"Brandon Is In Heaven"

A mother's pride is displayed on the Internet for Brandon Holt, the 6-year-old Toms River boy who was shot and killed by a 4-year-old

The words and pictures ran like a sad slide show, with each pithy thought, each hastily taken iPhone image illuminating every little milestone in Brandon Holt's very short life.

The Facebook page for Brandon's mom was supposed to be a place show pride. Now it's a memorial, with every mention of whatever Brandon did serving as the 6-year-old's happiest memories.

"Today my baby boy, Brandon, finished kindergarten and is now officially going in the 1st grade," wrote Christine Decker-Holt. "He is getting so big!"

So much more was said at the Carmona-Bolen Funeral Home, where the first services were held last month for Brandon, shot and killed by a 4-year-old playmate.

Many went there, or to the funeral services at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Toms River, to hear everything they could, and to share in any way posible.

They went to a candle light vigil following the services at Carmona-Bolen, where a march from the funeral home to Huddy Park was held to remember Brandon.

They heard crying, or cried themselves; they struggled to hold back when they went to see pictures of a kid who seemed to smile for every picture ever taken of him.

Many weren't be able to go, but would have like to, and not just friends and family. Many wished they could leave work, and wait in line for what could be hours, - and not just the people in Toms River, or the other Shore towns, who have been reading about this tragedy every day.

There were many, maybe thousands or more, who live across the country and heard about this, and can't believe that a 4-year-old gained access to a gun, let alone used it.

They went to see these pictures, and wished they could turn back time, and wish that Brandon could have been someplace else that night. They'll wished that somebody thought first before doing anything that allowed a 4-year-old to get his hands on a loaded weapon.

But for those who couldn't be there, there is a place for them to go, and cry.

On the Internet, in a public display, is a mother's pride: a Facebook page with publicly displayed memories that stopped suddenly after 2012, and stopped long before Brandon's own image was gone for good.

One look at it, and you'll see friends showing their profile photos, some of whom changed theirs from something of themselves to something of Brandon.

"You are such a gorgeous, talented, and intelligent boy who did not deserve to die so young," one wrote. "Rest In Peace Brandon Joseph Holt, I love you more than you'll ever know."

The pictures and the words go back to 2012 and before. One shows Brandon standing on a chair at Easter time, ready to dive into a basket of goodies at Easter.

"Looks like the Easter Bunny got a little carried away!" says the inscription. "Brandon is in Heaven!"

Then there is Brandon at a baseball game, maybe the Lakewood Blue Claws, giving a little wave with his little hand. Behind him are empty seats on a dark night, but Brandon's smile shines.

"That is a really cute picture," one commenter says.

"Omg it's a little Ron!!" another says.

There's so much more - kids walking in a Little League parade, carrying a banner with a big blue jay. Happy parents toasting each other.

But the ones that rise above them all are those of the little man with the toothy grin, a smile that will shine forever.

"I am so heartbroken," a commenter wrote, "to know I will never get the chance to speak to you again."

