For Roxanne Bruce, her first Mother’s Day without her son, 18-year-old Missouri State University football player, Richard Nelson, felt unbearable. Bruce spent most of her Mother’s Day at her son’s grave site, primarily alone, trying to process the heavy loss of her son, the grieving mother told Faithwire.
“I miss my son … more than ever,” she said.
In January, Faithwire reported, Richard Nelson was fatally shot by two assailants in his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada, while trying to protect his sister, Oniesha Coleman.
Nelson was packing his belongings to go back to college when he overheard an altercation between his sister and two other people. To make sure his sister was safe, Nelson walked outside of their family home to check on her. When her son pulled the boy off Coleman, the assailant began shooting him.
According to Bruce, her son was shot five times.
Bruce, who overheard the shooting, rushed to her son’s aid. Seconds later, he died in her arms.
Months later, the death is still fresh in Bruce’s mind. This past Sunday marked her first Mother’s Day without Richard.
Speaking to Faithwire, Bruce recalled the last few moments of Nelson’s life.
“I told him I loved him more than life itself and how I thank him for sacrificing his,” she said. “I wish I could’ve saved him and I hate visiting him [at the grave site], but I know he’s with me in spirit.”
This year, Bruce began a new tradition: Every Mother’s Day, she will adorn Nelson’s memorial plaque with white flowers, a sign of purity and innocence. To honor Nelson every day, she said, “I pray … for him even though he ain’t physically here with me.”
“[I] trust God,” she added. “He has divine purpose for my pain.”
As a Christian, Bruce has tried to find peace through her faith. She shared that believes “only God knows why [her son was murdered], and in due time it will be revealed.”
For other parents facing the same unbearable emotional obstacles, she would remind them, “Stay strong and hold on [because] change for good is coming.”
“I’m still waiting,” she said.
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