Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Heartbreak in Kirkwood

Once again, my little suburb makes the news, and not for a good thing.

I was driving back from the airport this morning, my van radio dial set at 90.7, my mind blissfully thinking about the future, ignoring the traffic that had us at a standstill, when I instantly became alert.

19-year old suspect at larger for the murder of an 18-year old Kirkwood man, 2013 graduate of Kirkwood High School.

"What?!" I was driving and wondering what that was about.

Then saw a post from my 19 year old son, a 2012 graduate, identifying the victim, and expressing his disbelief, sorrow, and fear for the future generation.

Our little seemingly idyllic suburb is not so peaceful.

This shattering of hopes and dreams that has happened to these two families who simply wanted the best for their sons, both sons of color, both sons with potential, has been snuffed out for what?  What is the value of life?

I have experienced sitting in the hospital waiting room while the surgeons desperately try to save the life of your child.  My older son experienced his own face-with-death, but he is still here, disabled, but here, speaking up and out to the younger generation that his post quarter century status allows him.

But the mother of the murder victim and the mother of the shooter are both grieving beyond words today.  The small community of color that is in Kirkwood is torn in the heart, how do we put words to what should not be spoken? And why should we think that the helplessness of mothers in the north side of St. Louis and the south and west sides of Chicago should not penetrate our tree lined streets in West County St. Louis?

This community, all the communities must find a way to reach this generation and admonish them that there is nothing that can be solved at the end of a gun.  Death is final, over, and the argument, problem, is it over?  What now?

4:30pm.  Just after that tropical down pour of soaking rain, tears fell that will not know sunshine.

Why?

We may never know, the shooter is on the large and the victim is in the morgue.

And two mothers are awake this morning wondering what shattered their world.

As adults, we disagree, I know I have, but there is time, space, and distance that can bring healing to misunderstanding and slights.  We can all be examples of hope and healing, differences put aside to save this generation.  We can be the examples.

I am saddened.  I did not know the young man, my son was in a class ahead of him.  But not knowing the young men doesn't matter, we are the parents of these children, the village, and the village must come together and heal our children.

There is heartbreak in Kirkwood.

Can we heal?

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