I am a survivor of gun violence.
One year and five months ago, on Saturday, February 18, 2018, my then 25-year-old son, Frank John Lovelace, loss his life at a house party.
Before I left on Friday to visit my 80-year-old mother in Florida, Frank said, “Mom, I will water your plants while you are away.” Little did I know that it would be the last time I would hear his voice and see his handsome smile.
My husband called me around 4:15 a.m. on Sunday morning to tell me that Frank was shot. He said that someone was trying to keep him alive.
I felt numb, confused and thinking, how I was I going to tell my mom. I asked God not to take my only child. At that moment, I needed my mom, so I went in her room and told her that Frank was shot. She screamed for my brother. He came running in the room. I told them not worry; Frank is going to be all right. Then, my phone rang; it was my husband, he said, Frank was gone. My phone dropped, I closed my eyes, fell to the floor and screamed.
Our family continues to live with this pain every day. I share my story because I do not want another mother or father to feel the way that we do.
During Frank’s short life, he played sports and was in the orchestra. Frank graduated from high school in May 2011. He received an associate degree from Atlanta Metropolitan State College, in which my husband and I walked across the stage to receive his degree in May 2018. As I was leaving the graduation, several people stopped to share their survival story. At that moment, I knew I had to do something about gun violence. Also, Frank would have received a BS Degree in Accounting in December 2018. While every day is difficult without Frank, his legacy lives on through me and the work that I am doing to end senseless gun violence in his honor.