NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The gift of life. It was in a garden in the backyard of his mother's house where Maralieus Birdsong got his first lesson. Teresa Gardner and her son planted half of their garden in the summer of 2011. This year, they had bigger plans for the flower bed. Just mother and son.But life is fragile.
"I'm still in a big denial phase," said Gardner. "I still expect to see him coming through the door any second, 'Hey Mama.' It is just not going to happen."
It won't happen because of what transpired the night of March 9. While out delivering a pizza order Birdsong was shot once in the head at the Appain Way apartment complex off Patriot Boulevard.
"I miss him," said Gardner, three weeks later in her living room. "I miss him."
In the days after his death, Gardner found her way back to their garden.
Life didn't stop.
But for seven people life was beginning, again, because of a decision her 20-year-old son made on his own.
"When he went to go get his license and came back he said look mom I got my license," said Gardner. "He had put organ donation on there so I was really ecstatic about that. It was a pleasant surprise."
But Gardner never thought he'd be in a situation where he would become a donor. After Birdsong was officially pronounced dead in the afternoon hours of March 10, his mother honored his wishes.