http://WAFB.images.worldnow.com/interface/js/WNVideo.js?rnd=146031302;hostDomain=www.wafb.com;playerWidth=630;playerHeight=355;isShowIcon=true;clipId=12712471;flvUri=;partnerclipid=;adTag=News;advertisingZone=;enableAds=true;landingPage=;islandingPageoverride=;playerType=STANDARD_EMBEDDEDscript;controlsType=fixedWAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, SportsThe widow of Matthew Gerald, one of three Baton Rouge, Louisiana, policemen killed in a July ambush, says her late husband left her with a “very special gift.”
“I just wanted to let the world know about our gift that Matt left behind when he left us,” Dechia Gerald told WAFB, in a story that aired this week. “We are expecting.”
Matthew, 41, was killed on July 17 when police say 29-year-old Gavin Long opened fire on a highway.
Matthew leaves behind two children – but Dechia says his legacy will now include three.
She told WAFB that while the pregnancy is a “blessing” and a “very special gift,” she can’t help but feel overwhelmed.
“How am I going to do this by myself without him?” she said.
Dechia said it was her two daughters, Dawclyn, 9, and 3-year-old Fynleigh, who seemed to know about the pregnancy first – with Dawclyn breaking the news while her mom worked to find an outfit to her husband’s funeral.
“She said, ‘Mommy, I don’t know why you’re complaining,’ ” Dechia recalled Dawclyn saying. “She said, ‘Because you’re pregnant,’ and I said, ‘Girl, hush.’ ”
Days later, Dechia said, little Fynleigh told her there was a “baby boy in my tummy.”
So the mom of two took a pregnant test and confirmed her daughters’ speculations. But the news was bittersweet.
“I wanted to cry, but at the same time, it’s kind of exciting,” Dechia said. “Then the flood of knowing all of the firsts that he would miss with that one.”
Story Behind the Story: Speaking With the Families of the 3 Slain Baton Rouge Officers
Dechia, now 10-weeks pregnant, said she believes the child was conceived just five days before Matthew’s death. She noted that, due to his busy schedule, she was surprised she even got that night with him.
“Did I ever think that we were going to have our time cut short? No,” Dechia said. “Did I want to be a widow at 38 years old? No.”
Still, Dechia said she is grateful for what Matthew left behind.
“There’s no better gift that a husband could leave behind than a baby, a gift from God,” she told WAFB. “There’s no better gift than that.”