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Stacie Wilkins

In memory of Byron Wilkins

My son Byron Wilkins was murdered August 4, 2010. When I got the call that my baby had been shot to death riding his bike, my life changed at that very moment. I was at work when I got the call. I cried from my job to the hospital. At this time I only knew that he was shot, not knowing what really happened, waiting for the doctors, sitting with all these thoughts going through my mind, praying, asking God to give me strength. The feeling of being powerless had my heart beating fast, the palms of my hands wet, like I just ran water on them, fear of what am I gonna do now. The doctors came out and told me I would have to identify the body. It was so hard to see my baby lying there stiff. Byron just had a baby eight months prior to his death, and all I could do is hold my grandchild close to me. How would this affect her? Everyone was talking around me about what happened, and my baby was murdered because of a fight the night before. I became so angry at the thought someone took his life because of a fight. The thought that this person that killed my son — destroyed all these people’s lives — because he lost a fight. I had to ask God to help me forgive this person or I would die of a hardened heart. I’m glad that I knew that forgiveness was for me to be able to live on with my other kids and my grandkids. It’s hard everyday to get out the bed or even be productive, but I do it because that person who killed my son won’t take my life too.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.