The following is one of those stories we want to hear less of. Losing someone you love can be sad and heartbreaking, but losing a child is the most devastating thing that brings a lifetime of grief and pain. No matter now much time had passed, every day spent without their child is a torture for every bereaved parent.
Here is a story about Leland Shoemake’s last message to his parents before he passed away. The 6-year-old from Williamson, Georgia, died on September 25th, after weeks of treatment for Balamuthia Mandrillaris (brain eating amoeba.) His parents returned home first time without their son and found a note they will cherish forever.
While the mother was in the boy’s room preparing for the funeral, Tim found the note in the living room area where Leland liked to draw. Tim immediately began to bawl as he read the note. He then ran towards his wife to show her what he had discovered.
The note reads: “Still with you. Thank you mom and dad. Love mom and dad.”
“To say I lost it was an understatement,” Amber said. “We cried together for the longest time.”
The child frequently wrote them notes and pictures, but this one was different– it was their most cherished one. The family plans to frame it and hang it in their living room.
The mother says in the Facebook post that Leland was a smart and curious boy.
“He knew his abc’s, numbers, colors, shapes and 20 sight words by the time he was a year old. He was our little nerd and we loved that about him. He loved school and loved to learn. He loved the history channel, the weather channel, documentaries and anything about history,” she writes. “He had a hunger for learning.”
Not only was Leland a smart and curious boy, he was sociable. Leland conversed with everyone he came into contact with and his friendly personality even got his parents some new friends.
A beautiful child that was taken away too soon…
The note left behind by the child was beautiful– something everyone should see. Words can’t describe what it means to a parent to find something like this. You’ll be remembered forever sweet child.
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This is Amber. This will be my only post on here for awhile. I was over protective of Leland and tried my best to keep him safe. The one thing he loved most was playing in the dirt. I never imagined that would be the thing that would take him from me. He was my world. He made me a mother. We struggled so hard to have him. He was a preemie baby but came out screaming and healthy. He was smart from day one. He knew his abc’s, numbers, colors, shapes and 20 sight words by the time he was a year old. He was our little nerd and we loved that about him. He loved school and loved to learn. He loved the history channel, the weather channel, documentaries and anything about history. He loved ships like the titanic and learning about things like WWII. He was perfect. His favorite movie was jaws. His favorite director was Steven Spielberg. And his favorite actor was Adam Sandler. He loved his brother and his family so much. He was the life of every party. His smile could light up a city. He was the smartest, most caring, loving little boy there ever was. He was taken from us too soon. He could have done great things in this world. We would only have a few friends in this county if it wasn’t for Leland. He never met a stranger and he loved everyone. My whole life this has been my only fear and it came true. No one should ever have to bury a child. I always said I hope it’s me that goes first bc I don’t think I’m strong enough to handle something like this. It still doesn’t seem real to me. I find myself sitting here remembering things he would say and quotes from movies he would repeat. Like “check ya later” from dazed and confused. Or “you’re gonna need a bigger boat” from jaws. Or all the million things he used to say from Billy Madison. He was the light of our life and the center of this family. I count the days until I can see his sweet face again and hear that beautiful voice. When Tim and I came home for the first time to get him clothes to be buried in, this is the note we found from him on the table in the living room. We have no idea when he wrote it but you can tell he was always a special child. We will love you forever Leland. Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite!