I hate to have to expose you to such a cruel world that we unfortunately have to live in. Being a parent in today’s world, I am almost forced to teach you about hatred, racism, and the unwarranted acts of violence that happens for the strangest of reasons and in some cases, no reasons at all. With the most recent tragedy of Charlottesville, I am heartbroken. I am frustrated. I feel helpless. There are people in this world that have been taught to hate. I can’t understand how one could teach another to hate. As a mom, I am totally discouraged. How do I protect you? How do I ensure this never happens to you? How can I promise you a life of love, peace, joy, happiness when there are individuals intentionally around ensuring we, as a people, never experience the, “American dream - the true pursuit of happiness.”
I have to write this letter to you. I have to let you know where my heart is. I have to let you know what is happening around us is real. It exists and there is a strong possibility that one day you will come to face to face with the harsh reality of it, but I want you to be prepared. I want you to be aware and I want you to know, even in the face of it, you can overcome what others may have succumbed to and even died for.
Charlottesville can happen to anyone, at any place, at any time. I am not ignorant to that fact. I will admit I don’t know how to talk to you about this. Parts of me do not want to, but I can’t remain silent to the injustices that are blasting loudly in society. First, I’ll speak to you, my child. I will admit to you that what has happened is heart-wrenching and indeed a tragedy. How do we stop it? I don’t know. I do know it exists. It’s embedded in our country’s fabric. I want you to always be aware of what’s happening, be cognizant of your surroundings, your behavior, and actions. I am not saying this matters most or that it will prevent events from happening; however, you will at least understand the seriousness of such matters and what you can do to steer clear of being a victim. I couldn’t stand it if you were ever a victim.
We could possibly waste time blaming individuals. In a separate letter or conversation, I might discuss that. For this purpose, I’ll focus on simply assuring you, my heart, in this letter. I hate there are people who have so much hatred in their hearts to kill and injure innocent people, but I want your heart to be pure, as pure as it can be. Despite what we see, I want you to love all people. I want you to treat people fairly, simply because we were all made by the same hands. God is our creator and we all bleed the same blood as humans. The bible teaches us to “love thy neighbor” and despite how easy it is for resentment and bitterness to settle in our hearts, we must push past it. Do not let anger build in your heart. It will only kill you internally. It will only distract you. Let love prevail. If there is anything I can teach you, it’s the significance of loving God, loving yourself, and loving others. It’s not much, but it’s all I have to give you and I pray it just might possibly save your life.
Remember, my child, Charlottesville can happen to anyone, at anytime at anyplace. Know this. Now what you do with this letter, the words poured from my heart and your voice is up to you.
Proud to be your mom,
I love you.
Letters compiled from mothers in Memphis (Nora Wade, Kendra Buckley, Sylinda Ayers and Trenese Wilson)