Wednesday started out like every other day, my routine didn’t change. After running the kids around , cooking dinner, and cleaning up before bed I got on my knees and prayed a prayer of covering over my family. I prayed a little longer for my eldest son because like so many other nights he was out with his friends and decided to stay the night with them. After numerous attempts at trying to fall asleep I just layed there and began to talk to God. Apparently I fell asleep because my phone was blaring in my ear and I saw that I had several missed calls. I finally answered the phone and that’s when my world stood still for a moment. I got a call I prayed I would never get, the one no parent wants to get. On the other end of the phone I heard my son’s best friend scream, “Mom, Ricky has been shot.”
“Whaaat! ” I said as tears gathered in my eyes.
She informed me that he was shot in his thigh and the paramedics wasn’t sure what type of damage had been done. I told her I was on my way. I then screamed for my daughter to get dressed because we had to go. She asked me what was going on several times, but I couldn’t answer her at first because I was still in shock myself. I eventually told her that her brother had been shot. All of a sudden I stopped and stood there, and it was as if I couldn’t move. I went to the bathroom and said a prayer asking that he would be alright. Then all of a sudden an unshakable peace came over me and I heard a quiet still voice say, “Stand still and know I have everything under control.” When I came out of the bathroom my daughter was yelling at me to hurry up. I simply responded by saying, “All was well.” As I got in the car I started to make phone calls letting everyone know what had taken place from what I was told at the time. I spoke with a calmness my daughter now says scared her. Enroute to the hospital I didn’t even speed and if you ask my friends they would say that is rare. But what they fail to realize at that moment while I was driving was that God was speaking to me and reminding me that before Ricky was my child he was his first and that Ricky has yet to fulfill his calling.
Now don’t get me wrong I was anxious to see my son and to know with my own eyes that he was going to be alright, but I didn’t have any fear. When I finally laid eyes upon my son my heart broke. The last place you want to see your child is in a hospital bed, not to mention laying there with a gun shot wound not knwoing if he is going to lose his leg. The pain I experienced at that moment made me literally sick; my stomach cramped up and I felt lightheaded. With tears in his eyes Ricky apologized and asked me if I was mad. The scary part was that I should have been, but I wasn’t. I knew that God was in control and no matter how angry and upset I would get, the outcome would still be the same; my son was shot.
Ricky went through two surgeries that morning and by the grace of God both of them were successful. As news spread throughout the city via text messaging , phone calls , and the trusty media I was overwhelmed with phone calls of prayer, advice and crying on the other end of the line. Some might say I haven’t really dealt with what happened or what could have happened and that I am still in shock. And that might be true. I’m still trying to process the jest of it all; someone actually set out to murder my son. But God said, “Not so!” Ricky is still here. Although the road to recovery will be rough he is determined to walk without any impairment.
My heart is heavy because of the continuous black on black violence that is taking place with our youth of today. The spirit of death that is lingering over our communities has to be stopped. There has to be a way to reach our youth before it’s too late. If we just look at the news all we will mostly see is our young men killing each other. But what you won’t hear are the shrilling screams as we mothers cry throughout the night. I think it is about time that we stand together united in prayer and take back our families, especially our young men. And just maybe instead of having to hear the cries of pain throughout the night we will hear the cries of victory.
Mikenda Early is a proud mother of three and currently resides in Nashville,TN. She works diligently with a non-profit organization named In Full Motion which prepares the youth in her community with the skills to achieve high ACT Scores so they may be able to go to college. She’s also pursuing a degree in Nursing at Nashville State while working on her first novel.
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