Two men, from totally different worlds were lost this past week. 18 year old Michael Brown, unarmed was shot and killed by the police at 2:15 in the afternoon. My son will be 18 on November 18th, Michael could have been my son. My son does not have his drivers license as of yet, so this summer I have been driving him everywhere, in a way it is a blessing. I worry about my son in this mean world we live in, I worry about what college he will go to and what the “area” will be like- is the neighborhood safe? What are the police like ?
I know first hand that this type of situation could occur anywhere, not just the midwest. I have been the victim of police abuse right here in Hollywood…PARKED in my car, in a store parking lot with a girlfriend. First of all, how does one get “stopped” if you are parked…but I did, the officer spoke to me as if I had horns, accused me of not having insurance ( I do) and he never ever said why I was being interrogated, he finally left me alone when he realized my friend was caucasian and she shouted at him to “LEAVE MY FRIEND ALONE!”.
Michael missed his first day of college, I can’t even imagine the pain his mother is going through. I tell my son to ALWAYS be humble and respectful if confronted with law enforcement, don’t make any sudden moves and answer all questions and don’t get “smart”. It is sad that I even have to have conversations about this…I wonder if my caucasian mother friends have to have these conversation as well…
Robin Williams, another tragic loss, suicide by someone the world viewed as one of happiest people, one who was always making others laugh. Depression, bipolar, and mood disorders, are diseases just like high blood pressure, diabetes etc. they have to be diagnosed and treated. It is easy to overlook these conditions, especially in our children, no one wants the stigma of “mental illness”. Many are embarrassed and ashamed at the thought of having a family member with mental illness, so hence many people go undiagnosed.
My family and my husband’s family are both riddled with family members struggling with mood disorders. I have seen what long term untreated mental illness can do to a loved one–not something I would wish on anyone. Alcoholism and drug abuse combined with mood disorders can be deadly. The abuse piece puzzles me, I understand it and I have witnessed it in our families, but how do you cure it? What can family members do before it is to late, and something happens like a suicide or some other tragic situation as a result of an unstable lifestyle…I know Robin Williams probably had the best therapists, and rehab programs and he could not win this battle, so what does this say for others that are dealing with this…
With my own family we work on communicating with one another and having a home where we can talk openly about everything. Learning to accept each others and all our flaws I think is key, knowing that no one is perfect.
I pray for Michael and Robin and their families at this difficult time, and embrace my family daily, because tomorrow is not promised.