Simon Cico's mother is scared of what her life will be like without her cheerful little boy, and she's raising funds to create a memorial for him after his death in what police describe as an apparent murder-suicide.
"I just think about Simon so much," said his mother. CBC Toronto has agreed to withhold her name to protect her privacy.
"He's in mind every day, every minute. I still don't believe Simon is gone, I just don't believe that."
Police discovered the six-year-old's body, along with the body of his father, Zlatan Cico, 58, inside the father's East York apartment on July 31.
Simon, who lived with his mother, was on a routine weekend visit with his dad at the time he was killed.
Only family in Canada
Originally from China, Simon was his mother's only family in Canada. She's now struggling with grief and the realization her child isn't coming home.
Simon loved trains and everything about the TTC, she said, and he often travelled with her to school, shopping and community centres.
"I always imagine he'll jump out and say, 'Mom, I'm here. Let's go take a TTC bus or subway.'"
She says his father also took him on the TTC frequently and adds that Simon enjoyed staying with his dad who she felt was the male role model her son needed.
"That's why I wanted him to stay with his dad, because it would make me feel better."
But with Simon now gone, she finds herself tearfully lamenting the life that he didn't get to have — growing up, getting married and having children of his own.
"I didn't want him to be a great guy — just a regular guy," she said. "That's what I hoped for. I didn't expect this in six years. It's too short."
Simon had just graduated from senior kindergarten and was looking forward to starting Grade 1 in September. Now his mother is hoping to keep her son's memory alive with a memorial at his school.
Her friend Glenn Watson set up a GoFundMe campaign to pay for funeral costs and says it has received an "overwhelming response." So much so, they decided to extend the campaign to create the memorial.
They have not yet contacted Simon's public school in Scarborough, but they think planting a tree with a memorial plaque could be a fitting tribute.
The child's mother also wants to set up a fund to financially support students at the school who can't pay for supplies or class trips.
So far the GoFundMe campaign has raised $22,000 of its $30,000 goal.
His mother says she just wants everyone to remember Simon as a great boy.
"He made my life so cheerful. I just want to do anything for him."