ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis mother celebrated Mother’s Day by honoring two loved ones she lost tragically in January 2021.
Sueketha Rankin is still heartbroken after the loss of her son and granddaughter, both who were victims of gun violence. Rankin said she is finding purpose for her pain by organizing the second annual Mother’s Day March for Justice in the Central West End neighborhood.
“I cry, it’s normal, but I’m glad that mentally I’m able to keep going and do something and not just wither away and let myself go and go into a depression, because it is hard,” Rankin said.
Her son, Darrion Rankin-Fleming, and his daughter, D’Myah Rankin-Fleming, were killed in the 4000 block of Laclede Avenue, the location where Sunday’s March was held.
“This will be my second Mother’s Day without my son or my granddaughter,” said Ranking. “He was my oldest son and that was my oldest granddaughter, so he made me a mother.”
Rankin said seeing Sunday’s turnout helps ease the pain.
“I feel good, I feel real good,” she said. “Probably bigger than I expected than this year, but I want it to be bigger and bigger.”
Her mother, Elaina Rankin, made way to St. Louis from Texas. She said the march is for all mothers who have been a victim of gun violence.
“This is not just for D’Myah and Darrian. This is to bring awareness for all the kids. This honors everybody, this is what this march is for,” Elaina Rankin said.
Her daughter says sadly there are other mothers like her. So she uses her Facebook page “Justice for US” to grieve with them while sharing memories.
Sueketha Rankin said cherish every moment with your children.
“Love, love, love, love on your babies. Any issues, any differences you have like work it out. Because you never know when you could be down here or at a memorial,” Rankin said.