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Brihana Landrum, a tragic loss for all

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Brihana Landrum, a tragic loss for all

Brihana Landrum graduated in Spring 2018.
Photo courtesy of Mary Landrum

Brihana Landrum graduated in Spring 2018.

Photo courtesy of Mary Landrum

Brihana Landrum graduated in Spring 2018.

Photo courtesy of Mary Landrum

Brihana Landrum graduated in Spring 2018.

Photo courtesy of Mary Landrum

Sonia Garcia

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Her big round eyes looked ahead to the future, and she smiled at the thought of working with children. She never failed to smile when making her family proud. Her thoughts were filled with compassion, love and integrity, and no one imagined she would be gone so young.
Brihana Landrum, Texas State alumna died Feb. 17 after her ex-boyfriend allegedly shot her. In the 24 years she lived, she touched many in her community. Over 700 people attended the funeral service and her family has been touched by the amount of support the community has offered.

Her parents, Bret and Mary Landrum, said they are extremely proud of their daughter’s accomplishments and can only envision the fulfilled life she was going to live.

Brihana was a woman of Christ. She didn’t stray from talking about God and would invite people to join the church. At the age of 12, she began volunteering at her church’s children’s ministry and became a Sunday school teacher, which sparked her love for children.

“We’re certain she’s in heaven,” Mary said. “She did a lot of good in her short life and I know that she was very grounded in her faith.”

Working with children became her life. Once Brihana got a taste of accomplishment, she craved it over and over. She always wanted to outdo her two older brothers, Ryan Bret and Corey Shea.

On her maternal side, she took pride in being the first grandchild to earn her degree. She took on every challenge with unmatched elegance and set an example for her many cousins.

She never complained of how many commitments she had, only smiled, happy to be alive.

Brihana’s long term goal was to open a daycare for families who did not have the means for paying a daycare. Ever since she became involved with her church and a local daycare, her heart told her she had a purpose. And she needed to help the families who felt like no one else would.

She led a project at her church for single parents. Twice a month, parents would drop off their young children and she would watch them for four hours on a Saturday, free of cost. The Landrums plan on continuing this project in their daughters honor.

Brihana was last working with Jewell, an Oldcastle company. She started as a sales representative and learned her way around the company efficiently. After talking with senior management, her parents discovered she was going to get a management position only three days after her passing.

Her father and she had a talk about her managing Jewell for a chapter of her life and this would lead to her starting her daycare.

Lupe Rocha, Mary’s sister, said Brihana’s parents pushed her to be who she was. She didn’t do anything without involving family first.

“She wanted to make her mom and her dad proud in everything she did,” Rocha said. “It was always what is my mom going to think and what is my dad going to think.”

Brihana was only days away from taking her test to receive her masters degree in family and child studies. She completed all the course work last spring. She had also previously received her bachelor of science in family and consumer sciences at Texas State.

As a graduate student, Brihana contributed to the alcance project. Her research encouraged Latino students to excel in school.

The School of Family and Consumer Sciences and the Landrums have been in contact about a private ceremony for Brihana to officially receive her masters degree.

Her next step in furthering her education was a decision she had not yet made. She was enticed by the idea of getting her MBA, but was also considering continuing her family and child studies in a doctorate program.

She told her family she would be “Dr. Flaka,” her childhood nickname. Dr. Flaka was going to go far.

Brihana, like all, fell in love. A first love that was untelling of a fatal future.

“There was no indication this was going to happen,” Bret said. “We want to make her goals a reality,” Mary said.

Before she went to work on Wednesday, her father told her “Have a great day at work,” and she then parted ways. The Sunday of the incident her mother gave her a hug, kiss and a “I love you,” as they went about their days. No party knew those would be the last words they shared.

Mary and Bret said they had a beautiful relationship with their daughter.

1,400 viewed the live stream of Brihana’s memorial and Bret said that is a testament of her and the way she touched everyone she knew. When people met her, they absolutely adored her according to Bret.

Like many, Paul Diaz, senior pastor at Southwest Christian Church wrote a Facebook post about Briana after her death.

“The Kingdom is larger for her service and we all are better for having known her,” Diaz said. “She made a difference; not just for a day or even a year, but for eternity.”

She acted justly, love tenderly and walked humbly.

Brihana was cremated on Feb. 28. After the Landrum family received her ashes a memorial mass was held on March 8. Southwest Christian Church set up a memorial fund for the Landrums.

Brihana lived and continues to live on through Proverbs 31:25.

“She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise and she gives instructions with kindness.”

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Brihana Landrum, a tragic loss for all