One of my nephew’s was killed earlier this week.
He was 25.
Named after his father, we called him “Little Brian” to make the distinction.
That’s my dad. “Paw-Paw” as Brian called him.
Dad is pushing out his dentures, something he always did with little kids. They were fascinated that he could move his teeth like that. 🙂
Brian loved staying with my parents.
After my father died, a short time after this picture was taken, Brian would come to the house looking for Paw-Paw and then he would settle in a corner in the front room and talk to himself.
My mother assumed that he was trying to “talk” to the police scanner and CB radio in that corner.
One day she asked him, “Who ya’ talking to?” to which little Brian responded (rather annoyed), “I talkin’ to Paw-Paw.”
It would be years before I could believe that was possible, but now I know children see things we can’t. Now I believe that Dad was talking to Brian and that Brian could see him.
I hope they are talking now.
Someday I may make peace with this. I don’t really know. It’s not his death that disturbs me as much as the pain my sister is feeling. A pain no parent should have to endure.
And there is nothing I can do to take it away.
I feel helpless.
And that really sucks.
I’m angry that my nephew has become another African-American male statistic.
I feel guilty that maybe I didn’t do enough to stop it.
I feel hopeless because far too many families today (and the next day and…) will share this experience with us and no one seems to care because they are black.
But at least I’m still feeling something.
And that’s a testament to Brian.
He brought love and light into our lives.
And that will never be diminished.
I am grieving.