Since that day, July 20, 2012, I keep saying to myself that if only this didn't happen I could be happy. But I am reminded every day that this did happen -- when his favorite song comes on the radio, a new movie comes out that I know he'd love, or when I feel the need to update him on what is happening to me. I begin a journey of grieving the loss of my brother and coping with being a victim of gun violence. Still, I know that happiness is on the horizon. By Megan Sullivan
Steven enjoyed laughter and basketball -- and his life mattered
Just around the corner from our home, while he was walking home from playing basketball with neighborhood friends, our youngest child, Steven, 13, was shot and killed. That night, October 4, 2007, will never leave us, but we must survive. If we give up on being present, we do Steven's memory a disservice.
My name is Kim Odom and my husband's name is Ronald Odom, Sr. We are the parents of five beautiful children and in a matter of seconds one was taken away.
The world needs to know Steven's life mattered. Steven was not at the wrong place at the wrong time -- he was just where he was supposed to be. At 13, his life was enjoying family and friends. Laughter, basketball and drums were a great part of who he was. He wrote about that in his poem, "I AM."
Something in me won't accept that it's just the person who killed my son who should be held accountable. Where did the gun come from? Why are guns so easy to get? Gun violence is maiming people and taking lives in epidemic proportions across this nation, and the atrocity is kept going by a powerful and greedy system, where profits are made at the expense of vulnerable human beings. The children are caught in the middle, and their blood is being spilled.
My son Steven wrote in his Middle School Peace Journal, "It's a shame people get shot and killed every day." He wrote that expressed several months before he became one of those people who get shot and killed every day.
I agree with Steven, it is a shame, and the shame is on us adults. As parents, it is our responsibility, when we become aware of the dangers our children are exposed to, to address it. WE must demand common sense gun safety legislation that doesn't play Russian roulette with our most precious resource, our children. By Kim Odom
Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion
Join us on Facebook/CNNOpinion