DICKSON, Tenn. - The death of 5-year-old Joe Clyde Daniels has tested all of Dickson County, but Amanda Hartman said Daniels' murder has particularly hurt the children who knew him as a classmate and friend.
"As a mom, you want to fix things. I wanted to fix it, especially for my daughter," Hartman said. "I just wanted to bring comfort and peace to her."
Hartman's daughter came home with a note from Oakmont Elementary earlier this week asking families to donate books to Daniels' school. Hartman and her daughter purchased two books, but she wanted to do more.
"I wanted to put something inside them," she said.
Hartman decided to pen a poem from Daniels' point of view. She wrote it inside the two books she and her daughter donated.
The poem reads:
Hi there, it's me, your friend Joe
Don't be sad that I had to go
I'm now in heaven being loved beyond measure
Think of our sweet memories together and hold onto those treasures
Here are a few things I want to say;
I hope you will remember them each day.
It's okay to miss me because I miss you, too
Just don't forget that there's still so much to do!
Be honest, be patient, don't fight and don't shove
Make sure to smile to those around you and always show love
Don't forget to make many new friends and always be kind
Don't take a moment of this life for granted because you can't rewind
Make sure you have lots of fun
Don't forget to laugh, play and run
Oh, and eat an apple a day
I'm told it keeps the doctor away
Always say sorry and always forgive
Because we only have this one life to live!
Now I want you to smile way more than you cry
Because to tell you the truth, this isn't goodbye
Anytime you miss me
Pick up this book and here I'll be
Waiting for you to read together, my sweet friends
So come on, let's go see how this story ends!