On November 30, 2015, my life changed forever when my 23-year-old son and only child was murdered due to senseless gun violence in Summerville, SC. He and his 21-year-old friend Jamal were murdered. Two young men with a lifetime to go, taken with no warning from families that loved them dearly. My son, Tyrell was a husband, just married in July 2015 to his high school sweetheart and the father of their toddler son who turned three-years-old four days after his father’s murder.
His murder changed the dynamics of our entire family. We lost a son, husband, father, nephew, cousin, grandson, and friend who had a unique relationship with each one of us. His smile was as big as his heart — and as his mom, I will spend the rest of my life honoring his memory and making sure that his son knows who his father was.
Through his memory and my personal story of pain and healing, I decided to turn my pain in purpose and created a nonprofit organization, We Are Their Voices. Our mission is not only to be the voice of my son Tyrell, but others who have lost their lives to senseless gun violence. To support others who have experienced the same heartbreaking tragedy and let them know their loved one will always have a voice.
When I sit now, my thoughts are drifting. I think about my son and the memories we shared and the last picture we took together. My heart is overwhelmed with the love I have for him. I can hear a whisper of his voice says, “I am proud of you and THAT’S WHAT’S UP MA!” I will always love and miss my forever 23-year-old son. #Forever23Miles.