Remembering Mothers Daily
Each year, we choose a day to “officially” honor #MothersDay. We don’t often remember those who didn’t have the opportunity to become mothers (or fathers) because some in this nation continues to prioritize guns, race, violence & lies, over the humanity of equity, the power of peace & the gospel of truth.
We must recognize the children, too. Because, children define motherhood. Many are having a surreal Mother’s Day, this year because of COVID19’s wrath. Visits and brunches and hugs aren’t possible, for now. It’s, hopefully, a temporary situation.
Congresswoman Lucy McBath (GA-6th) endured months of prenatal work, fears & hopes to birth the life of another — a son, named Jordan Davis. A child she fed & instructed & nurtured & guided in life. She had those moments with Jordan, stolen some years ago, when a racist with a gun killed him. A human work of art, that she and God created, was stolen from her, his father and the world.
Congresswoman McBath was compelled to wrap her virtual arms around a stranger — until now — Wanda Cooper-Jones. Like so many other mothers, they share a grief caused by the confluence of two American epidemics — racism and gun violence. She wrote a special message here.
The Congresswoman channeled her grief into action and the people of Georgia spoke up. They elected her to represent them in Congress. Lucy McBath now serves in the state that is infamous for so many Black lives stolen; from the Civil War, to the Atlanta child murders to Ahmaud Arbery. She’s only one state away from Florida, which has laws that are used to “justify” (I say justa-lie) the killing of another. A state that allowed the killer of her own son Jordan Davis, to walk free for too long. The same Florida, with laws and juries that allowed Trayvon Martin’s killer to & other killers to walk free to this day.
Georgians knew Congresswoman McBath’s platform included representing her constituents and fighting for protections against gun violence in every town. No one who claims to be pro-life — and is of good conscious — can defend and “justa-lie” broad access to weapons that kill. That’s not constitutional. Nobody with clear conscious, and who claim to love God, can logically reconcile racism and the racists who perpetuate it, through their policies and actions — which include hate-speech, hate-practices, hate-policies & hate-crimes.
It’s Mothers Day and there is an incalculable list of girls, who didn’t grow into women-hood because of guns and hate — including, but not limited to racist inspired hate. There’s an incalculable list of women who didn’t have the option to become mothers (or even wise, childless elders & matrons & aunties in their families and communities) because guns and hate stole that option from them. There are women who chose to become mothers, only to lose the chance to nurture the children they birthed for the rest of their lives (mothers are gonna mother). They lost that ability, because someone else stole that mother’s breath from them. Someone used a weapon of destruction to channel their hate, racism and or dominance to take another life. Many killers continue to walk free — or died free of conviction. Their freedom is often created by systemic racist policies that tilt the scales of justice in their favor.
And, then there are the children who have had their lives snatched by the hands of someone else, who felt free to kill. But, unlike most civilized nations, this one allows free access to weapons of your choosing. It also fails to fully implement the laws of racial justice that were created by many who have gone on. This nation must own its culpability in allowing this to happen. Racism & bias kills children like Tamir Rice.
These surviving mothers are left with a void that won’t be filled. These mothers will always remember what they’ve lost. And some mothers, like Wanda Cooper-Jones, mother of Ahmaud Arbery, will remember it on birthdays and Mother’s Days from now on. And, they have the added pain of being reminded with every news story and phone call and court hearing for many moments uncounted. Many strangers have showed up in real and virtual support. They will proclaim that #IRunWithMaud. Like with other crises, we never know who is there until the crisis strikes. And, with mourning, we know it may last for a season.
With crises, supports may come in a burst, which will fade. We should examine how long we will commit to running with those mourning for longer than our Fitbit will measure. How long will we choose to fight, so that we can run or walk for exercise, not have to march protest? Will the runners and protesters run to the polls and protest any elected official or product or business that allows crimes against people like Amaud to continue without challenge? Will we run and act so nobody has to run in protest of our own death?
