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.
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".
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.
10 years of this lady's life, probably less, would be taken although my child's complete life was gone.There was no parole for my son. No visits between glass. There was just no more.
I am not sure how I would process the sentencing...I mean would anything be ENOUGH. Would I ever be satisfied, healed, whole again?
But then as my younger son spoke to this random lady who killed my son, spoke of forgiveness, spoke of love, spoke of wanting the best for her.
My heart would probably have broken even more.
Not because I was angry with him, despised him for even THINKING of forgiving her, or felt he was a fool.
My heart would break because the anguish that my son felt to go through this process would all come rushing to my heart. Then when I saw him embrace my older son's killer. (I picture Liam, my baby Liam, hugging a stranger who killed by son, Deuce) in love. I would literally break down, because you see in the hug was the culmination of it all.
The sadness, the regret, the heartbreak, the love, the hope, the faith. Everything that I and my family felt in one action, in one scene.
When I watched the video of Brandt Jean walking towards Amber Guyger with open arms as she ran to him, I heard what I assumed to be Mrs. Jean, wailing, her cries spoke volumes. Her cries were proof that she was a woman who cared deeply for her family, who stayed up late nights, woke up early mornings. They were cries that signified she only wanted the best for her children, as all of us mothers do. We live for them in a way that we have never lived for anyone. The thing is, we never stop.
If you did not live Mrs.Jean's life you might never understand her thoughts, her actions, her words, and those of her family. There is something that always rings true and right, compassion.
Although my curse of imagining tragic things in great detail causes me much anxiety and pain if I allow it, this becomes a gift because it allows me to have great compassion.
If those that were once for my family and I, then began attacking those in my family for displaying the values that I committed most of my life to instilling, it would open another wound before I could ever close the depth of the first.
Did I deserve to be attacked on all sides? Weren't MY beliefs to act out how Jesus is, no matter the circumstance?
I would have to dig even deeper for sanity and strive to continue to fight for my LIFE.
So I encourage you, to have compassion.
If you do, let that compassion grow so much that Mrs. Jean can feel it more than any other emotion to comfort her weary spirit.
Until next time,