Attendees at the funeral for Brenda Lee Marquez-McCool talked constantly about how much she loved her children. Her 11 children referred to her as the family leader and a fighter, but her son, Isaiah Henderson, has a special reason to remember her as a champion.
As the mother and son danced to Salsa music together, she gave her life protecting him from the spray of bullets fired by a madman in an Orlando gay nightclub. She threw herself on top of him when the gunman opened fire and died shielding him during the worst mass shooting in American history.
“I never thought that her life would be ended right in front of my eyes,” he said, sobbing. “My mother accepted everyone with open arms. She loved everybody equally, no matter what.”
As his brothers rushed to support him as he collapsed at the pulpit, Henderson quietly added, “I haven’t stopped crying since.”
The family released 49 white balloons after the ceremony in honor of everyone who lost their lives in the attack.
Watch part of Henderson’s raw and emotional eulogy for his mother below. Warning: It is incredibly emotional. You will be brought to tears.