March 29,2010, Malaikye Thomas Payne was born, I received the most blessed gift ever imaginable; my first grandson.
My son, Daniel, is his father. The day Malaikye entered our lives, all of our worlds changed. My son, being a first time father, was beaming from ear-to-ear from the warmth and love he had in holding his little boy in his arms. His heart is bound to Kye – in a love that only a father could know. I remember the day as if it were yesterday. I cried for what seemed like forever. How I so looked forward to spoiling that little one!
Any time throughout his life that I was blessed to hold my grandson, and spend time with him, has been priceless for me. What a feeling of being blessed beyond measure. To see my Malaikye laugh and smile; it moved my heart. To see how much he resembled my son was overwhelming and it brings me to tears just thinking of how fast my sons grew up.
After a year and a break up with the baby’s mom, my son was being kept away from his son – A pain many fathers experience in today’s world; A pain that we all felt to our core. The last time we saw Malakiye, he had turned one; what a reunion we had with him. He so loved his daddy. Our very last memory of him alive he was riding on a pony with his dad guiding and protecting him. Those are pictures we will always cherish. He was happy, playful, exited to play with the animals that were brought in for his party. He smashed the birthday cake and had it all over his face. I remember him feeding cake to his daddy and having the biggest smile on his face.
Seven months would pass and his absence would continue in our lives. Time and time, week after week, we would try to see our little one, but the barriers that separated us never ceased. We were in the process of fighting for visitation when tragedy struck our family.
August 15, 2011
We said “goodbye for now” to our little Malaikye Thomas Gray ( Choose to change to Gray for that’s my sons last name). Malaikye was a mere 17 months old – Gone way too soon – I cannot explain the pain I feel in my heart; there are just no words.
To stand at his crib-side and look at his lifeless little body was an experience one could never ever prepare to have happen. My hopes and dreams for him in that moment. He never learned to ride a bike, throw a baseball, go to kindergarten, or many other countless activities that he should’ve had the chance to experience. Jesse and I were at his side, after he passed, and I held his hand, Jesse his little foot – A moment of reflection and a slap of reality before us – our hands tied not a thing to change our situation. All we could do was continue to pray and hold steadfast to God’s Promises to us to never leave us nor forsake us. The last 10 months have been a true testament to those words.
As we experienced the death of our grandchild, we also grieve as we try to help Daniel cope with the loss of his son.
It is a sorrow that cuts to the core of one’s being. An upwelling of suffering that has brought frustration, helplessness and anger. It was the death of my child’s child, my grandchild. It’s unbearable because it is two-sided—bringing with it the pain of Malaikye’s death and the innate urge as a parent to protect my son from the pain of grief.
As we stood there I watched my Daniel deal with the loss of his little one with strength, dignity and integrity. Daniel was an incredible father; no one, no matter how cold-hearted they could be, could deny the fact that he was a devoted and loving father. We were denied time with our Malaikye for reasons God knows. Nonetheless we stood in the gap in prayer on Kye’s behalf. I missed so much of his life, but what I was allowed to share with him, I loved him to my fullest, unconditionally and spent many hours on my knees in prayer for his protection and prayer to break down the walls that were separating us from him.
Tonight I come to you, accepting of the fact that God has a reason for returning Malaikye to His Presence. And that brings me peace knowing that he is in the arms of such a loving Father. He is playing in the Gardens of Heaven, never to be hurt by the hands of those entrusted to care for him.
These days have been difficult for us knowing that this was no accident – this was intentional. Our precious Malaikye was murdered! What type of person could do such a horrifying thing to an innocent little boy? This trial, by far, has been the toughest I have ever experienced in life – It is the toughest because every ounce of my being wants to scream foul to the persons who were the last to see my Kye alive.
Going through the process of saying goodbye to him and knowing that people in the same room, who caused his horrific death, who turned the other cheek time and time again during his life, were sharing in the experience of the unplugging of the machines, just infuriated us. Nonetheless our powerful and merciful God controlled our rage and frustration that an arrest has not been made as of today. God knows our hearts and thoughts of pain. We cry out to Him for understanding. Maybe it is not for us to understand as of yet.
On March 12 the murderer of my grandson was finally arrested and today sits in the LA County Jail facing two charges which hold 25-to-life sentences for each charge. This young man is the boyfriend of the baby’s mom. Malalikye passed from blunt force trauma to the head. A repeated beating that lasted about 12 hours, we have been told. The baby’s mom continues to stand by her boyfriend through all this.
We are assured that in time God will reveal all that happened and all who turned a blind eye to his abuse will also be held accountable. The fact that after the murderer beat Malalikye, he took a picture of him and sent to the mom, is horrendous. But the fact that neither one called 911 till eight hours later is even more devastating!
Currently he is awaiting a preliminary trial and we wait anxiously for Justice to be served. We have come face to face with the murderer numerous times at which he comes out smiling and whispering “I Love You” to the baby’s mother. I am grateful my family has God in our lives because at times it’s much to bear and in a moment of insanity we could break. I am grateful that my son is who he is for this is a tough burden to bear.
On August 15, 2011 our little Malaikye was given over to the staff at USC medical for transplantation of his organs. He gave the ultimate gift of life to seven people ranging from ages three months to 65-years-old. How amazing is our powerful God. These families will not have to experience the agonizing pain of having to lay their child or loved one to rest as we will endure. I praise God that through this tragedy, He answered the prayers of these families for their children. We took the ultimate sacrifice in this ordeal. But when it is all said and done God will reveal, that’s a guarantee, in His time all will be revealed as to what truly happened the final hours of our little boogers life.
We will never forget our child nor should we. Sure, we would give anything to have our child back again, but that will not happen. It is up to us now to go forward and create a new normal, which we can do. We have the assurance that we will one day see him once again. Praise God.
On the day Malaikye was born, he alone cried and the world rejoiced. On the day he died, We all cried, yet we all rejoiced knowing that he would never suffer at the hands of those were entrusted to him to protect him.
We rest assured that he is being a little kid, running around, climbing, laughing, smiling, enjoying the life he is living in Paradise. Oh how I long to just have a small glimpse of him experiencing this. But until Christ calls me home, I will forever have a hole in my heart. I miss him already with every ounce of my being.
God give us the strength to patiently wait on you. Our faith remains stronger as ever. People have asked me how I can be so strong. I give all honor and glory to my heavenly Father. My heart is filled with gratitude for all those who have been fervently praying for us. My son remains strong. He’s an amazing young man and I am honored to call him son. We could have never done this alone. We know we are never alone. Thank you for those who have sent prayers, emails, phone calls, texts, donations and your encouragement. We are overwhelmed with gratitude.
Malaikye, I often wonder if you can hear me say goodnight to you every night when I lay my head on my pillow and hold your blanket. I see your smile when I close my eyes. I dream you back here with us. Holding you, kissing you, cuddling you, playing with you and taking pictures of you. Oh, how I wish I could take a picture of your life now that’s filled with Joy, Peace, Love and Security. Watch over us all little one.
I held a baby today and all I could think about was you. The little boy’s mom was struggling to get the little one in the shopping cart and he was screaming. She had her hands full with three kids. When the little one I held was in my arms, he stopped crying….but that’s when I began tearing up myself. The mom asked, “You’re so good with kids, you have any little ones?” I told her “Yes, my grandson is an Angel.” She chuckled and replied….”well, mine is a little devil.” She had no idea you literally are an Angel.
I miss you Baby, I miss you. Rest in Paradise our Precious Angel….. Mi Amor….Mi Vida..Mi Corazon….Por Vida.