Having a funeral for one's child is not something any parent should go through. In one case, and almost as if he anticipated the coming grief, a little boy left a remnant behind for his mom and dad.
Born a preemie baby, 6-year-old Leland Shoemake came out of the womb already struggling for life. Having won that battle, he was victorious from birth.
However, a note left by him for his parents pointed to the fact that he may have known that he couldn't win all battles.
Leland Shoemake [left]; A note written by Leland Shoemake [right]. | Source: facebook.com/LelandShoemakeFoundation
A CHILDHOOD CUT SHORT
Leland loved learning, soaking in all the information he could find from documentaries, the history, and even the weather channel.
When his thirst for knowledge was quenched, he would revert to childhood hobbies with a passion for playing in the dirt.
Tragically, in 2015 this innocent pastime is what may have led him and his family down a harrowing path, leaving his parents permanently devasted.
A SOMBRE DIAGNOSIS
Doctors at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta were initially unsure of what was wrong with Leland when he came in puking with a headache and fever.
Packing his clothes for the funeral, they came across a shockingly beautiful note.
However, they eventually discovered that he had contracted the amoeba Balamuthia mandrillaris — a rare brain infection that could have been acquired from playing outside.
A PARALYZING REALITY
Despite intensive treatment, the little boy passed away at the tender age of just 6 years old, leaving his parents and younger brother inconsolable.
His mom Amber Shoemake and dad, Tim Shoemake, returned home, grief-stricken and numb after sitting by their son's hospital bedside.
A LITTLE LIGHT
Packing his clothes for the funeral, they came across a shockingly beautiful note that Leland had written for them, which read:
"Stil (sic) with you... Thank you mom and dad... Love."
The letter, found on the table in the living room, also included a red heart that he had drawn with the words "mom, "dad," and "love" written inside of it.
THE MOM SPEAKS
Taking to Facebook, the grieving mother shared the letter with her online friends. She relayed the story of the note, stating how special her son was. Outside of social media, Amber expressed:
“We were in shock and broke down as soon as we saw it. He was amazing in life and still is after his passing."
The mom spoke about how he had a positive impact on everyone while was he was alive and still does even after his passing.
BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY
Individuals without children can not possibly imagine the pain a mother or father goes through when they lose a child — or the lengths they would go to ensure they never will.
One desperate dad embodied this unconditional love when he treaded the moral line by robbing a store to pay for his daughter's kidney surgery.
The anonymous and hooded man walked into a 1 Stop Smoke Shop in Philadelphia with a gun in his hand. The father demanded that the cashier give him all the money in the register.
Disguised man holding up a gun in a store.┃Source: youtube.com/WNCNTV
The suspect eventually found himself with a few hundred dollars. Suddenly, he returned the cash and said it would not be enough to pay for his daughter's kidney transplant, walking out of the store.
Whether this unnamed man's actions were immoral or not, let's hope his daughter did not meet the same fate as Leland, who will always remain deep within his parents' hearts.
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