Loss; grieve; repeat


photo credit Theresa Simmons

Speedy Walker // Giving it his all, senior Edwin Walker Races for the finish line at the Cross Country meet Sept. 22. “I did my best.” Walker said. “That is all I can do.”

writer Caroline Witty, Staff Reporter

Edwin Walker has grit even after losing multiple loved ones

Senior Edwin Walker has faced death multiple times. Having to face loss, go through the grieving process, and unwillingly repeat.

Walker has continually faced hardships all his life. When he was a young boy, he lived in Africa in an orphanage. The orphanage barely scraped by but he lived there for most of his childhood.

“One day, randomly, I started to pray,” Walker said. “Please, God, let me be adopted.”

After six years of this type of life, he was adopted by Americans Bonnie and Wayne Walker. They have been missionaries for over 20 years and believed that God put them on this earth to help others; to show love and compassion to those who need it.

Joining a family of 13 adopted children, Walker lived in Thailand and travelled to multiple countries. Eventually, Mrs. Walker was diagnosed with cancer. Needing treatment, the family moved from Thailand to Wylie, in the 2010-2011 school year, causing Walker to go to Burnett Junior High School. This is where he met his lifelong friend, fallen Raider Nahum Martinez. They participated in cross country and track together.

“I run for him,” Walker said. “Every time I am in a race, I remember how much he loved to run. I do it for him because he would want me to push harder and go faster with every race. He was truly inspirational.”

In the year 2012 on March 30, Martinez was shot and his body was left by a drain. Walker was devastated and could not believe the news.

“Death is a mind changer,” Walker said.

One day, randomly, I started to pray: Please, God, let me be adopted.”

— Edwin Walker, senior

Walker used his parent’s teachings and began helping the Martinez family. Taking Ezra Martinez, Nahum’s younger sister, under his wing and helping her cope with the loss of her beloved brother. He also helped other students with handling the death of a friend.

Eventually everything was silent, everything was good. Life went to as close to normal as it could get.

Walker discovered that his mother’s cancer had progressively worsened. After four long years, she refused treatment. On Thanksgiving morning, 2013, at 9:15 a.m., Walker’s mother passed away, just a few days after his, at the time 6-year-old brother, Jedidiah Walker, arrived in the United States from Thailand.

“It was the worst thing ever,” Walker said. “I could feel my own body deteriorating; the same pain that my mom felt under her skin, for all those years. The pain from all the tumors, the treatment.”

This affected Walker and caused him to actively think about death.

“It constantly had me thinking who’s going to be next,” Walker said. “Would it be me? Someone from East? or even a family member?”

Walker excels in his academics for his mother.

“I live for her,” Walker said. “I try to live a life in which she would want me to live. What she always dreamed of me living.”

Walker talked with his closest friends and God through these hard times, specifically Bereket Zeru and Ivan Mejia. For several months he would try to hang out whenever he could with these two. They became a part of his support system, what got him through every day.

Then once again unfortunate events unfolded March 8, 2014; Mejia was choked to death behind the school. This is now the third death of someone he loves. What made it even harder, was discovering that one of his friends was the culprit.

At school just the week after Mejia’s passing, Walker was helping those grieving once again. The difference this time was that Walker had friends of his own there, helping him grieve. They counseled one another in the Media Center all day.

“It was a great feeling,” Walker said. “Having people there that know what I am going through, who have lost those they love like I have, helping me along with others through this tragic time.”

Walker is now in his senior year of high school and he is one of the top cross country runners in the nation, a path that he says, God, friends and family led him on

“My support team was my family and friends,” Walker said. “But what helped me through the loss of my loved ones was believing in God, placing my trust in someone who is bigger than all of our problems.”

Facing obstacles throughout his life, he reminds himself every day, anything is possible.

“Death is a mind changer,” Walker said. “You’re constantly paranoid about what’s going to happen in the future, possibly tomorrow or even that afternoon, but through faith, and motivation, anything can be overcome.”