Early Nov. 7, 18-year-old Bobby Tillman of Douglasville was beaten and stomped to death after a party. Four suspects have been arrested and charged with Tillman's death. -AJC
Dequavious Stephon Mapp, 18, was one of three teenagers shot after the party about a mile from his home. The Rockdale County High School senior died at Atlanta Medical Center.-AJC
Two young men, like many others their age cut down in life before it even began for them. These two headlines appeared in the AJC (Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper) this morning, and it began to make me question the safety of my son and am I doing all I need to do to protect him.
I took my son shopping yesterday and spent the day just hanging with him. We had breakfast, watched TV and then I guess our time was over when he asked if he could go to a friends house. Once he left, I began to wonder of all the "bad" things that could happen to him going from our home, down the sidewalk to his friend's home a few houses away. Let's face it, the young men above were only a mile or so from their homes at a party......
I use to didn't worry about my son, why I can't say. His sister was the one I lost sleep over...still do!!!:o, but lately he is constantly on my mind. Whether he's in my sight or not, I keep him uplifted in prayer. I don't know the agony or pain these two mothers (and sooo many more) are feeling, nor do I want that burden placed on me. Death of a child, any child, is horrific and we shouldn't live in a society where now it's common place.
The local law enforcement have been very diligent in their search for suspects, with success. The media is determined to get the word out about how this effects our communities and what we can do to put an end to such senseless violence on the lives of our teenagers. But is this a futile attempt to put a band-aid on a much bigger problem????? What is the real reason behind the actions of our teenagers??? What as parents are we missing???? Why now???
I really want to know!!! I have listened to the media, my friends and family. I have also questioned my own children for their answers and it still puzzles me why we don't cherish the life of others, as well as our own. In the two stories above, not only did we lose two bright young men to death, but we also lose the lives of the alleged suspects to being locked away for a long time. Working in law enforcement, I see men like this that get incarcerated at a young age and whatever hope they had to being someone, is lost. It's not fair to them, nor fair to society. We could have lost the next doctor to find the cure for the common cold, the next civil rights activist that will bring peace among all races, or the next father that is there to lead his children in the right direction.
My son is smart, precious, loving, caring and enjoys chicken nuggets and McCafe Mocha frappes'....he's my everything!!! To have his life taken in vain or have him take a life in vain would literally kill me and I want to be the type of parent to say: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!! I won't let my son or his friends or anyone that surrounds him be a statistic. I won't let him live his life like he has no purpose, no dreams, no future. My son is not being raised with a father in the home and that's ok. I do my best to surround him with positive friends, family and great male role models and mentors.
My why me folks question: As an adult, as a parent, what are you doing to make the young men in your life feel worthy, feel secure, feel hopeful, feel loved??? Take the time to stop, ask questions and above all else listen to them. They do have something to say.
To the families of those that have lost a young man to a violent death, my heart goes out to you!!!!
Why me folks? Why not?