This past Saturday, my nephew, Devyn Lamar Hardy was the victim of a senseless and heinous crime! He was shot in the face by a couple of Tampa thugs trying to steal whatever he may have had in his pocket at the time. Tampa police have tried to characterize this incident as a drug transaction gone bad! Why is it that whenever a black youth is shot for no apparent reason, that it must be the result of a drug deal? That is contrary to everything that I know about Devyn.
Funka, Wop Wop, or Dippy as he has been known as was a highly recruited football and soccer player coming out of high school. Much to his credit, he rejected athletic scholarships and instead chose to receive an academic scholarship to attend the University of South Florida, majoring in engineering. Devyn is listed in Who’s Who, graduated high school with honors, participated in the Florida vs. Georgia All Star Game, and has a host of other awards and accomplishments.
When I heard that he had been shot, something inside of me died! I am still trying to come to grips with that, but I chalk it up to one thing. I love all of my nieces and nephews as if they were my own children. I still can’t reconcile if that is a universal feeling or something unique to me. If I had my way, I would have been the one taking that bullet for him! That’s not bravado, but a simple fact that I know that my life is half over….. his is just beginning! I would make that trade any day of the week.
Enough about me, this is about him. Son, I know the road that you must now take is going to be tough to hoe, but you come from good stock. Your bloodline is a good one and through the strength that you have inherited and the work ethic that you have been given, you will come back to us better, bigger, and stronger than ever…
I’ve never been a big advocate of the human race in general, but I believe in you! I know that from this tragedy that you will find everything that your heart desires. I also remember that about seventeen years ago, I had to come rescue you from that daycare prison that they put you in, the high chair with the bar that kept you from moving…. You were a biter… Bite for life!
I love you kid! Come home!