Send One - To Teach One

UCanSpeakForMe Bookmarker, Inc.​​​

I woke up around 4:00 a.m. to pack the car I had rented to drive to Atlanta, Georgia to move my daughter into an apartment.  I was waiting for my son to call because he was going to make the trip with me.  The first call I received was my daughter telling me to come to the hospital because he had been hurt.  I told myself that he was okay and started to pack the last of my things and went to get my coat when my mother called and informed me that my son was dead.

I didn’t accept it.  “Lord I rebuke all in the name of Jesus” as I began to pray.  I asked the Lord to encamp his angels around him, but my heart felt the loss and I began to feel this hard knot in the center of my stomach.  I remember jumping out the car, running into the emergency room with everyone looking at my expression and I couldn’t help but notice theirs.  I believed the call I received somewhat prepared me for what I was about to walk into.  My only concern was to see my child.

                                                As I was escorted back to the emergency room I was allowed to only peek through the door                                                           because his body was now considered evidence and I could not go into the room or even touch                                                     my child.  His head was facing the door and his eyes were slightly opened. I thought for a                                                             moment if I could only speak to him life would come back into his body, but I knew he was                                                           gone.  I could not get rid of the knot in my stomach from that night until the funeral as I prayed to                                                 the Lord what should I do next?

Ask any mother, any parent of the 60 or more homicides in 2007 who has received a similar phone call about their child, and they’ll describe that same knot they felt when given the news.  In one moment my life was normal.  In the next moment I had so many questions and emotions I thought I would explode.  Someone stole my son’s life, and I want to know who?

The Monday after the funeral I met with detectives. I needed to know how we were going to find the person who murdered my son.  I searched for support groups and organizations that could show me where to start.  Over time I became a member of Cincinnati PD-CrimeStoppers, Parents of Murdered Children, Compassionate Friends, a regular at the Cincinnati Homicide Department, and Ohio Victim’s Advocacy to mention a few.  But my mission to bring awareness to my son’s plight opened another door for me.  Other victim’s family members began contacting me for information of how to untie that knot they were feeling.  Thus the creation of the non-profit organization UCanSpeakForMe.

My goal is to assist families with information and media support during the initial days after the crime, flyers, victim faced playing cards, posters, bookmarkers, and to advise families of where to go for additional help and advice.  Hebrew 11:6 talks about faith and the rewards that come to those who seek him(God).  I knew that my son was at peace and he had left something for me to do. I believe the Lord would give me peace and the strength to complete my mission.

UCanSpeakForMe can also use your help.  These homicides are not just a police matter. Nor are they regulated to private family interventions.  This is a community concern.  Help us to help those who face those stolen moments, and the lost of a child to violence.     

Hope L. Dudley, CEO                                                                                                                      

“Someone stole my son’s life:

And I want to know who"?