When Race Didn't Matter...

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is just a piece of my heart in the midst of dealing with all the racial tensions that have emerged in the aftermath of Trayvon Martin's death, this election year, and a bunch of other things.

Submitted: April 21, 2012

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Submitted: April 21, 2012

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I want to share a piece of my heart in the wake of this Trayvon Martin case. Because of the way that things have played out, and the lack of justice that has been had for this child's death, my faith, love, and resolve have been shaken. As a result, I find myself fighting anger, resentment, bitterness, and all sorts of other emotions, and I was losing until a few hours ago when God reminded me of a time when race didn't matter. Here goes...

 

A few months after my mom passed away (1999), I found myself sitting alone at my track meet looking for her face in the stands. It was the first district meet I had been to where she wasn't there to support me (when you lose someone dear to you, you find yourself having "firsts" all too often). As I sat there waiting to see a face that would never show, I lost my desire to compete and immediately began to shut down. My friend, Toby, who had lost his dad not too long before I had lost my mom, saw me. While I'm quite sure others saw me, I'm positive that Toby was able to see the real me sitting there...the shell of a person- empty, hurting, and broken. What happened in the moments thereafter has stuck with me since that very day. Toby's mom had come to support him at the track meet. Within moments of him seeing his friend hurting and in need, he sent his mom to be a "mom in the moment" for me. In the middle of a district track meet, on a field with several schools worth of guests/onlookers, a white woman looked beyond her white and my black, and embraced me as if I were her own child, and even greater than that is the fact that she refused to let me go until she'd given me enough love to get me through the rest of that track meet, and back home again. Some 13 years later, my eyes are pouring with tears as I think about a pivotal time in my own life when race could've mattered, but it didn't, and when love could've been pushed aside, but it wasn't. Against race, creed, opinion, feelings, rightness, appropriateness, and a bunch of other faulty societal norms, love prevailed!

 

Everyday, we have the power to sow the seed of love, or to sow the seed of hatred. Whatever you sow, know that there's a harvest attached to it if it's watered and nurtured. At 30 years old, I still thank Toby's mom for sowing love into my life when I needed it most. I think of her, I thank her, I pray God's absolute best for her, and I love her back. More than that, I love those that God has charged to my care (especially my students), and I love them hard. Undoubtedly, my willingness to love is a byproduct of that time when Mrs. Bullock showed me that race didn't matter; love did. 


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