Micki Davis had six children of her own and lots of grandchildren. But many others also saw the 63-year-old Wichita woman as “Mom,” her kids say.
“She was motherly to everybody,” her daughter Jacona Gillespie said Thursday.
“You felt like family with her. She hugged you. When people walked into a room, they went and hugged my mom first. People were drawn to her.”
As Micki’s family goes through photos, preparing for her funeral Friday afternoon, it seems like every image shows Micki with a child, often on her hip.
Some of her children’s friends are coming in from out of state because Micki meant so much to them.
“All-American mother,” her daughter says.
And that is part of the pain they are feeling from the sudden and shocking loss of a woman who nurtured so many.
Jacona understands that her mother’s horrific death this past Sunday is drawing attention, “is in the news.”
Wichita police say an ex-girlfriend of one of Micki’s sons attacked Micki with a knife and decapitated her when she went to the woman’s home to retrieve property. Micki’s 9-year-old grandson, who was with her as the attack began, fled the house on West Rita and used a cellphone to call for help.
It would be an injustice for people to remember only the murder defendant’s name and not her mother’s, Jacona said.
So Jacona and family and friends are using #justiceformicki in their social media postings.
A Go Fund Me page has been established to raise money for Micki’s funeral and estate. (Search #justiceformicki.)
One of Micki’s oldest sons, 42-year-old Jeremy Rush, tried to think of the most fitting words to describe his mother Thursday. “Modest” is one. She didn’t like to be in a spotlight.
“All this hoopla over her – she’d probably be mad at us,” he said.
She taught him a lesson when he was 11 or 12.
They were walking from a Dillons store as an older woman grappled with a large bag of dog food.
“Jeremy, go help that lady out,” Micki directed her son.
Later, Micki asked him whether it felt good to help someone.
She wanted him to understand that he needed to be able to lend a hand – on his own initiative and for the rest of his life, not just that day.
“She was teaching me to be a good person,” he said.
“You don’t brag about being good,” she taught him. “You just should be good.”
She lived in a “small, little old house,” he said, and dressed simply and for comfort, in sundresses and flip-flops.
“Nothing meant anything to her except people,” said another son, Sammy Barnett.
Micki told people she had her knees replaced so she could keep pace with her grandchildren. Jacona remembered how her mother could make a trip to the discount store a fun outing for her grandchildren.
“She was selfless,” Sammy said.
Micki just recently cleaned his home so he could move to another.
She was the one who watched everybody’s pets when they left town.
“The only thing that she did for herself – ever – was go to the casino, which was not very often,” Sammy said. If Micki won, she gave the money away.
Jeremy said he realizes that the family had a motto: “Just call Mom.”
Her daughter recently suffered through a temporary but miserable illness.
The 37-year-old called her mother. “Mom, I need you,” Jacona told Micki.
“And she was over here in five minutes,” Jacona recalled.
“She laid with me, and she held me.
“The loving arms of your mother – there’s nothing better than that.”