Jamil was my son, my friend and my travel buddy. We did just about everything together, but even now I realize how much more that I could have done with him. I write this with a very heavy heart because I chose work over spending time with him and our family over the weekend. I believed that I would have more time to spend with him if I accomplished business goals and we had more resources per success. What I realize now is that the most important resource and accomplishment that I have was him and my stepson. I feel that I failed him, his mother Katrina, my wife and his step-mother Jacqueline, his brother Xavier, his grandparents, his family and friends because I made a bad choice, work over family. I pray and ask everyone reading this to always chose your children and your family over business. Never accept that you have time to spend with your children, your spouse and your loved ones. Jamil believed that we should make time to be with people we cared about. He was a very balanced young man in the way he lived his life. Even now, he is teaching me a lesson through his heart and his faith in Jesus Christ. I hope we all learn a valuable lesson from Jamil and his loving, caring, Christ-led spirit. If I was a hero to him in anyway, he was a hero to me as well.
I want you all to know that Jamil was blessed in many ways by hundreds of family members and friends including his grandparents (Edwin & Helen Lombard Charles White & his wife Vernice, my mother Iris Foster (deceased) and my adopted mother & Mom's sister Crystal Foster and his step-grandparents, Arlandist & Julia McCollum and his cousins that he was up north with including Darryl's wife Chastity. For me, there are three important and key people in his life that I want to personally introduce to you.
His mother, Katrina Lombard, who gave birth to him and cherished him,
My wife, Jacqueline, who came into Jamil's in 2007 when he first joined Boy Scouts at Bates Academy
My stepson and Jamil's brother Xavier McCollum, who was a member of Boy Scouts when Jamil joined.
Katrina has been a strong and proud mother. She enjoyed exposing Jamil to different cultures, communities and ideas. She took him to more cities in the country than I have ever been to, which opened him up to seeing the world with a broader perspective than most children. She and I didn't agree on much, but I will clearly state that she loved Jamil very much and will miss him dearly.
Jacqueline came into Jamil's life in 2007 via Boy Scouts and her role grow when we started dating in 2009. She was consistent from the beginning through May 26, 2013. She loved Jamil as if he was her birth son and she gave him the balance of expression, fun and education that I missed at times. She introduced him to baking and cooking, expanding his creativity via education and pushing him to think of others and not himself. Jamil would not have expanded his evolution and growth without her love and support. It touched my heart that she would accept my son in the same way that she loved her son Xavier. In this way, Jamil was blessed because he had two women who loved him and helped him build the compassionate and giving spirit that he has.
Xavier and Jamil are brothers in the true since of the word. Separated by 1 year and 8 days, initially they have some adjustment to Jacqueline and I's relationship. What was the most amazing thing to me is that they found a way to work through the adjustment on their own and built a bond that is stronger than any brotherly bond I have seen. They planned to go to middle school together and made it there in 7th and 8th grade. They played football and ran track together. They played in the Baker band together and they shared a lot of friends. One of the things that warmed my heart was how Xavier took Jamil under his wing during his first week at Baker. Xavier took him around to all of his friends in the 8th grade and told them, he's my brother. That helped Jamil adjust to the new school and blossom into a wonderful and loving young man. For me to properly honor Jamil, I now must take Xavier and support him the same way he supported his brother.
I just wanted to give you all some more context on the wonderful and amazing child Jamil was and the people who guided him in that walk. Being his father is the greatest thing I have ever done, but it was also for two special women and an amazing brother as well.
Thank you all for your love, prayers and support. We all appreciate it and most importantly, Jamil appreciates it.
Funeral arrangements for Jamil:
Friday, May 31st - Viewing 4pm to 8pm
Haley Funeral Home
24525 Northwestern Hwy
Southfield, MI 48075
Saturday, June 1st - Funeral 12 noon
Family Hour - 11-12 noon
St. Paul A.M.E. Church
2260 Hunt Street
Detroit, MI 48207
If you like to make monetary donations in honor of Jamil Foster, you can make those at any Chase Bank location to the Jamil Foster Memorial Foundation Acct #2960755272.