My dearest Ibra,
Life is so unfair. First, you suffered greatly in the village. Then you came to the streets and suffered even more. When I found you, I fell hopelessly in love with you. You were the cutest kid ever, and your charm was out of this world. You were always so close, yet so far away. But eventually I broke through your walls. I remember the first day you held my hand and I knew then that you would be mine always.
I had come to Kivulu at night to say goodnight to you boys and share a story. You all were at a party. As soon as you heard I was there, you all came running. As we were walking back to the room where you slept, you grabbed my hand. I was sure I never wanted to let it go.
I watched you grow and change. I watched you struggle and fall apart. I watched you pick yourself up and overcome. Sometimes the struggles were so immense, I wondered if I would ever see the person I knew you could be. I wondered if you would ever see yourself as I did. I wondered if you would ever believe in yourself like I did.
And now, I won’t. All of the dreams I had for you, all of the dreams you had for yourself will never happen, and I am so sorry for that. Life isn’t fair. I miss you so incredibly much and nothing will ever fill the empty space in my heart. We made so many mistakes, and fought so much, but I am so glad we had the most perfect week right before you had to go. You were the boy I always knew you could be and I had hope that we had finally overcome for the last time.
Now you are resting in peace. I know your struggles are over. I know your demons haunt you no more. I found a picture of you on my phone from the night before. I immediately started crying. It captured your spirit and energy perfectly. I still can’t believe I will never see that sly smile again, or have you burst into my room shouting “mom”. I keep thinking I hear you voice or see you, but that is just my sadness playing tricks on me.
Your brothers and friends miss you so much too. No one will ever be able to fill your spot. It is so huge of a place you left, as you were so full of energy and life. We are going to remember you for the good times, and the times you made us laugh. We will remember you for who you were trying to be.
Life isn’t fair, and we shouldn’t have had to say goodbye so quickly. We actually didn’t get to say good-bye, but I knew you were already in Heaven then, so I knew it was okay. I bet you are making Jesus laugh with your crazy dance moves. I know He is shaking his head and laughing, just like all of us used to do. What I wouldn’t do to just have one more dance.
I am so proud of you for trying so hard. I know it wasn’t easy. I am sorry if I didn’t tell you enough how proud I was of you. I know I pushed you too far sometimes, but it was only because I knew you could be truly great at anything you wanted to do and I wanted to see that happen. You made so many changes to your life, and I know if we had more time, you would have went so far in this life.
Ibra, my dearest sweet zebra, you are so loved and so missed. Always and forever.