ANEIASHA BLACKBURN says she has forgiven the man who killed her son Noah Simmons on his 16th birthday last week.
At her sister’s Bayshore, Marabella home yesterday, Blackburn told Newsday forgiveness did not come easy to her. Noah, a Form Four student of the Shiva Boys’ Hindu College was murdered on Tuesday morning, while sitting on the front steps of his uncle’s Union Park East, Marabella home in an area known as The Line. The killer is still on the run from police.
Noah was buried on Saturday after a service at Guide’s Funeral Home in Couva. He was lauded as an excellent football player, who played for both his school and the Marabella Family Crisis Centre.
Yesterday, 33-year-old Blackburn said although she has lived in Tobago for the past three years, she has always kept in close contact with her children who live in Trinidad.
Three of her eight sons live with her. She is eight months pregnant with her ninth child.
“I came here with a vengeance on Tuesday but my sister sat me down and talked to me and calmed me down. It’s hard to accept that somebody killed your child, but as humans we have to learn how to forgive. It really hard for me to forgive but I don’t want to carry that load on my shoulders, so I forgive the person who killed my child.”
She said the killer is a lost soul who needs to come to the realisation that he has taken a life.
“He is probably in a daze by himself studying what he did. I forgive him and I hope one day he could come to some kind of realisation to himself and find it in his heart to give up himself to the police and try to reconcile with himself. And whether he gets 50 or 60 years (in prison), try to make peace with yourself .”
She said she met the man who allegedly shot Noah dead when she visited her eldest son who was ill last year.
“I saw him last October. He gave me a bottle of water, and when I told him I didn’t want to stay too long because I know people get shot on The Line, he told me don’t worry he wouldn’t let anything happen to me.”
She will mark her 34th birthday on Friday with a heavy heart.
“I am trying to stay calm because of my pregnancy. But anytime I am alone, I just break down and cry. I think if he had died under different circumstances I would have been able to accept it easier. If he was living the life of a gangster, I would have felt it but I would have accepted it knowing that was what he chose.”
She hopes the legacy of hard work and persistence Noah left behind can be a catalyst for change in his community.
“I think my child died to open the eyes of the ghetto youths, to show them it is real. Change around your life, do something with your life. He touched a lot of people and he left a great legacy and I really hope it could show the youths that you can really accomplish things in life. Not because you live in a ‘bad’ place or you come from a ‘bad’ place, should you let that hold you back.”