Services today for 7-year-old drowning victim

Published: .
Updated: .
Javon Shaw was with friends, trying to pick water lilies when he drowned. He was 7 years old.

“We just got to hold on to God's unchanging hand. We got to hold to his hand,” said James Echols, Javon’s grandfather.

Services for Shaw are today. Visitation is from 10 a.m. to noon at St. Paul Brightwood United Methodist Church and the service is at noon.

At the very site of his death, an Avon retention pond, his family and friends and even strangers came together Sunday for a prayer vigil to remember 7 years and 4 days filled with joy.

“He had nothing but good days.” Said his father Jerome Shaw, “God made sure of it because he knew when he wanted him to come home he made sure his short life was filled with as much happiness as possible and that gives me comfort to know he was always happy.”

There were “thank-yous” to those who tried to save Javon but above all, the hope that his death was not in vain.

“So times like these, as tough as they are, they give us opportunity,” explained Pastor John Girton Jr., a family friend.

Opportunity to explain, even to the youngest, the value of life and the answer to the question: what happens when we die.

“When we pass away, you plant us in the ground, and we come back as memories and good times...and that's a good thing!” explained Pastor Girton.

At least 30 Hoosiers have drowned this year in open water - 12 of them under the age of 18. Javon's family said they are working with IPS, IndyParks and the YMCA to provide free swim lessons to children, especially in urban areas.