That Rare Student/Teacher Connection / Norma Smith (Teacher)
You stopped by the computer lab to ask if I needed help. I was quite surprised by the visit, considering that you were only 7 or eight and had been to computers just once that year. So I gave you some tasks like turning on the computers and getting them ready for the kindergarteners. You came every morning after that day to help. You even figured out a way to sneak in through another classroom when the patrols wouldn't let you into the main building. You made me smile. As you grew older you always made time to stop by and say hello and tell me how your life was going. I treasured the moments. Resource teachers don't get to bond with many students like regular classroom teachers so for any student to make a point to visit is special to us. You were special. I was leaving town the day I heard the news report of your death. I prayed that the news was not about our Brandon, but I knew the prayer was most likely in vain.
I saved the newspaper clipping of your picture and the poem your mother place with it. It is framed on my computer desk and I say hello to you on a regular basis. My heart breaks for your mom and all your close friends and family. I am so very sorry for your loss. Even now so many years later, the memory of you is mixed with sad tears and sweet smiles. God speed, Brandon.
Chills/ Karen And Kyle (Spiritual)
We try to begin and end each day with a few words to God -- usually it's a 'Thank You' for another day together... for both of us having the ability to pick up the phone and tell all four of our parents, "I love you," and for the desire to have His will done.Until this morning, I had no idea that you had lost Brandon... that precious corner of your heart and soul, as you so eloquently wrote.Today in our home the morning began with love for one another and thanks for another day together, especially in light of the stroke in January and open-heart last month.We never know what any day will bring, but we have come to recognize and cherish the simplest blessings.I don't know why God chose today as the time to solve the mystery call from your brother four years ago. I also don't know about my birthday being March 11. Please know that every time I pop in to whisk my way over to #212 I'll be giving you an embrace from my heart that your pain may be diminished and that it will be replaced by the fire of life that was numbed and frozen four years ago.--Someday we'll all have the opportunity to ask God so many questions... to know why so many things are allowed to happen in our lives.
With warmest regards,
Karen & Kyle
Still think of you often / Meredith (friend) I knew brandon, or murf as I still think of him, in middle and high school. I went to a Sadie Hawkins dance with him at JWJ.
I still think of him all the time. Even though we were not in touch as much the last few years, he always seemed to pop up at the perfect times.
What happened to him makes me realize every day to be greatful for what you have. I hold my friends even closer now, knowing you never know when it can all end.
We have a friend now who wants to go by the name Murph or Murphy and he just doesnt understand why I cannot call him that. There was only one murf I ever knew! I wish you still dropped by when you were working the pumpkin patch, or that you would call randomly just to say hi. You are always in our hearts!
I recently moved & haven't gotten internet at home yet (if you can believe that, me without internet?!) so I'm just now getting to see your tree in bloom this season. It's been REALLY windy lately and your mom's been telling me about how strong that little tree is being, blooming even more when lawn chairs and things are flying all around! I really think your mom is a lot like your tree, she's been very strong and bloomed in a lot of wonderful ways through so much of life's "windy" times.
You'd be proud of me tonight, I celebrated my birthday tonight with my family for the first time since I was 11. :) I've made a point of always celebrating since you gave my the Un-Birthday, but my mom actually called me this year and asked me to come to dinner so we could celebrate as a family. We had my favorite cake from Publix, which is an angelfood cake with whipped cream and strawberries. YUM! My uncle and his family moved here to be close and help with my dad and the kids with all of this traveling to Tampa and back for his cancer treatments since the bone-marrow transplant, so they were even here tonight & it made me very happy to have a real family event.
Other things aren't so hot right now and I really wish I could get one of your amazingly big hugs and turn sad tears into laughing so hard I cry. Some good news though is that I finally got my hysterectomy & I'm starting to feel better, even cutting down on my pain meds. It's been a long process, this endometriosis stuff, but I've almost got it licked. Thank you for being with me as I pray and bringing smiles to my face through all of this. Life is such an adventure, I've just got to remember that the hard times are the real meat of life that define us. I'll get through this and I'll certainly have learned a lot - I've been reflecting quite a bit lately, mostly on my myself and who I've become, who I want to be and what I want to do. Haven't totally got it figured out, but I'm working on it.. I've got some really amazing people in my life to help guide me too. You will always be one of those people Brandon. Heh, you should see me since I moved to my new apartment. I've decided being and introvert isn't the way to go & I say hello to everyone I see and even make jokes or start a conversation if the chance presents itself. As scared as I thought I would be, it's actually pretty fun and I love to see the smiles on strangers' faces. Thanks for the kick in the butt that got me started on that Brandon.
