R.I.P Trayvon Martin

July 13, 2013 at 6:29 pm (High School Sports, High School Wrestling, Middle School Sports, Parenting, Single Mom, Single Parent, sports, Wrestling) (, , )

I am fascinated by big courtroom dramas when they broadcast them on tv.  When I was pregnant the first time, I had a job where I worked 3-11pm just a few days a week.  It left me all kinds of time to watch the O.J. Simpson trial.  I will not comment on my own personal verdict, but I watched every second I could.  Now that we have news networks going over the minutia of the proceedings all night long, I got to watch the Casey Anthony trial as well, as much of it that I could stomach, anyway.

When Trayvon Marton was shot by George Zimmerman, I followed it very closely.  I read and posted many comments about it on social media, and my heart breaks for his family and the senselessness of it all.  I even had some heartache for Mr. Zimmerman, wondering if he regretted taking a life in haste.  I have been keeping up with this trial as much as I could.  I have been making a bee line to my tv every night after work to catch up on what I missed, and frankly have made myself sick of Nancy Grace and the rest of HLN’s nighttime lineup.  But I almost feel drawn to it.  This one hits home.

It is with great sadness that I read the posts on social media, and there are far too many, that say “that punk got what he deserved”….”he was a thug/druggie/bad kid”….the derogatory comments are too numerous to remember, frankly.  And when I read them, my heart aches.

Some of you might remember after the incident a lot of people were posting pictures of themselves in a hooded sweatshirt holding signs that said “I am Trayvon”.  As I watch these proceedings, I will admit I have shed a lot of tears.  Hearing the 9-1-1 call from the horrified female neighbor, I don’t know how anyone could not cry along with her.  Listening to the fatal gunshot over and over, and watching a father testify about how he had to listen to his son’s life being taken,  knowing these people must feel like they are in a level of Hell they couldn’t have dreamed up in their worst nightmares….well, words really aren’t sufficient, but again my heart aches.

But the thing that keeps me up at night?  Is that my boys.  Are Trayvon.  My boys.  Have been suspended from school.  My boys.  Have posted pictures on Facebook and Twitter trying to look like a badass.    My boys have even been known to wear hoodies and make a snack run from time to time.  The death of a young person….it’s not natural, it’s not right.  It’s not the way the world is supposed to work.   Something of this nature could far too easily happen to my boys or to any one of their friends.  And that is terrifying.

We are supposed to outlive our parents.  We are supposed to get through all these teenage years fraught with angst and misbehavior and settle in to life.  College.  A wife.  A house.  Some kids and a dog, maybe.  At least that is my hope for my own two boys, that they settle in to life in the direction I’ve raised them, that they’re happy and that they’re good people.  That’s really all any of us are looking for, isn’t it?  To carve out our little niche in the world and enjoy it?

Trayvon will never get those opportunities.  He’ll never have the chance to make it to the other side of his teen years and come out on the bright side of it.  It is obvious that this young man had a good upbringing and a loving family, I have not one doubt in my mind that he would have been a productive citizen at the very least.  What balance has been disturbed by the incidents of that night?  What if Trayvon were cosmically slated to be the grandfather of the man or woman that cures cancer?  What if Trayvon were cosmically slated to just live as an “average Joe”, but be someone’s best friend, someone’s mentor, someone’s loving husband?  Whose life was Trayvon supposed to make a difference in down the line, in his 20s, 30s, 50s?  Whatever his destiny was supposed to be, it has been cut short.  Cut short at the hand of a human being who declared on national television that he thought what happened was “in God’s plan” and that he wouldn’t have done anything differently.

And every moment of that trial I watch, and as the world waits for the jury to make their decision, I cannot help but think “What if it were my son”?

My oldest has had his problems, I’ve blogged about them.  But things are really on the upswing for him, and I’ll blog about all that another time.  But I absolutely cannot get the thought out of my mind that on any given night, what happened to Trayvon could happen to my son.  And yours, too.

Trayvon didn’t “get what he deserved”.  What he deserved was a chance.  I hate it when I hear someone say this or that child is a “bad kid”.  That’s the most judgmental and unfair thing a person can say.  Once when some local teens died in a drunk driving accident, I got wind that an acquaintance said “Well, they were bad kids anyway”.   Had she said that around me, I might have asked her why it was ok for them to die because they were a little wild.  I might have asked her how she would feel in five years when her own kid got to be that age and a little out of control (and he did, get out of control….the horror!  She ended up with a “BAD KID”!).

I can’t help but wonder, if it were my son…how many people in my life would say he deserved to die because he wasn’t an all-A, starting lineup, cookie-cutter future frat boy?

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