Joseph Louangxaysongkahm never thought he’d spend Father’s Day mourning the death of his 2-year old son Jovanni.
“He was full of smiles, full of joy,” recalls the father. “He loved watching football with me, basketball, any kind of sport. He'd sit there and watch it.”
Louangxaysongkahm spent the afternoon Sunday pacing back and forth from his home to this son’s makeshift memorial.
Outside the family’s Southcrest home on 43rd and Keeler Street, dozens of flowers, candles and balloons surround pictures of Jovanni.
As the memorial grows, so does the pain.
In tears, the boy’s mother says at times the anguish is unbearable. "I can't sleep, I can't eat for days,” said Linda Monesavath. “It's just hard on me.”
On Friday, Jovanni saw his father across the street from his home.
The toddler ran to greet him, but in a matter of seconds he was struck by a garbage truck. Both parents and the boy’s 5-year old brother witnessed the accident.
“Before he goes to sleep at night, he asks for his brother,” said Monesavath. “But he knows that his brother is in heaven.”
For now, Louangxaysongkahm said he finds comfort in knowing he never took his son for granted.
“I love my son dearly, I gave him everything in the world,” he said. The young father wants to send out a timely message.
“This is a good wake up call for all the fathers out there,” said Louangxaysongkahm. “Treasure your kids. All of them.”
With a heavy heart, he wished other parents a happy Father’s Day.
“This shouldn't happen to us, but it did,” he said “ It's a wake up call for everybody out there that's watching out there. It's a wake up call. It can happen to any of us.”
Jovanni’s memorial service will take place on Saturday. The family is extremely grateful for all the support they have received.