Tragedy


My mind has been in a vortex of mixed emotions this past week.  Upon returning from a family vacation in Michigan, it seems a river of sadness was about to wash over the hair on my head. When the wheels of my car crossed the bridge of the muddy Mississippi, my St. Louis town together with its people were about to change.

Yes, another young black man was killed by a white man in our country.  This time it happened in Middle America, about thirty minutes north of my home.  It’s been nearly a week yet the city that I love is still in turmoil.  Protesters are in the streets day and night.  Anger is palpable, not only seen but felt.  Tear gas blinds. News anchors run.  Fear is here.

Reports on CNN differ from hour to hour, day to day.  Who is correct, what is the real story?  Bottom line, a tragedy has occurred.  Life has been snuffed out.  A boy has been lost forever.  “Justice,” rings aloud from the crowd…over and over again.

As a white woman, I will not pretend to know what it feels like to live in a black body.  I do not.  Still, I am human, I am a mother, and I live in a house located in a neighborhood where families are raised. I feel empathy.

My husband’s best friend of 25 years is a black man who lives in Jacksonville, Florida.  Our families have vacationed together and visited each other’s homes on several different occasions.  A few days ago, he called to say he does not understand why the protesting continues.  The dead boy’s neighborhood is being destroyed.  “Hasn’t enough harm been done,” he asked?

Not long ago, this same neighborhood is where I soaked the spirit of children’s imaginations while helping to encourage emotions on paper.  Families were enthused at the prospect of their children’s lives lighting up.  The community was on an upswing.  My article, Writing Stars was inspired on that day, http://wp.me/p41md8-11W.  I remember my husband stopping at the local ‘Quick Trip’ for a large plastic glass of iced tea.  Today, it is the site of “Ground Zero.”

The police here and politicians all over the country are still investigating.  I pray for peace, for no one else to get hurt.  Who knows what the real story is, or when justice will happen, whatever that may be?  I only know a piece of my city looks like a war zone.  War kills.  Haven’t we had enough of d.e.a.t.h.?

“Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.”  John Fitzgerald Kennedy

 

 

24 thoughts on “Tragedy

  1. It is really difficult when something this tragic visits where you live. It leaves us wondering why and in this case “What really happened?” I hope that the leaders in your community can stop the violence and facilitate healing…and prevention.

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  2. I have Black friends and acquaintances as well and with every unjustified death I have this awful feeling that comes over me. I seriously would change my skin to brown if I could in solidarity with those that have been wronged. I just feel helpless and powerless to do a single thing to stop this senseless waste of lives.

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    • Those are exactly the feelings I have, “helpless and powerless.” Thank you for your great, insightful comment. I am on the outside looking in, unable to help in any way.

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  3. As always it’s a sad situation when someone dies like this. I’m an outsider and wonder if it were a black policeman would the present situation be any different? All people outside of the area can do is watch what is fed into the newsrooms. What’s even worse is how the mob soon turn their anger from the situation at hand to looting liquor stores and electrical outlets. How does this behaviour bring any credence to their demonstrating. You see it all over the world, someone dies, righteous indignation, lets loot the heck out of the town/city etc. It’s a crazy world Kim.
    laurie.

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    • I feel so sad for the family who has lost a son, sad too, for those whose neighborhood is being destroyed by a few. This is not what anyone wants..looting, stealing, destruction. Today. the National Guard has been called in to end this “War.” Yes, Laurie a crazy world we live in. I have no answers for what is right or wrong. Just bring everyone peace, I pray.

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      • Never ending. Sounds to be justified, but who am I to judge? It seems there was more peace for the neighborhood residents, last night. I thank God for that. Pray for children to come home, to play free again, go to school and sleep at night.

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      • Laurie….so much more than violence to learn. Even little babies are in mother’s arms when protesting late, late at night. How I wish I could tuck them in to bed, read a story or hush them a lullaby, instead.

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      • I can’t sleep at night. On every local and nationwide channel. Hurting so for all of the families together with the policemen who are trying to do good for the residents. A few bad ‘bad apples’ on both sides giving everyone a bad name. Hoping all will come together in the name of peace and harmony. Praying something will be learned to better lives in the future.

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  4. Your tragedy is being followed here in Australia.
    Sad that the violence continues with no common ground of resolution.
    Unfortunately Kim this is not the first case nor will be the last.
    Emu

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