Michele Weed-Brown lost her step-mother, Patricia Weed, three years ago right before Mother's Day.
"I would tell her happy birthday, and happy Mother's Day. And I love you. And Jesus loves you," said Weed-Brown.
It took her a long time to find those words and forgiveness. In 1998, her step-mother shot and killed her father, Michael Weed. Patricia Weed was sentenced to life in prison.
"This was a horrible, horrible, situation and crime that happened to our family," said Weed-Brown.
At the time, Weed-Brown was dealing with drug and alcohol addition. Her life was spiraling out of control, she said, and her father's sudden death only made matters worse.
"I had just had a lot of rejection and abandonment in my life. This was another form of abandonment, being devastated by knowing that I would never have my dad back in my life," she said.
Eventually, Weed-Brown turned to God and began to strip her life of toxic relationships and unhealthy habits.
As a born-again Christian, she also said she began to consider forgiveness.
Thirteen years after her father's death, Weed-Brown wrote Patricia Weed a letter in prison.
"The tears soaked the papers, and I almost had to write it again. All the chains were broke. And I had to get it off my chest how angry I was at my father. I forgave him. How angry I was at her. I forgave her," said Weed-Brown.
Letters eventually led to visits. And later, Weed-Brown even appealed for her step-mother's parole.
"It was only by the Holy Spirit and the love of Christ that I was able to do that. Otherwise, it would be completely impossible," she said.
Patricia Weed, in failing health, was paroled after serving 20 years of her life sentence. She died in Kenosha in 2019.
Today, Weed-Brown is a mother and a pastor. She's working with God Touch Milwaukee, a church and home for men after prison, to start her own ministry.
They're currently looking for a building on the South Side. It will help women readjust to society after incarceration.