Kindermourn asked me and my minister, Dr. James Howell, to speak today at the annual holiday remembrance event. The service will be in the sanctuary at Myers Park United Methodist Church. Below is an excerpt from the remarks I will make and a photo that was taken of me and Mitchell the day we learned that the cancer was back and in over 80% of his bone marrow. That day, I knew in my heart that my sweet boy was probably going to die.

My son, Mitchell Bays Turner, was two years old when he died in April 2014. He was diagnosed with a rare infant leukemia in 2012 when he was only three months old. His 5th birthday is coming up on February 27. This is my church. I love this sanctuary and worship here most every Sunday. It is a special place for me. Mitchell’s funeral was here. And less than 24 hours before Mitchell was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, he was baptized right here by Dr. Howell. The next morning, I was with him at Novant Hemby Children’s Hospital, where a pediatric oncologist told me my baby boy had cancer.

Each of us has our own individual story of how we lost our child.

Different circumstances. Different emotions. Different grief.

Focusing on the things that I am thankful for helps me with my grief. I work hard to look at positive things in my life and try to be thankful that the bad things are behind me.

I can honestly say that I am happier today than I have been in a long time. And I still miss Mitchell every day.

I will close by assuring you that your child is okay and my Christian faith tells me that they are waiting on us in Heaven. Whatever the situation is that took your child from you is behind you. The pain is gone. Let that be of comfort to you.

I tell my friends and family that I hope to live a long, full life here, but that when I am gone, do not cry for me. For, I will be with God and with Mitchie. I can’t wait to hold that sweet baby again.”