Bellanessa April 12, 2013 at 03:43 PM
how about a link to her facebook page?
Barbara April 12, 2013 at 03:50 PM
God watch over the family of Brandon. God please protect, and keep safe all of our children. Especially comfort the parents of Brandon. We are all hugging you tight. Hold on. God is with you. Brandon is with you. Hold on......
brokeninbayville April 12, 2013 at 03:51 PM
God bless Brandon and his family.
Amy Cavanaugh April 12, 2013 at 03:52 PM
Yes that would be terrific
betty Williams April 12, 2013 at 03:54 PM
There are no words to make this pain go away. There are so many heart's broken that time will not mend. This sweet beautiful little boy had his whole life ahead of him and now nothing but pain and sorrow for the loved ones left behind. As a Mother and Grandmother my heart is breaking for this family. My heart felt prayers go out to each and everyone left to live without this special light in their lives. Rest in Peace Brandon.
angie April 12, 2013 at 04:01 PM
God bless them all!
Tara LaFace April 12, 2013 at 04:08 PM
An absolute sin...I am unable to form any other words. Another blessing...gone forever. My heart breaks for his family..a mother who selflessly shared herself with her baby, my god will never be the same.
Dawn April 12, 2013 at 04:14 PM
God bless you and your family. You are in our thoughts and prayers. My child is in first grade at SJGS as well.
Tom Davis (Editor) April 12, 2013 at 05:00 PM
we're not providing that right now, out of respect for the family
PointGirl1 April 12, 2013 at 05:08 PM
My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this family and to Brandon's friends as well. This is so sad and so heart wrenching. I am a mother myself and can not even begin to imagine the pain of losing a child. I pray that today and the coming days that the family is comforted and will someday feel peace. RIP little Brandon. A child taken way too soon from this earth.
. April 12, 2013 at 05:11 PM
How about letting the family grieve in private? Facebook is ridiculous!
proudnot2bliberal April 12, 2013 at 05:25 PM
May God bless BOTH families both are going thru tremendous pain & suffering right now.
jessica April 12, 2013 at 05:46 PM
I can't even imagine the sorrow that this family has right now. I never met them or their angel, but every time I think of this tragic event I cry. I can not imagine the empty feeling they must have. I am unable attend tonight but the Holt family will be in my thoughts. I hope they receive the support that they need. I am so sorry for their loss
gail skinner April 12, 2013 at 05:47 PM
My prayers are with you.
Angelo April 12, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Can't imagine the pain the family is going through. What a senseless horrible loss.
parkway April 12, 2013 at 06:39 PM
I have a 6 year old grandson and a 4 year old and 2 year old grandaughter. My heart just breaks for you and your family. Brandon will always be your special angel in Heaven
Passing Through April 12, 2013 at 06:42 PM
If anyone knows the mother, when the time is right, please recommend for her to read a very short book (about 60 pages) called, "Coffee With My Brother" by R.A. Diane (she is on Facebook). It is available on Amazon.com (the reviews speak for the book) for $3.99 if she has a Kindle. If she does not, I would be glad to somehow get a paperback copy to her at no charge.
thomas gerrard April 12, 2013 at 06:45 PM
My prayers and condolences go out to brandon's family. May he rest in piece.
Jerzymom April 12, 2013 at 06:57 PM
Went to Brick HS with both parents. My deepest sympathy to Ronnie & Christine. There's just no words to ever heal their pain. Such a tragedy. RIP angel Brandon and your life lives on through others that you saved with your parents gracious decision to Donate your Organs.
Will April 12, 2013 at 08:42 PM
On the Today Show the mother of three girls that died in their CT home on Christmas Eve was a guest. She was asked, "How do you get through this?" She replied, "A book by Eden Alexander, M.D., a neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife, called: "Proof of Heaven"; and that her 4 year old daughter, Sara, appeared in the bathroom mirror! Telling her to cut it out and stop her crying. She was where she was supposed to be and is happy. I forgot the Mothers name...she was a CEO at a magazine, something like that...and her contractor boyfriend put the hot ambers from the fireplace outside against the house. Her three young daughters and her parents died in the fire. She was amazing to listen to.
mchristinejames April 12, 2013 at 11:35 PM
What a terrible tragedt to happen to a beautiful Angel. Dear Brandon is that Angel and is with God, in Heaven--God must have needed a Special Angel so He called Brandon home. My heart breaks for his family--Blessing to all- I will pray for them.
barbara April 12, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Just returned from the viewing, just can't find the words......RIP little guy
L April 13, 2013 at 12:49 AM
Blessings and peace to them all.
Rachel Tomasi April 13, 2013 at 08:20 AM
I am still heartbroken and never met any of them...so I really can not imagine how they feel besides that is is awful. My child was recently quite ill and had an Infection in her bone and joint if her ankle. She required surgery and 9 days in the Hospitsl as well as another month plus of IV broad spectrum antibiotics, is starting PT etc. this came out of nowhere, no obvious cut or way in for the germs. I know how scared I was she'd lose her foot (trouble even typing it) and watching her suffer the initial agony and then post surgery etc was not easy but she's ok by the grace of G-D. My point is that was so hard and is nothing compared to what these parents and grandparents aunts uncles and cousins are dealing with. They're in my thoughts and prayers very much. I mainly am posting to say though how wonderful that they were able through their grief to make the decision to donate and save other sick children from death (and more parents from going thru that loss) and from handicap such as blindness. They must be very special people.
june hearn April 13, 2013 at 11:40 AM
Rest in Peace Brandon
NancyInTR April 13, 2013 at 03:08 PM
Why do you ask?
Pioneer Hose Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary April 13, 2013 at 08:35 PM
I believe that the Northern Lights tonight are to show us the even in Heaven He is shining lights down to us. I bet most of the lights will be green.
Stevie April 14, 2013 at 03:07 AM
They both shouldn't be... It was totally gross negligence against and on the 4 year old parents. Prayers go out to the Holt Family...RIP Brandon...you are GOD'S newest angel. I do feel bad for the 4 year old because it is not his fault that his parents left guns all over the house that he was able to get his hands on. The blame should always be on them. Hopefully they will move so this 4 year old will not be reminded over and over by someone what he did when he was four and possibly forget what happened.
Heather B April 15, 2013 at 05:18 AM


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