Currently the greatest sadness in the media is the verdict or the lack of a verdict in Ferguson, Mo. History yet again is being repeated in mighty proportions. The message is clear with anger uncut and raw for many Americans especially African Americans. City officials are not sure what direction to go in all the while grasping at straws. The pain is unimaginable for anyone who has not experienced it personally, the loss of a child in any capacity.I raised 2 sons. Raising black children in the 80’s and 90’s had its own set of chaos. Drugs, gang violence, unwanted teenage pregnancies and murder. As a mother I lived in fear and sadness.
Fear of the unknown for my sons even though I raised them with all I had. Fear of the streets being more appealing than the discipline administered at home and the needs that were met. Fear of that phone call telling me that one or both of my sons were dead due to gang violence. Fear because the street in so many ways did have a grasp. Fear that I would either visit the cemetery or the prison. Fear as a mother is like a hot knife jabbed into the very pit of your soul and all you can do is feel its fire destroy everything thing that you knew and understood. And then there is the sadness.
Sadness that there were no real and consistent role models that walked the talk. Sadness that I could not hold my sons hands through life into adulthood. Sadness that my efforts at love, care, and discipline would be slammed back in my face. I stood tall and strong yet, small and weak. I screamed as I cursed the devil and everything that laid a claim on my son’s lives and future.
Sadness because I was alone and living it alone, so I thought. But God. He heard my screams. He saw my fear. He saw my despair and today my sons are now 34 and 31. No rap sheets, no bullets holes, no looking over their backs at what might happen but looking forward at what can happen. They are making it happen. They are choosing what is important. They are fathers. They can apply, compete and obtain employment because they are educated and can pass a background check. They walked out of the fire just as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Daniel chapter 3. God was right with them all the time and at every turn. All due to a mothers never ending prayers and His unfailing love. All because I kept a knee in the backs and was very firm about life. I would always tell them there are consequences for every decision you make be it good or bad, it is on you and it affects others. So choose wisely. I would also tell them the very choices they make will follow them for the rest of their lives. I can only pray that it stuck. LOL I can hear it now, aww mom.
We are in a fight for our children’s lives and our children’s children’s lives. We must show them without a shadow of doubt that destruction is not the answer to problems. That the choices do not fade away and will not be forgotten. Riots solve nothing but create a whole set of other hardships aside from the injustice felt. Take the time to talk to your children and any other child who will listen and share with them the gifts of the spirit, 1 Corinthians 12. Tell your children and family you love them as often as you can. Teach them that violence begets violence and that no one wins.
The change does start with us. It starts with an attitude. Will that attitude be negative or positive.