“What’s up?” This phrase uttered by Burundi A. Martin was a warning. Next thing you know, he pulled out a gun and opened fire on the family as they stood on their porch. Here, Toneya McIntosh shares her pain as she remembers how her son lost his life.
“Tony McIntosh was a typical 20-year-old young man. He was filled with life. Life was just beginning for him. Tony lit up the room whenever he appeared. Tony was a jokester, always telling jokes and loved to keep a smile on your face. Tony had a joyful personality. I will miss that most of all about him. Tony was beautiful inside and out. Tony was kind and compassionate; he loved his son TJ, his mom, family and friends. Tony wanted to be a flight director; he had plans to register for school on that Monday, October 6, 2014 but his life was short cut before he could reach the date. Tony was a young father of two boys, Lil Tony (TJ) and Jah’vyis, He didn’t get a chance to meet Jah’vyis. Tony’s passion was music; he taught himself at a very young age how to play the keyboard. Tony also wrote music. When Tony wasn’t making music, he was drawing or spending time with his son TJ.
Oct. 3, 2014, was the worst day of my life. A part of me died that day. My son Tony McIntosh was taken suddenly right in front of me. I felt so helpless that I couldn’t save my child as I performed CPR on him. I’m his mother. I’m supposed to protect him from harm and danger but I couldn’t that day.
This is the worst thing ever to endure and live with daily. The pain is everlasting; it’s so unbearable it will destroy you if you let it. By the Grace of God, I’m still here. I thought I had my heart broken once but this here is a real true heartbreak. I struggle daily just for a little joy in my life. I thank God each and everyday just to show me how to cope and tried to have some kind of life after my son’s death. The pain is so devastating at times it will hit you anywhere. It’s like you are living in a dream and just waiting to come out of this nightmare. It’s not even a name for losing your child. If you lose your parents, you are orphaned and if you lose your spouse you are a widow, but if you lose your child there is not a name for that. It was never designed in life for a child to go before their parent.
You have this mask you wear daily to cover up the pain you feel and going through with other people who don’t understand or can’t relate to your journey of life. I’m trying to find my purpose over this pain. I along with other moms in this journey have formed a support group called the Sisterhood. We keep each other uplifted. Sisterhood has saved my life and we have a bond for life until we meet our kids again. We can relate to our pain and how we feel each day when others don’t understand. We support each other any given moment of our new life.
What I would like to share with others who haven’t walked this journey … is that no one wants to be a part of this pain; [it’s] real and permanent.
Honor, value, cherish life, because it’s so precious and short and you never know when your life could be cut short. If only I could turn back the hands of time.”