There's nothing like escaping the thick city air and heading to the country side for some one-on-one time with nature.
Father Malik Williams loved being outdoors and wanted to pass that love on to his young 6-year-old-boy, Jaden.
Alongside mother Heather and the couple's newborn baby, Joziah, they headed out for some good old fishing on a recent June day.
Malik had a tough upbringing. He was adopted when he was just a baby, and as soon as he was 18, he was thrown out on the street by his adoptive family. He had difficulty finding a permanent job, but one thing was for sure. He was a wonderful family father and his kids were his everything.
Malik and his girlfriend Heather had taken their two little boys to a lake near their home. Malik and 6-year-old Jaden went out to fish while Heather sat in the car to breastfeed Joziah, who was just two-weeks-old.
16-year-old Riley Gomez was also by the lake. He loved taking pictures and snapped some shots of Malik and Jaden during the evening as they stood on the dock.
“I just saw this father and son bond. I thought it was a really nice thing," Gomez told Today. "They weren’t really talking. His son was just sitting on the dock drinking a Pepsi, watching his dad and looking at the river.”
But when he photographed the father and son, he didn't know that it would be the last picture taken of Malik. A tragedy was about to unfold.
Heather soon heard Malik yell Jaden's name. The young boy had accidentally fallen into the water. And though Malik couldn't swim himself, he instinctively jumped into the water to save his son. A passerby quickly showed up and managed to help rescue Jaden.
But when he tried to reach Malik, he had already disappeared with the strong current. He was gone.
“He didn’t even hesitate. He would do everything and anything for Jaden," Heather told Today as she tried to hold back the tears.
Heather's only comfort now in this time of immense sorrow are the beautiful photographs shot by a stranger of Malik peacefully fishing with his son.
It's really tragic that Jaden and Joziah will have to grow up without their beloved dad.
Share if you also think that Malik is a hero for giving up his own life to save his son's.