“Sleep my son. Rest, my boy, it’s all over now.”
And with that she kissed him one final time, and though she bathed his little cheeks in a mother’s tears, others said a prayer about a man who had lived and who had died in the only way he knew how.
The world saw a man adorned in an ornate, flag-draped box. She saw her sleeping boy. The world threw around words like “hero” and “brave”, she could only muster the words “my baby”. There were those who hated him for the color of his skin and the nature of his birth, but she could only love him. He had given her the greatest pain of her life in his birth, and they had stolen him without knowing him, without even giving him the courtesy of knowing his name.
They had beaten him for his innocence, and stolen everything from him for the vile fear that festered in their own mind. They detested how different they thought he was, so much so that they could not see just how much he was like them. He bravely walked as he was, and bent his knee to no one. He simply wanted to be free, to do his part, to be equals in the eyes of all people.
For that, they killed him. For that, they stole his liberty. For that, they became the killers of man’s great hope, the murderers of unlimited possibility.
Perhaps he had crossed some invisible line they had created. Perhaps he had climbed some magical fence they had built from sand. Perhaps he had assailed that wall they had built against themselves. Whatever it was, it scared them so that they became beasts of prey and the thoughtless, heartless, fearful murders of the wonderful endowment of their own Creator.
They saw something beneath their caste. She saw her greatest joy. They saw something to be thrown aside. She saw a boy to be held through his nightmares in the dark. They saw some scourge of their holy book. She saw the word of God as he grew into a masterpiece of his own.
They killed him. She gave him life. The laughed as they left him to die. She will cry her tears forever. They are animals. She is her son’s mother.
Soon, they will lower him into the Earth, an Earth that doesn’t see the color of his skin, or the place of his birth, or his creed, or his faith. The Earth will embrace him, turn him into a seed of life watered by the sweet tears of his mother’s broken heart. The Earth does not know to which flag it should honor, or to what god it should worship, and it will love this man’s flesh as the ether will love that man’s soul. Each day, a mother will bide her time, hoping and wanting to join him.
Life will go on for the rest of us. We’ll create our silly separations, and succumb to our silly fears. We’ll laugh, and we’ll play, and we’ll sing our songs of peace and love and hate and fear. We’ll create our dark rooms of worship and belief, and we’ll point our fingers at small rays of light and hope that enter as if there is something wrong with them.
We are all a mother’s son, or a mother’s daughter. We are all so much alike, beings bequeathed a great potential at the moment of our conception. One day we can hope the mother’s tears end, replaced by the laughs of love and the smiles of true liberty. One day may we love our similarities while allowing our differences to blossom.
Until then, a mother cries herself to sleep, and a son prepares to die. No walls we build will save us, no laws we pass will end our horrid suffering.