Thirteen. That was how many times my mother stood and collapsed at my brother Eddie's funeral. He was so full of mischief, magic, and life, so very full of life. Eddie was seventeen years old, just like Trayvon Martin. Had it not been for her three surviving devastated, disoriented adolescent daughters, my mother would have died too. I know this to be true, as she told me years later. Death would have been preferable to the unimaginable pain that accompanies burying a child. My mother not only didn't die, she recovered and re-imagined a rich, fulfilling life for herself; but it took time and a mighty outpouring of love.
Sybrina Fulton has refreshed the memory of the debilitating pain of my mother, who could barely stand; seeing Sybrina standing at podiums and press conferences, surrounded by men and microphones, has been remarkable. With her eyes so soft, with tears just a blink away, her open heart was the only thing holding her up. So many times I've wanted to reach through the screen and hug Sybrina and say, I feel you, my sister. I'm sure many have. We know Sybrina Fulton. She's the classic American working mother. She is the mother who lost her child. Sybrina represents all mothers who have lost children to guns, through war, gangs, and homicide. The image of Sybrina Fulton recalls all mothers who have lost children, lost them in the system, lost them in prison, lost them in addiction. Mothers who lose children stand outside the natural order of life. It can be a violently lonely place if left alone.
I will not, we will not, leave Sybrina Fulton alone. That is the meaning and the mission behind the #4Sybrina Campaign. We want to send Sybrina a mighty outpouring of love to keep her standing.
Did You Know:
The First Mother's Day Proclamation was written in 1870 by Julia Ward Howe a passionate member of the American Anti-Slavery Society as a call to disarmament and peace as a reaction to the carnage of the Civil War. Howe believed women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level.
According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of death for black males 18-24 is homicide.