for my mother as they made preparations for her to take the first flight out. I went to my brother and held him and together the two of allowed the impact of the situation to take over our hearts. My nine-year old cousin had been playing in his room on his bunk bed and made the terrible and deadly combination of a belt and the top rail of his bunk bed.  He looked the belt through the rail and around his neck and in his play hung himself.

When my mother left our California home that night Jeremy, my cousin, almost as close to me as my own kid sister was in ICU in Kansas City. His mother, a nurse at University of Kansas, had come upon him as he hung and was able to revive him through CPR and chest compressions. In the hospital he lay as my mother raced down the 101 freeway, connected to the 405 and hopped on the first airplane out of Los Angeles.

“He’s Gone.”

My mother was greeted with these words as she stepped foot out of the car and onto hospital property, not even through the doors to see her Godson. To her knees she fell both in prayer and in painful mourning of the child’s life that was gone too soon.

My cousin, the little man I remember who loved playing video games, could make me laugh with a single joke, loved to take pictures and catch fireflies in the backyard when the sun went down.  That cousin was no longer with us and at nine-years old we had said our last good-bye to a life gone too soon. Home with the Lord he went to be and although we wept and mourned and loved him enough to want him back every moment of every day, we knew his time with us was over.

Love Always,

Part of the Thank You E-mail written by Kel Spencer:

On Thursday July 15th, My 8-year old God Daughter, Elexis, passed away from a form of cancer called Neuroblastoma. In response to this, good people like YOU sent e-mails, text messages, phone calls, cards, Prayers and monetary donations. My words cannot express how much I thank you. Elexis’ mom needed your help, most of all, and you all delivered Exceedingly and Abundantly beyond what she asked or imagined. In a world like ours, It’s good to see people like you doing good works from the heart. If you opened this e-mail for the sole purpose of checking in on #TEAMELEXIS, then please watch the video below and the acknowledgements and you’re done! If you’d like to read my additional announcements after that, then you’re more than welcome.

Thank you:

Lauren Farrugio

Will & Jada Smith and Team Overbrook

Dino Mangiero

Daniel Quinones

Rachel Brooks

John Pannozzo

Marie Bennett

Mr. & Mrs. Leonard & Denise Bennett

LeMar Bennett

Shaquana Elam

Sherrell Word

Deborah Fewell

Latoya Whittle

Monique Brown

Amanda LaBrie

Dawn Wilson

Vanessa StBernard

Aubrey Goodwill

Jessica Harrell

Innovative Concepts and Design

Tamra Haigler

Tim Price

Shaunta Macklin

Kenisha Barnes-Greene

Spencer Perry

Tommy Danger Music Group, INC.

Clifton Coker

Shaun Newsum

Tanya Ward

Shelly Ann James

Anthony Owens

F A Yard Jr

Ayana sanchez

Jahkeen Gilmore

Evita Robinson

Family Solutions, INC.

Khalinah Houston

Tia Wallace

Nicole Bussey

Surayyah Odwin

Red Motion Studios

Sha-Na Smith

Natasha Renae Brown

Genevieve Crentsil

Michael Abadie

Tadia Goddard

Paul Roach

Mack Fuller

LeMar Bennett

Natasha Chevalier-Richards

Walidah Yaminah

Elisia Taylor

Sheryl Simon

Tru Transformation Coaching

Tanita Billups

Evelyn Pechez Dennis

Abdul Wilson

Dianne Martin

Natasha Miller

Tony Smith

Brittany Chance

Marlo Martin-Jackson

Onician Wood

Jordyn White

Taisha Whitaker

Chantel Lewis

Tiffany Patton

Jamal Jones

Kamina Meggs

Toni Hall

Andrea Cleveland

Melika Clarke

Carrie Jones

Sharda Arnold

Nakima Thomas

Deborah Eaddy

Kahmil Bailey

Fallon Havens

Shanelle Gabriel

Brandy Yarbough

Quiana Hall

Adam Blackstock

Joseph Ortiz

Nikolai Zvyagin

Zaire Baptiste

Tehron Freeman

Tracy Billups

Matt Diamond of Coalmine Records

Azar Shahsavarani

John Ellis

Dan Mangiero of Champion Football Camp

Tiffany Dyar

Leah Thompson

Burgundi Allison

Kimberly Ware

Cherylann Cooke

Tamiko Vaughan

Edna Dillard

Preston Mitchum

To the Nines Publishing

Candace Smith

Pervis Taylor

Lynetta Brathwaite

Anajulia Vasquez

Dianne Pamphile

Erica Martin

Janique Cambridge

Jasmine Smith

Tanya Smith

Kim Kirton

Tosin Adenugba

Denise Bussey

Candice Hood

Stilettos and Sounds LLC

Go Hard or Go Home Entertainment

Chiverne “Cayenne Kelly” Fraser

Tasha “Sunny D” Davis

Lanetta Harp

Taneisha & Joel

Tessa of Christian Cultural Centre

Mr. & Mrs. Ike & Emily Pritchett and more…

Thanks so much to you all and to those of you who were behind the scenes with prayers and well wishes. Thank you!

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