WESTLAND, Mich. - Rage would be understandable considering the circumstances of their mother's death. But that's not how 55-year-old Patricia Nwaneri raised her son and three daughters.
"I cannot hold any anger towards whoever did whatever to my mother, because my mom was never like that. My mom always taught us to be forgiving," said her son, Nkemjika Nwaneri.
That's one of many lessons shared by a remarkable and resilient woman. Patricia's husband abandoned the family more than 10 years ago.
To help the family, donations can be made to the Patricia Nwaneri Children Trust Fund at any TCF Bank branch.
"Mom never complained, never showed any sign of stress," said her daughter, Ugochinyere Nwaneri.
The Nigerian native worked in nursing six days a week. She never focused on herself, only on paying the growing bills and being there for her kids.
"Every second of her life was dedicated to us. She had to deal with the task of 10 men. Hundreds of men couldn't handle what my mom was handling," said Nkemjika.
The Nwaneri house is filled with reminders of Patricia's pride and joy.
"We have each other because my mom taught us to have each other, love one another, be close with each other, share, my taught us endless love. She taught us what loves means," said Ugochinyere.
Two of the children are in high school and the other two in college.
"She never questioned why me? ... she did a very great job as a mother," said Patricia's close friend Francesca Bamfo.
Patricia never asked for help. Her children are the same way. Still, friends have set up a fund and are asking for donations. Patricia had no life insurance.
"We are just asking that God in his mercy will use people to help this family," said Bamfo.
Her coat is in its usual place draped over a chair. Old photos trigger laughter even during such a sad time.
"I have no choice but to do as my mom did. My mom's spirit is in me, therefore I have no reason to ever give up," said Ugochinyere.
Meanwhile, Ponya Lee is charged with second degree murder in the crash that killed Patricia. Police say Lee was in an argument over the phone when she intentionally ran a red light, causing the deadly crash.
She is being held at the Wayne County Jail without bond.
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