Happy belated birthday and thank you for my birthday this year Brandon, I had a lot of fun.
My heart goes out / Brandon Sevestre (Friend) Brandon, your spirit will live on in my heart forever.
Happy Birthday! 3/12/2008 / Trena (Mom)
Happy Birthday Brandon! Today would have been your 26th.
It goes without saying that I think of you everyday and miss you everyday.
A woman was on the news last week, her daughter had been brutally murdered and she was getting ready to attend the trial. She told the reporter that her daughter was just starting to become a friend, she was 22 years old. That's the way I feel, we were just getting out of the parent/child relationship and more into an adult relationship, which makes all the trials and tribulations of parenthood worthwhile. Our children are adults much longer than they are children, thus our reward for getting you through successfully to adulthood. I will always have the memories of our times together when we did have our 'adult' time. I just got the animiated 'Bee' movie in the mail and plan to watch it in remembrance of you, because I know if you were here you and I would have gone to see it.
I am adding to your photo album a picture of the tree we planted last year on your 25th birthday. It is blooming beautifully.
Love you always,
Smile-In-A-Box/ Tabbs (friend)
I'm sitting here at work looking at the Smile-in-a-Box that you made me, paying particular attention to the inside where it says...
Smile =) Your Cool
The first words out of my mouth when you gave this to me were, "It's 'You're' not 'Your' Brandon" Wow, how many times have I wished I could have replaced that with "Thank You" instead?!
All of us who miss you (and that's a fairly large number mind you!) have our Would Have - Should Have - Could Have's, that's one of my big ones. Such a little thing to want to change that would have meant so much to me now.... the big thing to remember though is that it is because of this wishing I'd done it differently that such a sweet memory of you sticks out so strongly.
I just want you to know how much this box means to me Brandon. Sometimes it's all that gets me through, because it's a constant reminder that people as wonderful as you are always walking around needing someone to tell them "Thank you" instead of criticizing them for their short comings.
P.S. No one criticized me, just so you know. I really was just sitting here after a hard day dealing with physical pain and smiling at your box... because guess what? I am cool :)
Maggie/ Trena (Mom)
Brandon, Our sweet Maggie left us yesterday. I hope you were there to greet her and give her lots of love. That's all she ever wanted was love from anyone who would give it to her (well, that and a treat). If what they say is true, that all dogs go to heaven, then keep her safe until we all will be together again. Give her lots of hugs and kisses from us. Love, Mom
Also Touched by Murder / Brandon Murphy (He Has My Name ) Dear Murphy family,
A friend showed me this site because I too am Brandon Murphy. Oddly enough my mom was murdered 2 months before your son.
I know that no one thing exists that can assuage your terrible bereavement. For a long while I was consumed with my desires for justice well revenge, and I was unable to function as the son to whom my mother gave everything and sacrificed everything.
It is my high hope you may find your way through the dark times and that The Universe will provide unfaltering strength for you all. Do not forget to live for Brandon. Recently I found the Path again. I was wrong to let the grief consume me to the point of negating so much work by a strong single mom.
When I speak to my mom I will ask her to look out for your Brandon, and you all will be in my prayers.
Peace and good journey.
Comfort/ Trena (Mom) Hi Sweetheart, It's been a while since I've been on this website, mainly because no one has added anything new for a few months. I came today because a friend of yours lite a candle. It was so nice to hear that someone was thinking of you. I've been pretty down this week, wondering about the appeals of the animals in prison, hoping that this would be truly over soon. Coming to this website and reading all the entrys again has been very comforting. I don't cry as much as I used to when I read them. I am now able to smile at all the memories people share about you. Please do your best to 'insert' yourself in their heads so they will think about visiting here and making an entry.
Love always, Mom
Thank You / Tabbs (friend)
Your mom took me to see the art room at UC for the first time yesterday, it was incredable! The artwork they're producing in there is just absolutely amazing, you would be very proud. There's a very dashing picture of you, your senior one I believe, on a plaque right outside the room with the poem that makes me cry happy tears.
