When Jeremiah Sterling came home from Colorado last July, his mom bought an automatic coffeemaker so he and she could hang out, have coffee and talk in the kitchen – just the two of them – in the mornings.
“He was real simple in what he liked, but what he liked, he stuck to,” says LaWanda Thompson-Sterling. “Jeremiah loved chicken nuggets, Cinnamon Crunch cereal, Ray’s bar-b-q.”
What she discovered on those lazy summer mornings over coffee was that the boy who’d gotten on the plane to Denver in the winter had come back a man.
“It was almost like he was older than me,” says LaWanda Thompson-Sterling. Jazmine Sterling, 19, Jeremiah’s older sister, says her brother had an almost uncanny talent for intimacy and consolation. “You could talk to him about anything,” she said. “He always knew what to do and say when he saw me or my mom sad.”