ANDERSON — A bright blue Spider-Man ball is nestled under a cross that carries My’Ken Boyd’s name. Blue foil balloons bobble in the breeze and a handful of teddy bears keep a watchful guard over the site.
My’Ken, 5, died a few feet from the makeshift memorial on June 14. He was struck by a vehicle near the side of the road in the 700 block of West Vinyard Street.
Blue was My’Ken’s favorite color and while Spider-Man was one of his many heroes, his father, Kenneth Boyd, said his son liked to pretend he was Batman.
“This is messed up,” said Boyd. “This is not the natural order and cycle of life.”
Boyd’s sister, Sharmice Boyd, was shot to death while her three children were home a month prior to My’Ken’s death. He said his sister was always helping others and would do anything for her family.
Two days before his death, My’Ken had also attended a memorial service for his maternal grandmother, Chieko Menifee, who died June 3.
The family admits to being overwhelmed by the loss of their loved ones.
“Why are all these bad things happening to these wonderful people?” Boyd asked. “I just don’t get it.”
Hiroka Menifee, My’Ken’s mother, said she was standing in the middle of Vinyard and the width of a car hood from her son the day he was struck.
Menifee said My’Ken was at her sister’s home in the 700 block of West Vinyard and she had just dropped off some food inside for a family gathering when she saw her son across the street with his cousin.
She said My’Ken was holding hands with the other child and trying to hurry across to see her. Menifee said she told him to stop because there were cars approaching and she walked out into the roadway.
A car passed in front of Menifee and before she could stop her son, My’Ken stepped closer to the road and was hit by a SUV, the mother said.
The SUV’s driver, Charles W. Hart, 74, continued down the street until he found a place to turn around and drive back to the scene, according to Bret Barclay, a nearby neighbor who was outside.
Menifee said she scooped up her son and Menifee’s sister drove them to Community Hospital Anderson, which was about four blocks from there. He died at the hospital.
Anderson Police Department released a statement that no charges would be filed against Hart and there was no “suspicion of criminal activity.” Menifee said she was never interviewed by police and expressed disbelief that the investigation into her son’s death was closed.
“Help me,” she said. “Other mothers grieving, lost a child, reach out to me. I would like to hug you, talk to you. Anything.”
Fighting back her emotions Tuesday, Menifee vowed to be strong for her older children, Kenaires Ross, 15, and Kenilah Boyd, 13.
Ross wrote a song for his little brother hours after My’Ken’s death and taped a music video.
“He was so easy to love,” Ross said of My’Ken. “He was my best friend and I would play with him all of the time.”
Menifee said something needs to be done about people speeding on Vinyard Street through the heavily populated area.
“My sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet, baby boy,” Menifee said choking back a sob. “His favorite color was blue, any shade of blue.”
She smiled as she recalled his laughter and shared memories of her youngest son captured in photos on her phone. My’Ken had told his mother that one day he was going to be an astronaut.
“He wanted to go to the moon,” Menifee said looking at her photos. “He was so imaginative, brilliant, amazing, beautiful. I am never going to know what he was going to grow up to be — what he was going to do.”
She said she had just signed him up for kindergarten.
LaToya Johnson, a childhood friend of Menifee, sat with Menifee as she spoke about My’Ken. She said the city needs to do something before another child is hit on Vinyard Street.
Caution signs that warn of children in the area or other preventative measures should be taken, she said. Anything to protect the children who live and play along the busy street.
“I just feel like something is going to have to be done,” said Johnson. “That just doesn’t sit well.”
Johnson said she hurts just hearing Menifee talk about losing her son and can’t imagine the pain.
“We are mothers,” she said. “It’s one less plate we are making, it’s less laundry we are doing, that’s one less name I’m hollering around the house. Things change and it’s a horrible feeling.”
A GoFundMe account has been set up with a goal of $30,000 to help the family with funeral and other expenses for My’Ken, his aunt and grandmother at www.gofundme.com/f/mykens-world.
More than 200 people have donated more than $13,000 since the fundraiser was created six days ago. The family is also selling blue ribbons for $1 each from their home at 1220 W. Sixth St.