October 3, 2011 is the day that our family’s lives changed forever. The call that no family ever wants to receive. “Marcus has been shot and it doesn’t look good.” The drive to the emergency room was the longest drive in my life. It was like slow motion. I remember calling a close relative to pray with me as I headed to the hospital. The quietness of the hospital ER when we arrived, and the looks from staff when they saw my family walk in, gave me an uneasy feeling. The last time we received dreaded news in an ER room was after the massive heart attack of my father’s brother. So that feeling felt familiar…and when they asked us to go to the family room….I knew!!!! I told my mother, “I do not want to go in there ’cause that’s not a good sign.” So we didn’t…we waited in the waiting room. Why is no one rushing around back there??? It’s too quiet!!!
It was the worst feeling my heart has ever felt. When we were informed of my baby brother’s passing, my heart IMMEDIATELY became off rhythm. It has never beaten the same since. The rhythm is off! We miss him so much! His practical jokes, his delicious cooking, his loud voice when he entered the home, his love, his protection, his EVERYTHING! Not fair!!! As a father, his children grieved even more.
In his memory, we formed Gifts of Love from Above, a nonprofit to support the children left behind after the death of a parent by gun violence. My advocacy work is also in memory of the life of my brother that lives within my family and me. I want to be a voice of change to help end senseless gun violence until the day I die. I pray that the advocacy work will help minimize or end the devastating ring of a phone in the middle of the night, or day, that NO family deserves to answer! Love you baby brother!!! Forever in my heart!