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Tina Rods

In memory of my son

I am a mother of a child murdered by gun violence.

On July 4, 2015, I became a mother of a 24-year-old son shot multiple time at a celebration of Independence Day.

I got a call from my son’s girlfriend stated my son got shot and is on the way to the hospital.
Here today I do not remember how I got there, but it had to be by my husband.

When I reached the Grady Memorial Trauma Hospital I was not able to see him immediately because he was in surgery.

They directed me to the surgery waiting room. The room was very crowded, and I felt suffocated. It must have been over six hours before they finished with his operation.

By that time I went into an out-of-body experience. I think I’m living in there today. The surgeon stated his prognosis was serious but stable. She couldn’t look me in the eyes. She knew it was a matter of time.

He was admitted into ICU (intensive care unit) on a ventilator controlling his breathing.

From July 4, 2015, to now, I think a part of me died too. We stayed in ICU for 49 days, then he succumbed to his injuries. I never left my baby boy’s side. I watched every pain he suffered. He never ate from July 4, 2015, until August 22, 2015.

The man that shot my son was captured immediately after his death. Now to add to my PTSD came the trials.

It seems as though we will never get justice for my baby boy. Every time we attend court, it will be put off because of different reason for the offender. Why did he have so many rights when my son had none because he murdered him?

Every time they schedule a trial, I will be there. When they say we don’t need to come, I’ll be there anyway.

My son had finished many schools. He never had a felony and was attempting to go back to college on that Monday before his shooting.

The defendant was a lifetime criminal, carrying a weapon. This 35-year-old man didn’t know my son and wasn’t a friend. According to testimonies he was invited to the celebration.

It has been over three years now and my pain has not diminished. I’m trying to live in my new norm peacefully if I can. I belong to many support groups and my faith and religion keep me sane.

My PTSD has sent me to the hospital several times. I have to do self-realization that yes my son was murdered, and I forever feel the stings, but he wouldn’t want me to live like this. His legacy was to make everyone happy and a humanitarian. I will now live honoring his legacy.

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