Do you remember what it felt like the first time you lost someone you love? Chances are, you were confused, scared, hurt, and lonely. For many people, these painful emotions never completely go away. But, what if you had something that would make it all hurt a little less?
That’s what happened to Tim and Amber Shoemake of Pike County, Georgia. After losing their son, Leland, to a rare brain infection, they discovered a touching letter from him. Keep reading to learn more of their simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming story — just wait until you see what’s on slide 2!
#12 Leland Shoemake
Meet Leland Shoemake. This bright, smiling six-year-old boy from Georgia seemed to have everything going for him. He lived a happy life with his parents, Tim and Amber, and his little brother. He lived an active and exciting life until everything turned upside down. But, before we get into that, let’s learn a bit more about this special little guy!
#11 “A Little Nerd”
Leland’s mother called him her “little nerd” because of his insatiable appetite for knowledge. He was constantly watching documentaries on The History Channel and The Weather Channel, and loved reading books for fun. It’s clear that this little boy really loved life — and life loved him right back!
#10 Always Playing
Leland absolutely LOVED playing outside. His friends and family said it was rare to see him clean — he was always covered in mud, sweat, and grass stains! His specialty was climbing trees. He never minded when he took a tumble into the dirt! Unfortunately, his love for the outdoors may have been the cause of his demise.
#9 A Stomach Bug
One day, Leland got sick with a severe stomach bug. His mom treated him with lots of fluids and rest, and he was thankfully back to his old self after only a few days! This lasted for a little bit, but Tim and Amber had their doubts. There’s definitely something to be said for a mother’s instinct!
#8 Something’s Not Right
Even though Leland was no longer throwing up, his parents had a gut feeling that something wasn’t “right.” He was constantly tired, sometimes seemed a bit confused about where he was and what he was supposed to be doing, and couldn’t stop losing weight. These were pretty scary symptoms for the Shoemake family!