In Honor Of

Solomon Robert Johnson


Solomon loved the freedom of being outside as a child. I don’t think there was anything that my son didn’t love. He had compassion for those who had little or nothing and would share whatever he had, even if it was little. Solomon suffered from mental illness later in his adult life. He tried to get the help he needed to be able to live a normal, healthy life for daughter and his family.

Solomon’s love for his daughter, Verity was immense. At night you could hear Verity’s laughter as her Daddy would carry her around and teach her about the moon, the stars and music. Solomon loved to dance and at night, I would sneak out of the house and watch him dancing with Verity in the moonlight while she snuggled in his arms. I never thought to snap a picture of that forever moment. I look back and wonder what was I thinking? And now I know, in my mind, I thought that he would be okay and in my mind all was right with the world. Solomon wasn’t okay, his moods would swing from one extreme to another on a daily basis. I watched my son slowly become a stranger to me. This once handsome and talented young man looked like hell. He became so thin you could see his bones. The joy and laughter he had always carried in him was sliding downward at a rapid pace.

The last time I saw my son alive was in February 2012. It was then that my son begged me to stay in California with him. He said he didn’t think he was going to be able to make it. I told him to hold on and have faith. I was listening to the doctors and others when they advised me that I had to let go. And yet I knew in my heart that I should’ve stayed. I never before heard my son cry or call me mommy as he did on that day since he was a child. That day, his sobs were so heart wrenching that my heart was breaking. Never knowing or dreaming that it would be the last time I saw him. Someone once asked me do you blame yourself? My reply was yes. Am I angry at God people ask? No, but I am angry at a system that was suppose to be there to protect him and wasn’t. The many professionals that said they would help him and didn’t. Solomon had a love for learning about everything. The more knowledge he could gather the better even down to studying religions, languages and through his art. He was such an amazing artist. Solomon always told a story within his paintings and artwork. I think the only thing I wish God would have done was send me a sign. Maybe he did and I didn’t see it. I don’t know, I just don’t know ~ Sherri

Ill lend you for a little while a child of mine, God said,
for you to love while he lives and mourn for when hes dead.
It may be six or seven years or twenty or three,
but will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me?
Hell bring his charm to gladden you, and should his stay be brief
youll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief.
I can not promise he will stay since all from earth return,
but there are lessons taught down there I want this child to learn.
Ive looked the wide world over in search for a teacher true,
and from the throng that crowds lifes lanes, I have selected you.
Now will you give him all your love, nor think the labor vain,
nor hate me when I come to call to take him home again.

~ Author Unknown

Ava Jeanne Updegraff

Ava Jeanne Updegraff Ava Jeanne was born on February 1, 2010. She was born completely healthy and weighed an above average 9lbs 3oz. She had a normal couple months at home and was completely breast fed. She was surpassing her milestones and at 2 months of age could already roll over, although she only accomplished it once. She was also able to push herself up on her elbows. She was very happy and alert from the minute she was born. However, on the day of April 18th, 2010, she ate like normal around 5pm and was laid down for a nap, smiling and happy in the room right next to the living room where we always kept her for her naps during the day. Hubby then went in the basement, smoked a cigarette and then came back up. He then went to check on her and she was already blue. We gave her CPR until the ambulance arrived and between them and the hospital, everything was done that could be and nothing was good enough. Our baby girl was gone. SIDS was almost instantly ruled out. About 3 months later we received the official ruling on what happened, Ava had somehow contracted asymptomatic viral pneumonia. Although there was only a small amount found in her lungs, it was just enough that she couldn’t fight it on her own and was not enough to cause symptoms and would have only been detected with a chest x-ray. However, as we were told, with no symptoms, one doesnt just take their child for chest x-rays.

To this day we still feel her in our home. She is to forever be our Angel and is dearly missed and loved by her family and by anyone who was lucky enough to meet her in her short stay with us here on Earth. ~Alexis

I’m Free
Don’t grieve for me, for now Im free.
I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took his hand when I heard His call
even though I didn’t want to leave you all.
Id have loved to stay another day
to laugh, to love, to coo and play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way.
God has granted me peace at the close of the day.
If my parting has left a void,
then fill it with remembered joy.
A laugh shared, a smile, a kiss;
Oh yes, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, Ive savored much.
A kiss from Dad, my mothers touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief.
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your heart and share with me.
God wanted me now, He set me free.

  Lynn Eleanor

My daughter, Lynn Eleanor, was taken from me in a fire on 12/16/14. She had been fighting an addiction from heroin for two years. She would stay in abandoned houses when she couldn’t get home! That night she was with another girl sleeping and someone set the house on fire. The other girl was rescued but my daughter was caught in the landing between the second and third floor, which is where they found her!! I got a call from her boyfriend that she might have been in a fire and I went down there to see!! I arrived at the scene and talked to detectives to see if she was the one who was rescued but showed them her picture and they said no!! I still didn’t know if it was her or not!! Waited for the corner’s office to arrive and take the crime scene pictures and then they took the body bag out!! I prayed it wasn’t her!! The corner came to me and told me to come down in he morning to identify the body!! Was the worst night of my life!! Went down the next day and yes it was her. She was killed in this fire!! God was with her as she wasn’t burned!! It took 7 months but autopsy reviewed smoke inhalation and thermal burn’s!! God took her from her pain and suffering!! The church across the street owned the house! Went to the prosecutor office but they told me to let it go and sometimes the family’s never know!! But when you continually get people telling you that someone set the fire and at least 7 people have told me this!! I’ve gone to the Victim’s of crime compensation for answers and still waiting!! It will be two years in Dec! I am angry they couldn’t tell me the truth but hope it will be settled soon !! This drug has taken too many young people from us !! All of this was happening while I was receiving chemo for Breast cancer!! I know she is at peace now and in heaven!! Thanks for being there for all the parents who have lost a child!! God bless you all!!