Tony Edmond Barthelemy died June 28, 2006. Tony was a victim of two tragedies first Katrina in August
of 2005 and then the ultimate tragedy -- he was murdered in the town he loved New Orleans. Tony left behind a Mom [Michelle Brown], a Dad and two brothers Patrick and Lorenzo. As is so often the case it is the Mom who bears the brunt of the loss. Yet inexplicably it is Moms like Michelle who also have the bravery to establish and care for their loved ones legacy. Michelle Brown is one of those Moms, in her words...
My last phone call from my son, Tony, was on Sat., June 17, 2006. We talked and he told me that he and some of his friends were going shopping for Father's Day. He wanted to get his dad a gift. I told him, "Be careful." Tony said, "I will, Mom. Then he asked me, "Did you and Dad get the card's I sent to you?" I said, "Yes, we loved them. Tony said, "Mommy, I love you and I want to come home soon." [Tony was in the Young Marines] I said, " Mommy loves you too baby, and I am coming to get you soon. He said, "OK. I will call you on Father's Day." No call came from my baby, on Father's Day.
Tony's life was cut short due to an animal, that kidnapped, beat and shot my baby in the neck. His body was found on Father's Day, June 18, 2006, in a wooded area in Aligers, New Orleans, Louisiana. [see Tony's beautiful online memorial at Memory-Of.com]
Michelle and her boys find some solace that Tony is truly in a better, happier place ~ and I am proud to have been able to help them honor his legacy with photo buttons. Michelle will tell you we had a time making those buttons; problems with the digital images, buttons lost in the mail but in the end I think those little buttons are making a big difference. Michelle recently wrote to me...
"My Son's smile in that book [Southpark magazine] brought tears of joy knowing that he was a hero. I wear my button each day to work and everywhere I go ~ I love them and will be ordering more for Tony's birthday [May 16] & his angel day [June 28].
That, is simply powerful!
[Here is the Southpark Article with Tony's button image & another hero Hope Stout (a beautiful story too for another day]