Updated: Aug 19, 2020
Most of 2017, My first and beautiful son Marshall had been hospitalized in and off in a hospital located in New Jersey on the border of Manhattan, NY.
My son was being treated for Colorectal Cancer which an extremely painful and mind blowing. Still, Marshall wanted to live and he fought the very difficult battle for himself and for us, his family.
My son was so full of life. He loved life and his passion were his children - then young adults attending Universities in New York.
Marshall was the General Manager of Olive Garden Restaurants for many years, and approximately two years into his new position with Ruby Tuesday as General Manager -- Time Square, NYC location. Marshall became ill while working with this company.
While it was difficult for him to leave Olive Garden Marshall had taken that position in NYC to be near to his son who was at that time attending Columbia University and his daughter who was in attendance at NYU.
In December 2017, I was being driven by James, My son-in-law to NYC once again to visit my son who had been admitted to the hospital in New Jersey -- bordering NYC. As we headed from Delaware while on the New Jersey Turnpike. I received a call from my daughter Patty, who had left our home to be with Marshall a couple of months earlier.
Patty was crying, saying, "Mom, I know they must not know what they are saying that Marshall is dying! You have got to hurry Mom!"
I then telephoned my daughter Stacy still in Delaware to be with my other grand children. "Stacy, you have got to get in the car and drive with your son Jonah to the hospital where Marshall is. Doctors told Patty that Marshall is dying!"
I prayed all the way there even while I was in shock to hear the words from the doctors concerning my awesome son. When I arrive at the hospital I went directly to his room.
Immediately I began making arrangements for my son to be airlifted to the Hospital Of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
I was not prepared for the fight Marshall's then girlfriend would put up against this. However, I realized that she might have been the reason Marshall did not transfer earlier from that NJ hospital to the hospital in Pennsylvania.
Now, he was ready to do so. However, the girlfriend insisted she had my son's medical power of attorney.
I insisted that she did not, for weeks prior following my officiating his baptism, my son had indeed given me his medical power of attorney.
I showed the administrators the written proof. The hospital administrator rejected mine, saying they tossed mine in the trash and favored her medical power of attorney!
They actually accepted his girl friend's bogus proof that she had power of attorney over my legitimate one! I had a word of knowledge then that, what they do to me it shall be done unto them.
Soon my son's children and their mother - whom he also never married became a thorn in my side as I attempted to save my son's life in that hospital and with every turn, I ran into objections after objections.
The final objection was that once a medical flight was made, they barred me from taking my son from that hospital to air lift him to the Hospital of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Which struct a blow deep to my soul.
I tried to appeal for my son, my son stated clearly to the hospital administration that I, his mother he demanded to have the last word in his treatment. They refused to listen to him.
The only meeting that I was allowed entry by the hospital to, they finally agreed to have one with me. The morning I arrived. The two women were also in attendance.
I was in tears as I pleaded with them that I do indeed have my son's written proof that I am the only one he wants to make medical decisions on his behalf.
had with the two women who were against me. My son's children were against me - my grandchildren! It was absolutely surreal!
I asked the administration man there, how would he feel if he was in the same position as my son and his mother was being treated with such little regard? How would he feel I wanted to know.
That was the beginning of the end of the meeting when he raised his voice demanding that I shut up or he would remove me by force by hospital security and if I did not leave the police would be called to arrest me.
It was late December 2017. My income to support my eight grandchildren at home in Delaware had drastically decreased. Thanksgiving came and went finding me, my daughters Patty, Stacy, her husband James and their son Jonah at my son's bedside praying for his recovery. It was then that I noticed my own health declining. I was constantly weak and needed help from my son-in-law, James to help me to walk. I felt totally depleted.
My daughters and I took turns being by Marshall's bedside. Christmas Eve was one of the loneliest nights for us. How could there be a Christmas when they just informed me that my son's organs were shutting down! How was it possible that people were celebrating when my son was dying! It was surreal.
Marshall held on and I could see him struggling to do so. My beloved son Marshall (a namesake to his dad Marshall) Sr. Managing Editor of The Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper and later head of security at LAX - before his death two years prior; My son died in my arms on January 2, 2018. Leaving me stunned and empty.
As it were, many of the physicians and nurses were not happy that I was prevented from airlifting my son to the hospital in Philadelphia. One doctor told me that the only reason that would he bring his child to that hospital in New Jersey (where we were) would be for a sprained ankle anything more serious he would have to take him to a better hospital. He told me the hospital is known for not treating people for a cure. It's all about the insurance money he said.
I was angry! I was angry at all the people including my son's children whom had then sided with the girlfriend and their mother and shunned me.
I was then angry at God! My God whom had always came to my rescue in my wayward early days on earth. Yet the most important prayer that I had ever prayed was that He would heal my son. He did not!
During the harsh winter of that winter. My son's body was driven from NYC to Delaware by the funeral home.
I buried my beautiful child at St. Joseph's On The Brandywine - the same cemetery Beau Biden is buried though I did not know it at the time. Having ordered a double-depth plot, I will later be buried with my son there.
