Mourning mother's simple gesture moves stranger to tears
TAMPA (FOX 13) - A grieving mother is channeling her pain in a remarkable way: Tara Jones does one act of kindness every day in honor of her late son.
According to Tampa police, Te'Sean Blue, 18, was riding his bike near the area of North Brooks and East Annie streets, when he was shot and killed. Two months later, detectives still don't know who did it.
"I was in disbelief, I'm still in disbelief," said Jones.
The mother of three said she moved to Tampa from Decatur, Ala. in search of a safer place to live with her children.
"I don't want my son to be a statistic, I don't want to have to bury him, I don't want to have to visit him in prison," Jones explained as she described the reasons for the move.
She soon got a job at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and her son was working toward his high school diploma.
But September 3, Jones received a call she had worked so hard to avoid.
"He likes peace, he wasn't confrontational," said Jones who is now coping with the pain by living the way she teaches her children to live.
"I have always told my kids to at least try to do one good deed a day," said Jones.
Thursday night, that meant paying for a stranger's meal at PDQ.
"I looked at the server who was smiling, and she said, ‘She just paid for your meal,’" recalled Gordon Greber.
After learning the message behind the gesture, Greber said he was brought to tears. "I just sat down and cried because it just affected me so much. And I thought for someone to do that, it's just the most amazing thing I've seen in a long time."
Sheriff Chad Chronister was moved by hearing his deputy's story.
"She wants to honor her son's memory by going out and helping someone else and making sure that she brightens their day," said Chronister, "and I couldn't be more proud of her."
The Tampa Police Department continues to investigate the incident. Anyone with information is asked to give police a call.