Murdered policeman's wife gives birth to their unexpected child
July 17, 2016, was a terrible day for the Gerald family in Louisiana. Dechia Gerald received the call that police officers’ spouses dread: her husband, Matthew, had been killed on the job. He left behind not just Dechia, but their two small daughters.
Despite her grief, she knew she had to hold the family together for the two little ones. But then at Matthew’s funeral, her older daughter turned to her and said something bizarre. She claimed that Dechia was pregnant. The widow wrote it off as a child’s misunderstanding, but later her younger daughter came up to her and said the same thing.
Just to put her mind at ease, she decided to take a pregnancy test. To her enormous surprise, the result came back positive! It was so early in the pregnancy that she hadn't even noticed any changes.
And nine months later, Falyn Matthew Gerald was born safe and sound. Dechia welcomed him into the world supported by friends and family, everyone sharing the sense that through this baby, Matthew was still with them.
From the day she lost him, Dechia has been wearing a necklace with Matthew’s wedding ring threaded through it. To everyone’s amazement, in his first moments cuddled against his mother’s chest Falyn reached up and grabbed hold of the ring.
"We all feel his daddy with us," said Dechia’s mother-in-law. "Very bittersweet, just more than I can express. Just touches my heart more than I can express. It's like having him all over again."
Having three children is a huge challenge for the newly widowed mother, but they’re a beautiful reminder of her late husband. Matthew’s colleagues even nicknamed Falyn "Baby Buttons" in honor of his dad, whom they'd called "Buttons."
How is Dechia these days? She said: "I can just feel his presence. I don't have to worry about the anxiety or worry where's he's at or what he's doing because at this moment, he's here with us."
Together with the whole community’s loyal backing, Dechia will be able to keep Matthew’s memory alive and continue on, building a beautiful life for their children. What an amazing surprise gift this new life was for the whole family after the tragic loss they suffered. Let’s hope things just keep getting brighter for the Geralds — they deserve the best.