There are not many things that are stronger than a mother’s love. Actress and television personality Sherri Shepherd took to Instagram with a heartfelt message about her son, Jeffrey Jr. In her statement, Shepherd prays for kindness and well-wishes towards her son, whom she reveals is “on the spectrum.”
Sherri Shepherd and her former husband became the parents of Jeffrey Charles Tarpley, Jr., in April 2005. However, according to PEOPLE’s Celebrity Baby Blog, the baby was born prematurely and weighed in at just 1 lb 10oz. Baby Jeffrey continued to face challenges as he was placed in the NICU for four months before being released. PEOPLE continued to report on Jeffrey’s fragile immune system and increasing weekly therapy as he dealt with various issues.
The former View co-host has been candid about her struggles in the past. Shepherd’s personal life has been heavy in the press, including her raging custody battles with her previous husbands. In a September 2019 post to Instagram, Sherri Shepherd shared a truthful post that expressed the rough “transition” period she’d been facing. In the caption, Shepherd spoke about raising a moody teenager and asked anyone who happened to come across his father to tell him she needs help.
While she claimed to be in the middle of a “mental mind depression,” Shepherd seemed somewhat hopeful. “[I’m] always hustling… I never stop grinding,” she wrote. “Always making you laugh but sometimes behind the smile… holding onto the promises of #jesus for dear life… taking my pain and making it funny at a comedy club.”
And with the heaviness that life has to offer, Shepherd often shares her love for her son. In 2007, the actress was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and she credits her son Jeffrey Jr. for waking her up and saving her life. Shepherd told PEOPLE in a July 2021 interview that her 16-year-old son “motivates me every day” and is “always encouraging.”
However, he doesn’t allow his mother to share pictures of him regularly. Nevertheless, in a recent and very vulnerable post to Instagram, Sherri Shepherd shared three brand new photos of herself being hugged by Jeffrey, but not without his permission, of course. “He has forbidden me to post or talk about him publicly,” she wrote. “When [Jeffrey] hugged me, I almost lost it,” said Sherri Shepherd. The comedian stated that she flew back home immediately following the taping of The Wendy Williams Show because she missed him so much.
“Sometimes I just cry out to Jesus because I have no clue what I am doing with a boy who has now become a young man,” she admitted. Shepherd shared that she is in constant prayers for her beautiful son and hopes that everybody who encounters him will “look past their dislike of his beautiful chocolate skin and see the innocence in his eyes and the smile that comes so easily to his face.”
The former Masked Singer contestant further stated her prayers for a genuine circle around him. “I pray that God will give him friends that accept his unique quirkiness and that him being “on the spectrum” won’t make people shy away from him,” she wrote.” Shepherd also asked for guidance and patience to help her “understand how his brain works,” and asks the same for others. Furthermore, Shepherd’s prayers extended to when her son encounters girls. What a beautiful and touching message from a mother to her son! Shepherd’s heartwarming message can be seen on her Instagram page in full by clicking the image below.