Twelve years ago, the murder of her son brought extreme emotional pain to Elizabeth*. She recalls the experience and what saw her through.
My son, Adrian* was born in 1984, a healthy ten-pound baby. I at this time had two precious children; a girl and a boy. I had found the Mothers’ Manual: A Manual of Devotions for Mothers and Expectant Mothers, which guided me through my life. This was the source that kept me strong through my trials and 23 years later gave me the strength to hold on, until today.
Through this book, I learnt to give my children completely back to the Lord because they are on loan to me and that the Lord has and will always have His way over ours and their lives.
On Saturday, December 22, 2007, three days before Christmas, I was at home preparing a meal for myself and doing other work. I eventually settled down, had a bath and was about to sit to my meal when my good friend and her daughter came to visit.
They looked at me with fear in their eyes and when I thought something had happened to them, I was then told that Adrian had been shot and killed during a drive-by mere minutes before.
The news was horrendous, but I had to quickly contain myself because I had to then tell my other children that their brother was dead.
Getting through this was an unforgettable experience. If you think that was not enough, I took another bold step to go to identify his body at the scene of the crime. This was even more gruelling. You see, I always said I never want to visit the morgue to identify anyone. God knew.
My workplace heard the news and sent someone to assist me in any way. I remembered seeing all these people whispering, staring and I asked myself “Why don’t they just go home?”
The police officer I went to was very understanding while I looked at the body. My stomach fell but I held onto Jesus for dear life. ‘Yes, it is my son”.
On my return home, I reminisced on the last days with Adrian. You see he had a temper and in November of that year he was arguing with someone and I remembered kneeling and praying passionately “Lord, do what you will with this child. I really don’t want to see him get into trouble”.
Three days before his death he told us all, that he knew that we really loved him and that he too loved us. Adrian was peaceful, happy and we had fun looking forward to Christmas. He promised that in the New Year he would really try to be a better person all round.
The day he died, he saw his older sister going to church and told her that he loved her and that he missed his grandmother and to tell her that he loved her.
I called him, before he left San Juan to go to Arima to buy a pair of sneakers with a couple of friends, to tell him to come home to move some dirt that he promised he would and he said to me “Mum, I’m sorry. I will get the fellas to come help me tomorrow. I promise”. Tomorrow for him never came.
Through it all I never let go of my faith. My God is real. He took me through every moment and 12 years later I remember everything as though it was yesterday.
I did not want for anything to bury Adrian as my prayer family, co-workers, employers, parish, friends and relatives gave me all the support I needed.
*Names have been changed