A baseball bat, a pair of boy’s shoes, and red basketball shorts remain on the stairs leading up to Micah Love’s bedroom. The sweet boy with a passion for sports and cooking with his mom, died 2.5 years ago after a tragic accident while camping in the Colville National Forest. Micah was just 8-years-old.
Time has yet to leave a healing mark.
"I’m not ever okay. Some days I wake up and still can’t believe that it happened. It comes in waves, like the ocean. Some days are shockingly worse, some days are better,” said Micah’s mom, Emily Love.
Micah was the kind of kid every parent hopes for- wise, kind, inclusive, and confident. He connected with everyone and had a way of making people feel comfortable. Emily says Micah made her want to be a better person. Emily and her husband, Josh, loved nothing more than to watch Micah, their #11, make a home run during a baseball game and rush the ball during football season.
“He gave it his all. He wasn’t a big kid, but he was good at listening to his coach, he played so hard and loved his teammates,” added Emily.
To honor Micah and keep his memory alive, Emily and Josh used life insurance money to start Love 11, a non-profit dedicated to helping low-income families with sports enrollment fees. In the past two years, Love 11 has helped almost 150 kids play basketball, soccer, compete in gymnastics, football, and other sports. Love 11 also helps local schools purchase new sporting equipment for the playground.
It’s not just about playing a game, Love 11 hopes through sports kids will build confidence, learn teamwork, and the value of hard work.
“No one should be left out. If their heart wants to play, they should be able to play,” added Emily.
Thanks to the generosity of the community, Emily says they’ve never had to turn down a family. In January, Micah would’ve have turned 11-years-old. For his birthday, Love 11 set a goal of securing enough donations to sponsor 100 kids for the next year.
“Our community is so amazing. Our supporters are incredible, makes you feel less alone. It’s a gift to our souls. Micah would be so proud and so excited. I just know the little smile he would have. He was so generous,” said Emily.
As time passes, Emily can no longer remember the sweet and innocent sound of Micah’s voice. That’s why Emily keeps Micah’s room and the basketball shorts, Nike shirt, and sweatshirt folded on the stairs, just the way he left it.
“I like seeing the way his stuff was. I love finding little memories. I feel like I’m remembering him,” said Emily.
Every day, Emily learns to navigate a new life without her son. It isn’t easy, but she finds peace knowing she will see him again.
“I try to wake up every day with the mindset that each new day is a gift to be seized and at the end of the day I am one day closer to seeing my son in heaven and no one can take that away from me,” added Emily.