When I am hurting, or mad, or confused… I write.
When I have something important to say… I write.
When my heart is broken… I write.
When I want to help, but I feel helpless… I write.
I write. It is what I do.
This time it is different. I have been sitting back and taking it all in, struggling to find the right words. I wanted to understand before I shared my words with the world, but I have realized that I will never fully understand. I have decided that I cannot just sit in the background being fearful that my words will not matter. So, it is time for me to do what I do… I write.
The driving force that has given me the courage to express my feelings, my fears, and my disappointment in my fellow human beings is my brother, Eric… my sister-in-law, Monica, and my nephew, Kobe. They are my family.
I have been blessed with a life in which the color of my skin does not cause others to assume I am lesser than, judge my actions or abilities, or bring a feeling of fear or danger… but I have witnessed it. I have witnessed my brother, who was bi-racial, struggle in a world that did not treat him fairly. From the moment I saw Eric at the adoption agency, I knew he was my brother. I did not see color. I saw a beautiful little human who gave me the title of big sister… a title I did not take lightly. Eric grew up under the same roof as me and our older brother. Eric had the same last name as me and our older brother. Eric was loved and cared for just as my brother and I were, but Eric was treated differently by the outside world simply because of the color of his skin. Many people were blinded by color and they were unwilling and unable to see the Eric I knew, that was tucked away under a hard exterior that he was forced to build for protection and self preservation.
The Eric I knew, still at the age of 26, loved hugs from our Mom. The Eric I knew had the biggest heart. The Eric I knew was an amazing father. The Eric I knew was a hard worker. The Eric I knew hung his conference metal that he won in track over my hospital bed while I was in the ICU just so I would know he was with me. The Eric I knew loved family. The Eric I knew taught me about life, love, and acceptance. The Eric I knew would have given me the world if I needed him to. The Eric I knew made mistakes, but guess what… So have I! I feel sorry for everyone that did not get to know this Eric.
I feel really sorry for those who had tunnel vision and all they saw of Eric was that his skin was a different color. You missed out on knowing a loving and strong human being. His life mattered to me, and his death feels like a missing piece of our family puzzle. I cannot help but to feel like I could have been better for him, or stood up for him more while he was here. So, this is why I have decided that I cannot hide back in a corner, behind my white skin, and be afraid of what others may think or feel after reading my words. I strive to do right for Eric… for Monica… for Kobe… for anyone who has to live in fear and go to battle every day because of the color of his or her skin, anyone who is unfairly misjudged, and anyone who has been directly affected by racism. I will NEVER say that I know how it feels, because I do not know. All I can do is stand in solidarity, I can listen, and I can offer my continual support in any possible way that I can.
I pray for George Floyd’s family, and all of the families who have gone through and are going through unexplainable losses.
I pray for our police officers who wear their badges for the right reasons, and who are willing to give their lives for those who they do not know.
I pray that human beings start seeing each other as human beings no matter skin color, culture, gender, or sexual orientation.
I pray that my nephew can grow up in a world that gives him a fighting chance.
I pray that Eric knows that I am so proud of him and that I wish I could have done so much more for him.
I pray that people realize that nobody is going to fix this for us. It starts with each and every one of us and our responsibility to be there for one another.
I pray that the peaceful protesters continue to be supported and that they are heard loud and clear.
Our country and our world are a mess right now.
Our country and our world have lost their morals.
I ask that you find what it is that you can do to start making a change.
I cannot fix the world, but I can try… I can write.