Students at Jubilee Academy started their Memorial Day weekend with memories of their late classmate, Randy Guzman, on their minds.
They took part in a memorial service at the charter school Friday morning, recalling the second grader who loved to play video games and give out hugs.
"He was a very loving little boy," said his mother, Diana Guzman. "It's been hard."
Randy died suddenly last month after being diagnosed with a brain tumor in December.
"It's very touching that the school decided to do this for my son, in memory of him," his mother said. "He'd probably say, 'Oh that's so beautiful. That's so nice.' Or he'd probably be screaming and jumping and dancing."
Members of Randy's second-grade class, along with their teacher, sang a song written in his memory.
Along with the rest of the student body, they also released balloons in the school colors of blue and white.
"We played tag. We played hide-and-seek and we used to wrestle a lot," said Samika Perkins, a classmate. "It's so sad to see him right now, but he's watching us from up there."
Family members also took part in the service, helping with the planting of a tree in the school's front yard.
His former teacher, Adriana DeLeon, described Randy as a great student.
"Always helping everybody and never had anything mean to say. Very kind and caring," DeLeon said. "There really was no one else like Randy."
DeLeon said it has been difficult, trying to explain the 8-year-old's death to his classmates.
Many of them have been struggling with their grief, she said.
"It was pretty sudden," DeLeon said. "Some of them will just randomly cry. I'll ask them (why they're crying) and they'll tell me, 'Oh it's because that song reminds me of Randy.'"
At the end of the service, Jubilee's principal, Cheryl Stewart, encouraged students to cherish every moment.
"Life is short," she said. "Don't waste time being mad or upset. You've got to love everyone."
An account has been set up to help the Guzman family with expenses related to the death. Donations are being accepted at
The account is listed in the name of Randy Guzman under "find fundraisers."

To view a list of stories done by Katrina Webber, click here.