A mother says her faith is what's kept her going since a violent day last week changed her world. Now that faith is also bringing her to deliver a message to two teens charged with taking her son's life.
At Nashville First Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 17-year-old Yudjy Cherubin served as youth deacon. It was just one responsibility for a young man with an uncommon work ethic. Money from extra jobs went to help his little brother and sister and proud mom Dieldrine Cherubin.
"Yudjy was my best friend," she said. "When he started to work, it wasn't about him or buying a nice pair of shoes. With Yudjy, it's all about us. He just put his signature on all of us. It's like God knew he was going to be with me a short period of time."
Last week, La Vergne Police said Yudjy answered an ad for an iPhone for sale at a vacant condo on George Buchanan Drive. Yudjy was shot to death with two 17-year-olds arrested for his robbery and murder. Yudjy's two younger siblings were in the car at the time of the shooting.
"He got killed for less than what my car note is," said Cherubin.
Cherubin wants to deliver an important message to the two teens charged with taking her son.
"I forgive them," she said. "This boy who killed my son, he didn't kill my son. He killed me, but I have to live. I have to live. If I don't forgive him, I fulfill his desire. I forgive him, I free myself. I choose to free myself from their wrongdoing. I am not going to be their slave. If I die today, I don't want these children to take my Christianity, my salvation, everything the Bible says. I have no choice. If I was the one being killed, Yudjy would forgive them too."
"These children, they have mothers too," she continued. "I hope they choose God. It's never too late. They can have a change of heart. They don't have to be this ugly. They have a chance again."
The family is moving to Kansas soon into a house Yudjy helped pick. The family's La Vergne home of the past nine years isn't the place they love anymore.
"It's empty," Cherubin said. "I don't even hear the birds singing anymore. It's just complete silence. Yudjy is just too much around here. It's no longer home. It can never be home. This is just a house now."
Taking with her those memories of a young man who cared so much about his family, Cherubin is leaving for a new beginning.
"There's a piece of Yudjy in Kansas waiting for me to enjoy," she said.
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