If I Were Botham Jean's Mother

I have this curse where I imagine things in graphic detail. I tend to stay away from the news because it is almost as if I can transport myself RIGHT inside of a past tragic situation. As if I can leave my body. As if time does not exist.

I have only been able to handle Botham Jean's murder with a ten foot pole, because ya'll I think like every other black mother thinks, "That could have been my son, my husband, my brother, my dad, my uncle, my cousin...

Botham was doing absolutely NOTHING sketchy, he simply was living like any other American in the evening after a long day. How do you protect your child from that?! How do you teach your child to avoid such a horrible demise? How do you make sure your child...lives?

So as I proceed to activate this curse, the horror, in my mind's eye, of Deuce or Liam sitting on their couch, eating ice cream, then a woman comes in and shoots them dead...

What was he thinking when he died? How confused was he? How can I rest for the remainder of my life knowing that I could not help him in this time of confusion. At least I could have been there to reassure him as I saw him breathe his final breath. That all is well, it was an accident and we'll take it from here. But no, even that was stripped away from me.

Then being in the public eye, watching and listening how all of these random people, whom I've never met are now "fighting with me". How can I make sense of all the mayhem? The hate against my now deceased son, the desire to make him somehow the villain by drudging things from the past to slander his name. The love for my beloved son, the desire to fight for "justice" for him although all I wanted was him BACK.

Then the wait.

The wait.

The wait.

Of the upcoming trial that I would have to endure because, again it just would not make things right, but still "I gotta do this for my baby".

The verdict.


I mean, I would be a bit relieved, I mean this was all for SOMETHING. My son was not just killed and the killer remained free like so many other black sons of black mothers in this country. There was justice...right?

I truly cannot imagine the mix of emotions that Mrs. Jean felt that night after the verdict was read, as she lay in bed. The relief mixed with the weight of being in that energy space for the entire week. The toll that it had taken on her body and the knowing that she would have to endure just a bit more for the sentencing.