Today is Surgery #2 and I wanted to thank you in advance for the support you'll be sending me. Your mom is even going to be there to help so that nothing like my last surgery can happen again. You've definately got things covered, thank you.
My Condolences / Chad (Other, I read his story online ) am an avid NES Nintendo collector, and I remember reading an interview he gave after finding the California Raisins prototype. He just struck me as such a humble and genuine person, and it was a breath of fresh air. Anyone else would have sold it immediately for thousands of dollars. But to read about him, it was a breath of fresh air and restored a bit of humanity in my heart. Then to hear about his passing was like a shockwave and I immediately felt my heart go out to you. My mother was abused severly for most of her life but my "father" until one night she was killed in a house fire centralized around her body. The case was investigated but never went any further. I was 18 at the time so I didnt know what to do further. Now I am 30 and have decided to get a degree in Criminal Justice. Sorry for going off the subject, but I know somewhat how you feel. I just wanted you to know that your son touched hearts (as you welll know) and he even reached an audience via an interview that even he didnt know he would! My heart is with you, Chad Alleman
From all of us at Digital Press / Joe Santulli (friend) Brandon, you've been missed but I only found out what's happened to you moments ago. We expect people to come and go in an online community but there's a real emptiness when we find out that disappearance is permanent. You and I had some great conversations and shared ideas in the past and I'll never forget that. Your contributions and positive spirit within our little gaming community will never be forgotten either. Our thoughts and prayers are with you - in a better place - and with your family still here with us.
I've got a new word for our dictionary, though "fgor" is still the best! / Tabbs (friend) Brandon,
For some reason the website is really giving me trouble posting today! So I thought it was funny when the verefication word was "FUGK" and of course it's written all funky so it looks like something else... I can see you snickering now, goofball.
It's been a crazy couple of months Brandon! I've gotten the chance to learn all about this thing called endometriosis, first hand. Really horrible girl-stuff that hurts like you wouldn't believe! I spent my birthday in a specialist's office as a matter of fact to begin the various treatments needed to start feeling like a human being again. I've lost about three weeks of memory due to the pain medications they had me on before surgery and especially after, meth is BAD stuff, I hate it. The surgery took place on the 30th, turns out I have a hernia too, because of course I can't do anything simple! Your mom went with me to my lastest visit with the doctor yesterday, I'm so glad she was there because she really had some good questions that I never would have thought to ask.
The medicine they had me on for pain after surgery was some pretty heavy stuff, it was wonderful while I was on it but I was a bear coming off of it. Sat & Sun I was a pretty mean person and I'm afraid that I'm feeling that way again today, so I figured I would write to ask you for a funny thought to make me smile today instead of wanting to shake/kick things.
I took your smile-in-a-box with me when I had surgery, and cried when the nurse asked if you were going to be coming to see me after surgery when I told her my best-friend made it. I was pretty scared sitting there waiting to go into surgery with an IV in me, but I had you and Wesley there with me. I really wish that you could have met him, you'd absolutely hit it off as friends. I must say, he has pretty good taste in video games. Now, if only I could get him into reading!
Which reminds me, the last book in the Harry Potter series should probably be coming out soon. I don't know yet if Harry is going to live through it, since there was a lot of talk that he wasn't. You'd be happy to know that I've seen all the movies so far, I should probably make a point of reading the books like you kept trying to get me to though.
Oh! You mom and I stopped by the park since we were over there for my appt. yesterday. We saw the smiley face and your name and I made sure to go over and show here the "freaky" statue with the people all sucked into the globe that we didn't understand the meaning of. Then I told her about how ADAAT was born on the skyway down town... wow, that sort of sounds like talking about a child being concieved in the back of a car, doesn't it? You're mom is going to shake her head at that comment, but I know you'd be tickled pink at the thought.
Last bit of news is that we're going our 3rd Iron Chef competition today and it's going to be in a real kitchen. Mmmm, our desert we're making is -soooo- good. We're getting ready to go leave for it now, but I wanted to get this letter out to you before we left for it because I need that smile!
I know I'll get my funny thought before the end of the day, so thank you in advanced Brandon. Love, ~tabbs
Special People / Mom Brandon, I love you and miss you every day and I would give anything to turn back the hands of time. Your passing has changed me profoundly, you wouldn't even believe I'm the same person emotionally. You have brought 8 very special ladies into my life that have helped me get through the very hard times. Before your death I didn't know half of them and the other half I hadn't communicated with in years. They have all stood by me through the tough times, even though it has not been easy on them. Thank you for finally getting your old mom to let down her guard and allow people in.
