Feeling Some Kinda Way

Posted by in Diary | 2 comments

Childbirth is ironic, isn’t it? A mother carries life for 9-months, the effects on her body are astounding, the pain of delivery is excruciating. Yet, when a mother loses her child, the pain felt during birth is eclipsed by the unfathomable pain of her child’s life being taken away.

February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin was killed.  He was a 17-year-old African-American boy who was fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida.  My first born son had just turned 6-months old.

July 17, 2014, Eric Garner died in New York City, after a police officer put him in a choke hold for 15-seconds.  Three weeks later, on August 9, 2014, Michael Brown was killed. He was an 18-year-old African-American boy, fatally shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.  My oldest son was preparing to turn 3 yrs. old and I was pregnant with my twin boys.

On my birthday, April 4, 2015, Walter Scott Jr., an African-American man was killed after a South Carolina Officer shot him eight times in the back. Two weeks later, on April 19, 2015, Freddie Gray died of a severe spinal cord injury after Baltimore City police arrested him.

black-lives-matter2My stomach turns as I recall the stories and see the news footage. In my head I repeat the words, “If not for the grace of God there go I”. These men were someone’s husband, father, brother, …son. A son. They were once infants. A woman carried them in her womb for 9-months, to later watch them killed. The horror. I weep. I weep as a mother of three beautiful black boys. I weep for my husband who leaves out the door every morning with the very real thought that his life could be taken.

There are moments when you just want to get away.  But, on June 17 , 2015, two-days after taking the boys to South Carolina for the first time to visit with their great-grandparents, nine people were killed by a gunman at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. My world seemed to be spinning out of control and before I could catch my breath, one month later, on July 13, 2015, Sandra Bland, an African-American woman was found dead in a jail cell in Waller County, Texas. She was arrested for a failure to signal a lane change. News surfaced as my husband and I were planning my son’s four year birthday party, just a few days after our twins turned 21-months.

It feels unreal. There are moments throughout my day that I am dizzy with despair. It’s hard to focus or channel the anxiety.

I was driving home last week, listening to a comedy station on Pandora and I heard Louis C.K’s bit on The Food Chain:

“It must be awful to be other stuff. I’m glad I’m this {pointing at himself}. This is a pretty good deal considering the alternatives. …anything else, any other kind of thing and you’re in the food chain, YOU ARE IN THE FOOD CHAIN! We’re out of the food chain. I don’t know if we {human beings} fully appreciate the fact that we got out of the food chain – that is a massive upgrade, because for every other living thing, life ends by being eaten…that’s how all life ends. That’s every single life except human life, every life ends like this, Ahhh Ahhhh – AHHHHH! We’re the only ones that get to just die old in a bed like, “I love you, bye”.

food-web-forestImmediately, I burst out laughing, which then faded to one of those soft, closed mouth chuckles. You know that sound you make when you’ve come face-to-face with irony. As a mother of three little boys and a loving husband, I can’t help but feel like it’s hunting season on black lives, and we’re at the bottom of the food chain. Of course, that’s not what Louie is referencing. He’s talking about lions chasing down wildebeest and spiders trapping flies, but in that moment I felt a strong comparison.

I’ve sat-up nights wringing my hands with my head hung low, weighed by fear. How can I protect my sons…my husband…my family…myself? But, that’s when I lean on faith and love. Believe me, I don’t wear rose colored glasses, but I do know that I can’t change a negative situation with bad feelings. Yes, evil exists, and it would be a disservice to my children if I did not make them aware of the darkness in this world, but as my father taught me, “When faced with evil doings, you can either allow it to make you bitter or better— and I choose the latter. If not for myself, than for all those lives lost.

My diary entry is this…“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness”.~Desmond Tutu

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  1. This right here touched me in many ways. I lost my son to the mean streets of Baltimore on Sept. 25, 2014. My life is forever changed as I am now raising his 1 year old son. My heart goes out to all the mothers you speak of. There is NO LOVE like a mothers love for her child. Your writing inspires me & also puts a smile on my face, especially when you speak of S-Dot:) TAKE CARE

    • Margo, It means so much that you would share this with me, and it also empowers me in ways you will never imagine. Though I CAN NOT walk in your shoes, I am humbled by your journey and amazed by your strength. Thank you for supporting MOD.

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