Dear Husband

The day that we decided to become a union we have already created something wonderful and amazing. When we began the journey together we had no idea that our lives would have taken different paths. You entrusted me with our precious jewels we call children given to us by God through us. The paths we choose lead us to different roads of the journey to travel. Yet, it didn’t change the fact that we are parents.  Teddy Pendergast said it best, “ talking about 60/30, 70/40 that 50/50 love”, love not yet mature enough to handle the task before us yet, we made it through. God and his grace is so good that he gave me 32 wonderful amazing and trying years and blessed you with 14 to provide you the time you missed.

I don’t have the answers to your questions and I am just as devastated as you are if not even more only because I had the joy to carry him through gestation which means we will always be attached long after others have forgotten him. Grief is a process and just as I loved our children through the storm’s I pray that God provides us the strength to heal from this unexpected experience in our journey with love. Understanding is the key in life, it doesn’t matter the years you missed, what matters is that you had the time to spend, conversation and appreciate the love of your son. A gift many parents don’t always get as a come back into their children’s life, but you understand that or at least I hope you do in your heart.


Some will call him a momma’s boy others, will call him a king, some will call him nothing at all but none of that matters now. Know that he made being a parent a whole total adventure and his rights of passage made him a man. A responsible man with character not without flaws but with so much love that he shared with all who crossed his path.

 God doesn’t take something without replacing it and Lord knows I have no idea how he will ever be replaced except through his beautiful offspring that we are now charged to see and guide them through their rights of passage as we move forward in our healing of his lost. We are blessed to have been able to work through our maturation period of growth along our journey.  It took some time to work through our own responsibilities to our children and because we did we are now able to share this moment of lost together without turmoil or trauma and for that our family is grateful.  I’m grateful that over the years I told the children that you loved them made a difference in how they received you when you where ready to confront the Father position that lead to a dear friendship without any interference from me as our son requested because he had a lot of questions that he needed answers from only you. As he grappled with how a father could stay away from their child which probably was his driving force in his own children’s life. His own words were, “ I will be the father that I always wanted”.  He was able to accept you and meet you were you were at and I thank God for childrearing years, Lord knows it was hard rearing the children alone but telling the children that they are loved by both of us made it better for them and me which made a space for the questions that come when parents take different paths of life. 

I thank you for entrusting me with our children as we grew together and the process showed me just how much strength I have to make it through this life journey and I pray that I past it on to them. So don’t hold any regret’s think of the time you had and cherish those moments as they are very precious in these moments and for our future. Know that he was a good young man, respectable and confident in who he was as a person and man. God only knows why he choose him  to teach us and many others this life lesson but we should be grateful that God blessed us with such a young man to call ours.

 A little something about Man Man Lemul Rodgers

Well, what is there not to say about (Man Man), he was born the perfect gentleman he was a happy child always pleasant and very curious about how the world works starting with, “Why is the sky blue?”  This lead us on a journey of discovery, from the sky to volcanoes, how his electronic toys worked you name it he was trying to figure it out.  Lemuel was named after his grandfather to carry the Rodgers name on. In the bible Lemuel is a King and Lemuel lived up to his name.

Lemuel struggled in his youth being raised by a mom and his sister who treated him like she was his mom still to this day. They had a very close sibling relationship and it was tested time and time again but always came through true blue with the love they had for one another. Lemuel would always ask, “How can a father stay away from their children?” As his mother it was my job to ensure that he knew he was loved by his father and that he and his sister were blessed to have a father that step in and step up for them every time he was needed and for that he was grateful and had respect for the men that came into our lives.

Lemuel aka man man taught me many things not just about him but life itself. He was a great negotiator or at least he always pitches his best thoughts about any given situation and or circumstances. He was what many would call a man’s man. He was a protector early in life and continued on throughout his life and I am sure we will feel his spirit for many years to come and that brings peace.

It was man man that taught me about the parts of life a mother doesn’t care to know but listen because she cares and loves him. As I provide information in our many conversations, he would always tell me that life was going to be good and not to worry. He always told me how proud he was of me as his mother and that he supports me in anything that I do but I would have to do it with confidence. He was my silent but not silent business partner.

We didn’t always agree and we had different points of view but the one thing we agreed on was that we love one another and our family. Family was really important to Lemuel and he wanted his family together all the time.  Lemuel knew the Lord/ Allah as his personal savior in his life which is why he lived life fearlessly. Lemuel did something many young men today don’t do and that was being a part of the care taking of his grandparents who loved him dearly and he loved them right back. He respected everyone until they disrespected him and even then, he could find a common ground to continue to live in peace and harmony.

I’m not saying that he was a saint but he was a decent respectful manchild all his life and many can a test to that. Lemuel always found a way to make you happy or smile and or to forget your worries. He would always encourage me to go out and live life and not just stay home work and pay bills. He wanted more for my life and my response would always be I am happy with my life could it be better yeah of course but for now it is what it is. During his period of incarceration, I would write him many letters never missed our by weekly visitation and even prepared his favorite foods for the time we would spend together when allowed.

 Even though he experienced life in many different ways. Nothing could change the love he has for his family and to those he chooses to call family he loved us all and showed it daily no matter how crazy it got. He was always Man Man. We are going to miss him something terrible yet we know that God has plans for all our lives and we don’t know the day or the hour and when I tell you that Man worked that dash, he worked it. Lemuel lived his life his way and he was a boss in his own rights. He always showed his leadership skills even with his friends and people he met along the way. Providing encouraging words or referring them to his mom because she could help them. He was an officer and a gentleman, I remember asking him if he wanted to join the service and he said, “No Mom, those people haven’t done nothing to me plus I am a soldier right here on the home front because that’s where I am need most.” As a young man he would never call his sister by her name she was sister for like the first five years of his life and then one day he just called her Kreshia out of nowhere but in his heart, she was and is always sister.

When he became a father, he took pride in being a Dad to his children, and they love him just as much as he love them. All Lemuel wanted was to take care of his family and enjoy the family time together. I believe his words where, “I am the father that I always wanted” he made me very proud as a parent. When he was a child, he acted like a child but when he became a man, he became a man but enjoyed the joy of playing like a child in his heart.

I feel that I was blessed to have Lemuel aka Man Man for the time that I had him. I think as a parent that this is not easy letting you child go. But what brings me comfort is knowing that he was able to have those hard conversations with me. Omitting the things, he didn’t want me to know but telling me enough so that I won’t be too shocked should anything go down however, this came as a total surprise. And because I grew up in the Juice era, I now understand when he would always tell me TNO mom. TNO  

Today, is the hardest day of my life because someone decided to load a gun and take it out to intentionally hurt someone and on August 8, 2022 someone choose my son to harm as well as a childhood friend. One survived and for that we all are grateful and one God came down and hand pick himself because he knew that although we may feel his purpose was not complete in God’s eyes, he did what he was sent here to do and that was to spread love and he did just that so today don’t leave here sad.

He would want you to leave here and go begin to live the life that you want to live, open a business, start a new career, do something honorable with your life. Because Lemuel aka man man lived an honorable life and nothing or no one can ever change that.

Love your Custodio  Parent

Remember to always lead with love at home first so when they leave your door, they carry it everywhere they go.

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