total hearts received for Moments That Survive

Brenda Moss

In honor of Shawn Moss

My firstborn was five pounds, six ounces. I never would have thought that such a small one would end up being 6’7″. With a smile that would change your mood instantly. Of course he was an awesome basketball player. He was also a football player. Ever confident and always encouraging. You could get mad at him, but that never stopped him from saying, “I la ya.” Kids were his passion. You could always find him where the kids were. Laughing and just being a kid in an adult world.

Shawn was able to see the potential in me when I couldn’t see it in myself. When he would see me at a low point, he would remind me how I could make pennies into dollars. Saying to me with the proudness of a son: “Dukes, there is nothing you can’t do. Let’s get it.” Like most children, he often borrowed money from me that he couldn’t pay back. That never really mattered. He made up for it each morning by looking into my room to see if I was OK. He thought oftentimes I was asleep, but I would hear him tipping up the stairs and would close my eyes just before he got to the door.

Life wasn’t always easy for us, but we made the best of everything. People thought that he and my middle son were twins. You would hardly ever see one without the other. So close in fact Shawn was born August 7, 1980, and his brother was born August 31, 1981. He was an awesome big brother to his younger brother as well. A true protecter of all he loved. A great father. Learning as he went but never giving up.

The number 17 will forever hold a different meaning. That’s how many times his murderer shot him. I felt as if a glass had been knocked over, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get up the spill. I’ll never be able to replace the glass. Nor do I want to. My son taught me what it really means to forgive and live life. Am I mad that he’s gone? No. I am mad at the way he went because I will always love my boy. I will always give him a voice. With tears running down my face, or encouraging someone else. Fighting so others won’t have to go through a spill like this. I’m grateful for my gift in Shawn Wendale Moss. My gift has given me life. Why? Because both he and I are very necessary! A mother of three minus one ?

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.