(Amber’s mother has requested that her story be published on this blog.)
On the evening of March 22, 2008, my life changed dramatically. Before this day, life was so fabulous and fun, I really felt free! I had two adult daughters that were employed and were managing their responsibilities and kids well. I was in my 40s, with grandchildren, and by all accounts happy!
Amber’s birthday was on March 22; I called her that morning wishing her a happy birthday and asked her to come by and pick up her gift. She stopped by on her way to work; she looked beautiful! We laughed, hugged, and after she left we talked on the phone all the way to work. That evening my phone kept ringing and I refused to answer it; instinctively I knew that something awful happened to Amber. My Aunt came over and told me the news, “That boy, he shot Amber.” The pain and grief of knowing that she had been shot was unimaginable. I thought maybe I could make it to the hospital in time, or maybe it was a superficial flesh wound. But there was no hospital visit; I was not able to see my baby. When I arrived at the scene all I was able to see was yellow crime tape, and police officers sympathetically asking me not to cross. My baby, my beautiful Amber, was gone, all too soon.
I was lost, I wanted my baby back, I wanted life again as it was before that fateful, awful day. It was her birthday! I did not want this pain. Yet I never asked God,“Why?” because I believed in the power of prayer. I believed in God, and I knew that God placed a suit of armor on me. Now, four years after the tragedy, I can stand here and truly say that God saw the beauty of my jewel – Amber, whom HE had only lent to me on a loan.
Losing Amber has allowed me to gain the opportunity to help victims of domestic abuse. If you are a mother, struggling to come to grips with losing a child; I can guide you through it. If you are a family member who has lost a loved one wanting revenge, and acting out hate, and anger, I can now help you. I too had to learn to redirect my thoughts with positive thoughts and feelings. I knew if I gave in to hate, I would be lost in the darkness, like the offender who murdered my daughter. Amber was love personified, she gave light to everyone that she encountered in her daily life. She was truly an angel, she worked very hard, and she was a great mother, daughter, sister, best-friend, niece, cousin, and co-worker. She graduated with high honors, and always dreamed of working in the medical field. She never let being a young mom stop her from achieving her dreams. I received the acceptance letter from the career college a week after her death. She was determined, extremely goal-oriented and she wanted to make a difference. If you are going through an abusive relationship or know someone who is, will you allow Amber’s story to make a difference? Will you get the help that you need today?
Thank you for listening to our story.
*According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, leaving can be the most dangerous time for a domestic violence victim fleeing her/his abuser.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call the numbers provided below for help or more information:
Houston Area Women’s Center 24/7 Hotline: 713-528-2121
(Crisis intervention, shelter, referrals)
HPD Family Violence Unit: 713-308-1100
(Filing police report and information about your rights)
Harris County District Attorney: 713-755-52888
(Information and help filing a protective order)
Family Law Hotline: 1-800-777-3247
(Legal questions on family and domestic violence issues)
*If outside of the greater Houston area, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)