- Kyla Derry
- Kyasiah Derry will be 13 in July. She’s attending junior high at Highland Park and plays basketball for the Community Y Panthers. Her father, Jaumar “Maury” Carvery, was killed eight years ago this week. She wrote this letter for The Coast, and it’s printed with her mother’s permission.
In these past few weeks, all the recent killings have put a hole in my heart. Seeing how many families and mothers had to bury their children, fathers, brothers, often makes me wonder why this world can be so cold.
I am writing this for all the young people in our communities who want the violence to stop. About eight years ago, on May 3, 2008, I as well lost a special piece of me (my father), and ever since he passed away I have been heartbroken. My heart bleeds for him. Every day I wake up, I ask myself why someone had to take such a beautiful person from me, and it hurts my soul.
I was only four, going on five, when someone decided that they had a right to take my dad from me. It makes me wonder how this world really works. Although I know I can always depend on my mom, it’s not the same. There are things that I want to talk to my dad about at times, that I do not want to talk to my mom about. I always hear people say “It will get better,” but for me it only gets more complicated. I grow into a teen, playing sports—my dad isn’t there to support me. I know it’s not by choice. It still doesn’t make it any easier for me.
I do not know why it happened, but I do know I miss my father’s hugs, and his frequent “I love you, Pretty.” That was his nickname for me.
I miss my dad and it is often hard for me to focus without him being in my presence, as I know it is going to be, and is, hard for every other kid who lost a parent—whether it is from violence or just natural causes. I always get a strong feeling in my stomach when I see my friends with their dads. Even though I will always have my mom and other family members standing behind me, I still find it hard to shake. I fully understand it is not everyone’s fault—only the people who did this to him—but I still wonder why it is unsolved eight years later.
When violence happens in one community, it affects every community. There comes a point when we have to stand up and stand out to stop the violence. United we stand. Divided we fall.
When I found out that Tyler [Richards] was killed, it hit home for me because he too was a special person to me, and also a friend of my dad’s. As I watched his community mourn for him, it just brought back all the bad memories of that terrible day when I found out about my father. My heart and prayers goes out to his mother and especially his daughter, because I know the feeling she has all too well.
For every kid out there that has to experience what I go through: My heart is with you and I want you to know you are NOT alone.
For the ones who are out there taking our fathers away from us: PLEASE STOP. This violence has to end or else half of my generation will be growing up broken by your hands. Please think before you act, and if you have kids of your own, think about them and how they would feel before you commit your senseless acts.
I want to be raised in a healthy environment, not a world full of hatred and black-on-black violence. It is bad enough our communities already grow up with stigmas based on our colour and where we live.
For everyone who thinks this is OK because it was not a random act, or the fact that people were doing bad things: Please educate yourself. You should be a little more sensitive and maybe think about the innocent children, mothers and families who are truly affected by these acts.
My mother always told me, “Just because people make bad choices in life doesn’t mean they are bad people.” Yes, we all have choices, but what leads up to these choices? That is what everyone should be looking at.
Since I have been old enough to research online, reading up on things and peoples’ comments, it makes me appreciate all the more that my mom has raised me with compassion and empathy for others.
Speaking on behalf of myself and probably every other kid who had to mourn over a tragic loss, PLEASE STOP THE VIOLENCE. We want to grow up—grow up to be strong and capable, not bitter from countless losses.