“Mommy?” My son Anthony’s voice is small as we approach our front door.
“How do you think Treyvon is feeling in heaven right now?”
I turn from putting the key in the door and stare in my child’s big brown eyes.
The last few rays of sunlight are melting behind the horizon, dusk settling over the neighborhood.
We have just come from a prayer vigil at Valparaiso University, honoring Trayvon Martin and praying for peace and change in our nation, and for justice to be served.
I can see that the heart of my five year old is heavy. His face is somber and sincere.
“How do you think Treyvon feels right now Anthony?”
“I think he is sad.”
“What do you think made him sad?” I know what my answer is to this question, but I am curious what part of tonights events have struck a cord with my son.
“I think he is sad because he sees his mommy and daddy, and how much they miss him, and it makes him cry.”
I look at him, so young, and already so filled with the burdens of this world.
Tears begin to well, and I fight to swallow them back because the last thing I want is to make him even more sad.
“I’m sure you are right Anthony. But do you think that it made him happy that they found the man who hurt him, and that we all got to go and pray for him and his family tonight?”
He pauses for a moment and I can see his thoughts forming.
“Yes,” he finally says. “I think it helped that we got to pray. I hope it made him feel a little better.”
“I’m sure it did baby.”
I heard about the vigil through a family friend, and as soon as I read about it I knew I wanted to be there. This case has been on my heart and mind a great deal over the last 44 days, and with George Zimmerman finally being held accountable for his actions, it seemed such an appropriate closing to this waiting game nightmare the entire nation has been caught in.
My boys stood with me, Hoodies Up.
We stood together and prayed.
We heard students share poems they had written, and pastors and members of the community speak about race and stereotypes and how we can all be the change we wish to see.
Somehow in the dimly lit chapel, holding our candles and sharing together in the somber event,
I felt hopeful.
My children, so small and innocent, just the way Trayvon was to his mother once, are my hope.
If we all care enough to speak out, and refuse to accept the stereotypes and the hate and the racism, then we WILL see change in this nation.
My children could be part of the generation who sees a new kind of future, if my generation fights hard enough to change what our reality is.
We can be the difference.
From the eyes of my child, hating someone because of how they look is baffling.
Hating anyone that you don’t even know,
And taking the life of another human being is incomprehensible.
Why are people afraid of what is different?
Why do people hate what they do not know?
My son is only five, yet on some level he can understand that death takes sons from their mothers and fathers, and breaks families, and leaves holes in the hearts of those they loved.
I hope and pray it is a pain I never have to feel.
I can promise you one thing, I will live my life fighting for my children, and their children, and their children’s children.
Fighting every day for equality, and for an end to the madness that brings such pain and suffering and anguish.
Fighting against the hate and the stereotypes and the judgements without cause.
Fighting for justice in this great land of ours,
So that future generations have a chance to live their lives without fear of wearing their hoodies up.
**See me and my boys on the News Coverage from tonights prayer vigil.