When many of us look at babies we see promise. They represent our future and for many of us parents they represent opportunity — a chance to do better and be better. We look at them and are reminded that our world, as scary as it can be, is still a beautiful place. We ooh and aah and we pray over them, our righteous seeds.
We imagine what their life will be like and as we rock them in our arms we tell them the hopes and dreams we have for them. But we don’t bury them. Yes, sometimes things happen. Children get sick, are involved in accidents or in the case of SIDS they die suddenly leaving their parents to mull over numerous questions all starting with “Why?” And yet, as devastating as that is even more heartbreaking is the story of a child, an infant, who did not die of natural causes or some sort of “freak accident.” Instead, her life was taken from her as the result of gun violence. Her story is the essence of the saying “Gone too soon.”
“Jonathan Watkins was standing on the curb on the 6500 block of South Maryland, using the front passenger seat of a minivan as a changing table, when a gunman emerged unnoticed from a gangway behind him and opened fire, hitting Watkins and his baby. It was the infant’s second brush with gun violence. Her mother, Judy Watkins, 20, was shot in the knee when she was eight months pregnant with Jonylah, less than three blocks from Monday’s shooting.”
I imagine that Jonylah Watkins is now in heaven in the arms of angels and yet as a mother –– as a human being I weep for her. As I type this I look at my 6-month-old baby soundly sleeping beside me. I think about how I wake up constantly throughout the night just to make sure she is breathing. I think about how much being a mother to my children means to me, and how each and every day I pray that God will see fit to bless us with another day. Another day to live and love. Another day in which my children are living and growing because that’s what children do.
Babies are one of the greatest gifts life has to offer. We are supposed to watch them grow all the while wondering why it is happening so fast. Today, I mourn for a little girl who never took her first step. Who never got to utter the words mama or dada, or eat her very first piece of birthday cake. I mourn for her mother who carried a baby in her womb longer than she got to hold her in her arms.
And here we are again forced to swallow a story with a tragic ending. A story that hits close to home for many of us. Here we are once again reminded of just how short life can be. For more on this story visit Ebony.com.
Hug your babies. No matter how old they are just hug them.
BMWK — What are your thoughts on this tragic story? Are your hearts broken also?