After being pulled over last week, I just needed to step away. I threw myself into work and into making sure Hope was ok.
I still watched the news, but I muted it when stories I couldn’t handle jumped on the screen. I watched a lot of Hulu. I did a lot of work. We skipped Back to School night to rest, eat a bunch of McDonalds, and chill out on the couch.
By the weekend I was prepping for a business trip. Hope was talking about missing me, which always makes me feel good. Not because I like her missing me, but I like being missed.
I touched down in the Midwest, and found more of my mojo.
It helps to feel needed, to feel competent, to feel like you matter.
Work gives me that. This weirdo gives me that.
Several days later, I’m home and prepping to head out for a quick trip to Texas to give a talk.
Bits of my humanity are sliding back into place, but it’s hard when you see another event, another hashtag #AlfredOlango, and the face of a crying child talking about her fears.
It really is exhausting.
Last week, Mimi asked me about my feelings when I was stopped. It took me a few minutes to get the words out.
I was terrified, but not for me. I do not fear death. I mean, I’m not exactly looking forward to it or anything, and I’d really prefer not to meet death anytime soon. I’d like to have a long, healthy life.
What frightened me was the possibility of Hope being left alone…again.
I mean, I have a will, arrangements have been made for her to be raised in a loving home. But the issue is more trauma for her.
It is the way in which families of victims of police violence become collateral damage in the aftermath.
Victims’ bodies are often left where they fall, for as long as four hours. There never seem to be efforts to save the lives of the victims; people handcuff the dead. They step over them. They mill around with no sense of urgency over what transpired moments before.
And there’s always video. Oh, sure the dash and body cams aren’t reliable, but there’s almost always cell phone footage or security cam footage.
It is released and the victim is shown repeatedly laying there lifelessly.
I couldn’t bear to think about what that would do to my daughter.
I’m fortunate to not have any mug shots or untoward photos out there that would be used by the media, but my name would be a hashtag and would be posted, shared, tweeted and retweeted and posted for days.
Having already survived so much loss, the thought of my daughter facing that breaks my very heart; it is crushing. It is scary; worse than any horror movie.
That’s why I cried that day; I can’t possibly leave my beautiful girl.
It really is challenging to be emotionally healthy during these times.
I’m better this week. I’ve got my bearings.
I’m emerging from the deep and coming up for air.
My family is safe. The bills (and ticket) are paid. Hope and Yappy are acting dorky. There’s a band practice to shuttle her to in a few minutes. Elihu and I are planning a hot date night this weekend. We have a good life. I love the life we’ve built.
Today we are fine. We are floating about in our little bubble, praying that it never is pierced by violence.
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