Since the beginning of this nightmare, I have heard a lot about bravery and strength. I have thought a lot about what these two words really mean to me. A lot of people have been wondering how it is that I am able to keep talking about this and why I haven’t just walked away from this and attempted to move on with my life. Here is the best answer I can give for that:
I was chosen to be Prince’s Mama.
I didn’t choose to have Prince die so young. I didn’t choose for my story – our story- to be so terrifying and tragic. This story – this cause – chose me. I have received hundreds of emails and Facebook messages from women (and some men) who have been fighting this broken system. It’s true that my story is terrible and tragic, but it is not the only one and I am not alone.
I could choose to walk away and try to forget all of the painful memories, but to walk away from this story and this cause would also be choosing to walk away from my baby boy. That is not a choice any good mother would make. This cause is bigger than me and Prince and, unfortunately, we are now faces in a sea of other people whom the justice system has failed.
When I first heard that my son was dead, I wanted to die with him. I vividly remember contemplating jumping into the grave and laying next to his tiny casket. That seemed like the easier option than staying here on earth and continuing to fight. After laying in bed for at least a week, crying myself to sleep at night, and nearly dying from an inability to eat, I remembered a promise that I made to Prince as I sat beside his open casket and read to him for the last time. I promised him that I would always fight for him.
God chose the two of us for a reason. I will always stand up and fight for justice with my words and the way in which I choose to live my life. I will carry his memory like the proud Mama I am. I will think about him every day and imagine how he would be growing if he would have been allowed to live.
As a parent, I had a responsibility to protect my son because he could not protect himself. Now, after his death, I have a responsibility to protect his memory and protect his civil right to justice. Our country is in trouble. Our children are in trouble. Justice is in trouble.
I am not brave, I was chosen. I am strong, but that is only because my son made me that way.
I hope you all will continue to stand with me as I stand for my son – as I stand for the children who have come before him – and the children who will come after him