I walked away totally inconsolable. My life abruptly changed with my son's death and even to this date, the pain of his loss has never become bearable with the exception of my reaching out to God daily with one question;
"God, why did you not heal my Marshall? Why did you not heal my son? You had better have a good reason, God! For you could not possibly have needed him with you more than I need him here on earth with me!"
I never let up on God. I call upon Jesus Christ minutely and hourly to give me an answer.
A few months later as I prayed and asked the same question over again. Suddenly, Jesus Christ answered. He said, "My child. My son Marshall was in great physical pain so I took him home."
Being grateful that I finally had His answer was very satisfying. However, I had find it difficult to go on with my life for everything had changed. I wanted to go to my son. How could my baby be somewhere without me? I've been my children's protector all their lives. Though I thank God for ending the excruciating pain Marshall had endured -- even though I often thought of Jesus Christ's ability to just heal my son with even a half of thought, or less! He chose instead to take my son.
Once upon a time, when I thought of life and doing everything to extend my life on earth. I now look forward to the day when I go to meet my son Marshall again.
In the meantime, I still have work here to do. Especially for the eight of my grandchildren who still depend on me. (Marshall's children despises me. They hate me without a cause. Still, we all must learn and life is a huge lesson for each of us.) For my daughter Patty whom had been in remission of Lupus. (God did answer that prayer for Patty's life to be spared and I am thankful for this.
I am no longer angry at those who contributed to my son's death. I have forgiven them, for they know not what they do.
While Marshall was fighting for his life in that New Jersey Hospital, my youngest son and child Jason, had been admitted to a hospital in Delaware.
Jason had a blood infection brought on by his injecting himself with dirty needles in his drug use.
Jason had become hooked on Heroine from his teen, introduced to him by his then girlfriend and her family. Needless to say, those were years of excruciating pain and torment.
Jason could not be consoled over Marshall's death. He refused to go to the cemetery because he did not want to see his brother in the ground. So he never went.
Jason had been lost from himself and to us for many years. There were times when Jason could not be found. Other times as we scoured the mean drug-infested streets of Philadelphia then suddenly as if in a dram, God would place Jason in front of us.
In November of 2019, I left home in Delaware to go and find Jason again, in Philadelphia.
My son-in-law James drove me, up and down streets as I prayed.
I decided that James parked close to the stairs of a subway entrance for me to go into the subway to find my son Jason.
My body still shaky and weak over the death of my son Marshall. I held securely unto the rails as I descended the stairs into the subway.
I walked shouting, "Jason! Jason! It's mom! I'm here Jason!..."
I saw many of the homeless lying asleep or trying to go to sleep on the cold concrete of the inner part of the subway system. I prayed for God to bring Jason to me. I noticed my breathing was shallow. It was difficult for me to walk even so I walked the distance of that part of the subway which was much longer than I had thought it would be. Back and forth, calling, "Jason! Jason! It's Mom!"....
Jason had disappeared once again into the drug-infested streets of Philadelphia, for almost one year!
I did not find Jason that night. Though his sister did days later. Jason finally decided he wanted to change his life and heal from drugs. He was home once again. Yet once again Jason began havoc in our home. He was an addict who created havoc within the home when he wanted a fix and could not get it. Plus, home is in the suburb. Not anywhere in walking distance to drugs. Jason created trauma in the family and fled once again.
Before he left, I hugged him and said to him, "Jason, don't die! Don't die Jason! He responded, "No Mom. I won't die." Then he was gone.
Later, he told me via our telephone conversations that he was going to get clean. He said he got a job and once again, I helped him get an apartment and would have paid for it for another 20 years if necessary.
Jason found himself celebrating his newfound life. He went out and purchase his drugs to celebrate with. The only problem is he might not have been aware there was Fentanyl mixed with the drugs!
For weeks my children and I went looking for Jason. His 1,000th cell phone which I had just paid for, was going to voice mail only then, nothing.
One day in January I had been praying and felt I heard Jesus Christ say to me; "Call the city morgue..."
My daughter Stacy, had at that time been admitted to the hospital where she was undergoing a blood transfusion. Her husband seated close to me behind his desk, I said, "James call the city Morgue, please. Ask them if they have Jason there?"
I could hear the woman on the other end of the phone ask, is his mother there with you? "Yes, one moment please," James answered.
At that moment I went into a roaring cry. At that moment I knew I would not be seeing my son Jason again in this lifetime. At that time, I know Jason my beautiful son was gone!
Oh my God! How will I survive this! I screamed.
Jason had been in the morgue for several weeks. The day I found his whereabouts was the exact day the morgue had planned to take his body to be buried at Potters Field.
Immediately I contacted a funeral home who rushed to retrieve his body. I buried my awesome son Jason next to his brother at St. Joseph's On The Brandywine, in Delaware.
Mercy has re-wrote my life in such a way that, even with all my pain. The physical and the emotional. I am still able to get out of bed each morning to help better the lives of many -- those who cannot help themselves. I am still making a difference... until the time when I am allowed to join my beautiful sons. Living is not easy especially knowing that part of my soul is gone. I am but a shadow of the person I was. Still, I do my part until it is my time to go join my beautiful children.
Marshall was 45 years old when he died. Jason was 44. My babies are gone and so is a part of me. It is Jesus Christ who carries me through these days, months and years.