We are getting together this Saturday to celebrate you and your 25th birthday! Please give us some awesome sunsets!
"Your Cool" grammatical errors and all! / Tabbs ((friend))
I hope you knew just how cool you were Brandon. I hope you knew how many people really looked up to and admired you for everything that made you, you. You still get compliments about what a great person you were when I tell people stories about you.
Happy belated V-Day Brandon, I thought you might like to know just how cute one of my friends who saw your picture thought you were.
Jacksonville's Homicide Rates / Tabbs (friend) In 2006 there were 137 homicides in Jacksonville according to the city's website. There have already been 9 this year, and we're not even through the first month.
I came home for lunch today and sat down to watch the news where I heard about a 23 year old girl who was "brutally" murdered at her place of work when she went to open in the morning, a veterinary clinic. Another incident I didn't listen to seemed to be another employee at a Longhorn Steakhouse, as well as yet another shooting in the streets last night.
Little girls were killed with stray bullets last year, laying in their own beds....
My New Years resolution this year was to find a way to give of myself and help others without being taken advantage of. Please help me find the strength and will to see this through Brandon.
I want to see more people in the world who brighten days like Brandon does.
As Time Passes / Trena (Mom) Here is something I found on the Parents of Murdered Children's website (POMC) that I thought was so accurate. I hope it helps.
The first year we are in such shock that this horrible thing called murder has happened to us. I think the shock is sort of a "cushion", it allows us to survive that first year.
The second year, the shock has begun to wear off and we must "face" (so to speak) what has happened. The pain and horror is now physical and mental. We don't want to participate in anything, how can we? A very large part of our life has been ripped from us.
The third year, the shock has pretty much worn off, replaced with anger, guilt, anguish, pain we know will never go away. How can people still be happy? Don't they know how horrible life is? My child/wife/husband/brother/sister, my loved one has been murdered, how can I enjoy anything again?
Things begin to happen about the fourth year, almost without us realizing it. We smiled (and feel guilty). We enjoyed our dinner (and feel guilty). We slept without the nightmare (and feel guilty). We have made it through a day without tears (and feel guilty). We have laughed out loud (and feel guilty). We participated in some activity (and feel guilty).
Sometime around the fifth year we begin to realize that to smile, enjoy a dinner, a night without the nightmare, making it through the day without tears, to laugh and to participate in an activity is okay. We don't have to feel guilty. Doing these things does not mean we love them any less, that we miss them any less.
WE did nothing wrong, our loved one did nothing wrong. We realize that we are survivors and it is okay to go on with life. It is a much different life and will always be different from what it was, before murder so rudely came into our life. It is still hard to enjoy birthdays, holidays and the other happy events that come into our life, but we are able to get through it. We will remember our loved ones, the joy they brought us; there will always be tears, there will always be the pain, there will always be an emptiness, there will always be the longing to hold them, kiss them, tell them we love them.
But it has finally gotten "Softer".
Poem/ Mom Ask my Mom how she is
My mom, she tells a lot of lies Than she never did before From now until she dies She'll tell a whole lot more Ask my Mom how she is And because she can't explain, She will tell you a white lie Because she can't describe the pain. Ask my Mom how she is, She'll say I'm alright. If that's the truth then tell me Why does she cry each night? Ask my Mom how she is I'm fine, I'm well, I'm coping. For God's sake Mom, just tell the truth Just say your heart is broken. She'll love me all of her life, I loved her all of mine. But if you ask her how is she She'll lie and say she's fine I am here in heaven I can't hug from here If she lies to you don't listen Just hug her and hold her near On the day we meet again We'll smile and I'll be bold I'll say You're lucky to be here, Mom, With all the lies you've told.
Missing you / Donnie Tracey (Friend)
It's been a while since I wrote you. It's been 2 years since you left but it seems like longer. I know your spirit has been around me lately. You would be fliping out over all the video game stuff this year. I'm sure we would be collecting cans just to keep you current. Thank you for reminding me that being a "good guy" still matters. I stood in line for the Wii for 3 hours for a friend after I had worked an overnight shift. I knew you were there with me. I miss you. Feel free to visit me anytime.