MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In their Parkland home, Peter Wang’s family still have his room as it was: photos, memories, awards honoring the hero.
奋不顾身，舍己救人 – written on one plaque, translated in Chinese: sacrificing oneself to save others.READ MORE: Arrest Made After Social Media Threat Targets Marjory Stoneman Douglas High
Peter’s mom Hui has gone into the room every single day since February 14, 2018. She sits in silence. She cries. She looks around, full of longing.
“Maybe I lie to myself,” said Wang, in Chinese Mandarin. “Maybe it makes me feel like I’m with him.”
Hui has thought about moving or just putting his stuff away.
“But I can’t let it go,” said Wang. “This is the room he loved. This is the house he loved. If I put it away, I won’t think about him? That’s impossible. This pain is forever in my heart.”
Peter attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School just so he could be a part of their Junior ROTC program. The proud Chinese American boy dreamed of serving his country.
He did serve, selflessly.
Peter died holding the door open during the mass shooting, so everyone else could escape and get to safety.
“He did something heroic, but people are quick to forget,” said Wang. “As his mother, I’ll never forget.”
Wang broke down in tears, explaining that her feelings as a mother are complicated.READ MORE: CBS4 Exclusive: Support Beams At Dadeland Mall Parking Garage Alarms Shoppers
“In my heart, I feel guilty. Why did I raise him to be this honorable? But I would raise him this way again. This is my selfish thinking as a mother in pain.”
Wang said she tries to not cry in front of people but when she’s alone, she grieves every night.
“That’s when I cry if I want to cry. Look at photos if I want to look at photos,” said Wang. “Looking at my family now, I feel like we are missing.”
For Wang, living with the grief hasn’t gotten any easier. If anything, it’s been the opposite.
“Sometimes, it hurts so much. I want to leave to be with him,” said Wang. “I don’t understand why God has been so unfair to me. In this lifetime, I’ve never hurt anyone. I don’t want to face it. I’m in disbelief. The first year or two, maybe feels like it wasn’t this painful. Because the longer I don’t see him, the more I have to accept the truth.”
Peter was just a freshman. Wang said she found all of his future plans in his drawer after he passed.
“His sophomore year, his junior year… what college he dreamed of going to. He had his life planned out through his twenties,” said Wang.
Peter’s dream school was the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He was posthumously admitted into the Class of 2025 the day after he was buried in uniform.
Peter would have started college this year.MORE NEWS: Florida Farmers Grapple With Transportation Problems
“He was braver than even we knew,” said Wang.