Like many people in America, I watched the decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.
I watched Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch render the findings of the grand jury through the lens of a Black man, a parent and a grandparent. Losing a child as a result of these circumstances has to be gut wrenching.
For some months now I have been focusing on Lesley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown. Every day since the shooting, his mother has had to carry this unimaginable burden of losing her son.
Many years ago now, crooner Teddy Pendergrass sang the words, “wake up everybody, no more sleeping in bed, no more backward thinking time for thinking ahead. The world has changed so very much from what it used to be.” Has the world changed?
McSpadden from the day of the shooting has done her best to maintain her poise and her dignity. I can only imagine what she has gone through. Mind you, she will be up and down this emotional cliff for the rest of her life.
How will she survive? All of us have an opinion and some advice for her. I must believe that she is a believer. With that as a foundation, she along with her family must look to the One who sits high and looks low. As unbearable as this is He will not allow her to suffer without buttressing her with His grace and His mercy.
Death is uncompromising and we will all face it. The problem with this death is that it was highly questionable and suspicious. Now Michael’s mom has to re-live this tragic set of circumstances each day.
I hope that she will contact the mother of Trayvon Martin and I hope that she will contact the mother of Jordan Davis. Both are the mothers of sons whose lives were cut short by tragic circumstances and poor decisions by adults.
Mothers are nurturers and that is how they live their lives. I suspect the mothers of Michael, Jordan and Trayvon have lost a part of who they are.
McSpadden may begin a movement to develop stronger ties between the police and the community. I am sure she is asking herself a number of what if questions. What if her son had not gone into that store? What if Wilson had used more restraint? These questions along with some others will haunt her for months, maybe years to come.
Whatever she does the pain will stay in her heart. Will she be able to compartmentalize the pain? The answer is only time will tell.
We can all speculate about the events of that fateful day but we don’t have to speculate about the pain Michael Brown’s mother is feeling.
If you are a mother or a grandmother talk to your Black male child about what happened in Ferguson, Missouri. What can we all do to help these young boys stay out of harm’s way. These shootings and killings are happening much too frequently.
If you are non-Black, talk with your children about these events and how they can be a generation that looks at a person’s character and not his skin color. Lessons taught to our children early on will help them later on.
These recent deaths involving our youth in this country must be discussed in a variety of settings including schools. We cannot pretend these events didn’t happen and sweep them under the rug. Our youth want to add their voices to this conversation so we must allow them to have their say.
As we know the holiday season can be difficult for some families, I would suspect McSpadden previously had been thinking about Christmas with her son. Who would have thought there would be no Christmas for Michael Brown and his mother together?
When Michael’s mother awakens on Christmas morning what will she be thinking?
I can only imagine.