“Mother died protecting her son in Orlando shooting”
US Weekly, June 15, 2016
Brenda loved all of her eleven children. She also loved life.
As a two-time survivor of cancer, she had a strong will to live.
Brenda was out dancing with her 21-year-old son Isaiah Henderson
at the nightclub Pulse. Isaiah in Hebrew means YAHWEH is salvation.
For Brenda’s son Isaiah, she was his salvation. As she saw the gunman
point an assault rifle in their direction, her last words to her son
were “Get down” before shielding him with her own body.
The gunman, not worthy to be remembered by name, shot in their direction
multiple times. Brenda took all of the bullets inside of her 49-year-old frame.
Her son emerged from the shooting unscathed. The reason for the massacre
was bigotry. Isaiah was an openly gay man, dancing at an openly gay nightclub
frequented by Latinxs, and for that, he as part of the LGBT community, was targeted.
49 dead and 53 injured. May we never forget.
Steve Castro’s poetry is forthcoming in Green Mountains Review special print issue dedicated to U.S. Poet Laurete, Juan Felipe Herrera, and in Latin@ Rising: An Anthology of Latin@ Science Fiction and Fantasy (Wings Press, 2017). He got his MFA from American University in Washington, D.C.