From there on out I still had trouble with T, through the holidays I didn’t see him much but we always talked. He was coming back and going to change his life and things were going to be okay. I always encouraged him to just come in and forget everything else. I would tell him all the time that everything else is just noise, you need to work and support yourself and your daughter needs you out here not in jail. It is time to let everything else go. T was still pretty much a target on the west side of Chicago and had to move away from the area so that he didn’t get himself in more trouble. One Saturday morning I was taking my daughter to practice and I got a FaceTime call from T. He had just been shot and was in the hospital. Not knowing what I was answering, I didn’t even think twice about answering in front of my daughter. As I was learning this is the way it is in Chicago, my kids hear about it on the news and all over the place but they had not experienced it first hand. My daughter was pretty upset and so was T, it really took me some time to evaluate what I had gotten myself into. Over the next couple of days while he was in the hospital I talked with T about what he should do upon leaving the hospital. We talked about going somewhere else, not staying where he was currently living, finding him a safer place to live even if it was in a hotel for a while. I think he really did want to leave but in the end he just couldn’t and went back to the life that he so desperately wanted to leave. This had to be a wake up call for him, right?
The shooting left me angrier than anything I've ever felt before. I started contacting different news agencies, trying to show people that I was trying to help make a change, but it is not easy! Finally CBS called me back and asked if they could do a story about T. I was ecstatic, this could work, people would listen to me! T came out and we disguised him while he did an interview with the reporter. It was a great interview. I hoped that this would make the difference. He would understand that the time really is now and he has to change. He started coming back to work then, a little bit at a time. Not regularly, but he was trying. It was always a struggle because he stayed on far south side and didn’t have transportation. I finally convinced him to give the Metra a chance. Most people think that if you want to work you will get up, go wait by the bus or the El stops, and get yourself to work. However, they don’t realize that for former gang members waiting on a street corner is extremely dangerous. The drive-by shootings are so out of control it's just not safe. I convinced him to let me Uber him to the train station so he could get on the train. The first time he did it he told me he couldn’t believe how easy it was! This time it would work, right?