Through The Eyes of Our Angel

Denver Journalist Shares Relationship with COVID 19 Victim, His Mother

By Rosalind “Bee” Harris

Surprisingly, the weather was pleasant during this January Martin Luther King holiday weekend as Alfonzo Porter wheeled his mother into the Soiled Dove to see blues singer Sammy Mayfield, unbeknownst to both of them, this would be her last public outing. It still didn’t prevent him from making sure she was covered up and warm as he wrapped her scarf around her neck and made sure her gloves were on. That was less than 12 weeks ago.

“Oh, she had a great time. She really enjoyed the music and was actually singing and clapping along with the band,” he said reflecting on her memory, and thinking about the principles she had instilled in him during his formative years growing up. “She was the heart of our family; just a beautiful soul.”

He was talking about his mother, Edream Moore, 85, who died from the Coronavirus virus on April 4. She and her husband fell ill and were taken to the hospital where they were diagnosed and both tested positive. No one knows how she contracted the virus but within days, she was on a ventilator and a week later she died.

“She was strong and selfless. Mom was a great grandmother who rarely left home except for going to the store or church,” journalism professor Porter, one of six children Moore had raised on her own, said.

It’s been a very difficult time and he says he’s overwhelmed. He is concerned, and somewhat worried, but still functioning as best he can.

“I just love doing this work. I have to stay up. My mom died from COVID-19 on Saturday,” said Porter’s sister Edmonia Jackson who was pictured as a volunteer in the St. Louis Dispatch handing out hot dog buns during a food and household supplies distribution event hosted by the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis on Friday, April 10.

That picture undoubtedly worried her brother that she may also contract the virus. And with so many families losing multiple members, that would be difficult to bear after not being able to be with his mother during her passing. “I’m worried about my sister but these are the values mom instilled in all of us – to help others in need.  Mom would be proud that Edmonia is doing this to support her honor but needless to say, I am concerned about her well-being and health.”

Porter is also concerned about his students and the academic slide that will be presented to those who lack adequate resources to continue their education in their home environment such as home computers, lack of internet access and closed libraries.

“Many of the students are not focused. They are confused about the future and becoming doubtful of the education system,” Porter said after navigating his on-line classes with Zoom and other online educational platforms since the mandatory school closings.

“This came from out of nowhere. And it’s devastating because your loved ones perish alone,” he said.

But the pain and grief does not stop there.

“Preparing to see out of town relatives next week will also be agonizing with the social distancing we have to adhere to.”

Since April 4, Porter has been planning his mother’s memorial, preparing for out of town guests and finalizing legal matters – in addition to teaching online classes at MSU, DU and CCD; and working as the editor of the Denver Urban Spectrum.

Porter is steadfast in his values and in spite of it all, he is still is able to smile in front of eyes of grief.

He says his mother was strong and selfless. But from the looks of him and his sister, and as the saying goes, apples don’t fall far from the tree. Well Done Thy Good and Faithful Servant (Matthew 25:23)