Many, like me, lost their mothers way too soon. I lost mine to cancer in 1987 — I remember it all. We often recall those traumatic loses far longer than we want to. Like with gun violence, we know the causes of many cancers. With the little bit we know, governments can certainly enact policies to curtail the known causes of some cancers (cigarettes; pollution). Governments have elected to ban many toxins in foods & products we use to stop cancers from growing more devastating in our nation. #COVID19 has prompted MOST governments to move swiftly to save lives they were elected/hired to protect & serve.
Cancer, COVID19 & gun violence have much in common. They cause trauma and pain to more people than the person directly touched by them. They leave an indelible imprint on the lives of survivors. They have taken lives prematurely. And,when they are allowed to go uncheck, they spread more death and destruction.
On this Mother’s Day, there are moms who are suffering the loss of their children, because some elected people touted that COVID19 only harms elders — as if that was ok. Again, killers that aren’t stopped, will spread death.
Thankfully, some people are sacrificing sleep and hobbies and personal/family time to find a cure for COVID19. Some are risking their lives to heal and comfort strangers who are suffering from COVID19. There is a global urging to find a cure.
We have cures for cancer and gun violence, yet, we CHOOSE to allow some cancer-causing chemicals & gun violence ingredients to be sold over America’s shops. Some elected officials CHOOSE to listen to the voices that are politically convenient or profitably compatible and are rushing to open communities & businesses — experts say prematurely. And, we know the risks of premature actions. Yet, common denominators that allow the spread of these killers are politics and profits. And, too many among us value profits over people.
Cures come with people are dedicated to fight them. Those common killers thrive because the people won’t maintain a sustained battle. Some politicians have become comfortable with gun and cancer deaths. They can put a tweet out and people feel as if they paid attention as a public servant. Meanwhile, hospitals and cemeteries are full of the inactions of elected officials. Some politicians have suggested that we should, also, get used to COVID19 deaths — for the good of the economy. Others, in elected office, have suggested that our elders; including our mothers and grand-mothers and great-grandmothers; are expendable for the good of the stock market and corporations.
Right thinking people will continue to fight for the rest of their lives, to reduce the fatal impact and sustained pain that those serial killers cause. Some are willing to push through their personal pains to demand change. It will always take willing people to fight until victory against those who don’t care that a mom lost her child or a child loses a mom.
None of us would be here without a mother. Most all of us love our moms, like I did — and I still do love her spirit and am eternally grateful that she birthed me. Having a heart of compassion compels SOME of us to feel the pain of moms we don’t even know. So, we will protest and write and run and vote on behalf of the lives of their children and the children yet to be born. We will commit to collaborate with and co-create and co-support organizations that will fight — until victory — to remove those from corporate seats and elected offices that are causing our mothers pain that is far worse than and longer lasting than birth, itself.
We must elect & support & fight with moms like Congresswoman McBath. On this Mother’s Day and between every Mother’s Day ahead, we must commit to do our parts so that the mothers of gun violence victims (young and old single deaths or mass shooting) of Sandy Hook, Pulse Night Club, Mother Emanuel Church, Stoneman Douglas, are remembered.
Unlike with COVID19, we know the cures for this epidemic that causes too many mothers to mourn. What will you do to help prevent other mothers from joining the “club that no mother wants to be part of”? We commemorate the deaths of those who have died because of racism. We create holidays and build memorials, as if that completes the work. Those paid days off and places to visit should remind us of what we need to continue.
And, we have a day to honor mothers — as if they should be honored the other 365 days — and the extra day in leap years, too.
We have a history of fighters who said enough to racism and gun violence. Some communities, faith institutions, individuals and organizations are saying enough mourning of lives that should still be here. Children are joining others to raise voices and raise the political stakes for those elected officials, who choose to ignore the lives of people who hired them.
We can all do something. Choose any and all of the weapons you can use for good. Speak. Call. Donate. Walk. March. Write. Run. Join. Vote.
Just do something.
Let’s do more than just remember these mothers. There are many more names that we may never know — because there is no video or voice to fight for them. We can work, now, to reduce the names on these lists that are already too long.