Friday, May 31, 2013

New Baby, Dead Children

Friday, March 22, I spent my day as usual, completing some homework for my online class, browsing the internet for job leads, and taking a lunch break in front of one of those ridiculous t.v. shows I’ve gotten hooked on.

The day held more excitement than a typical Friday, however, because I was also awaiting word of the birth of my younger sister’s child. She had been induced the night before, and I expected the phone to ring any minute with the news. Mid-afternoon my mom called to say that things hadn’t gone as planned and my sister would be having a c-section—the new baby’s birth was imminent.

I still hadn’t heard anything by the time I needed to leave home and head to a vigil and march remembering the hundreds of children lost to violence in the city of Chicago. Eight hundred and six children killed since 2008, which was, as the slogan for the event proclaimed, “more than we can bear.”

While riding the train to the vigil, my phone rang at last. It was my brother-in-law calling with what I could only assume was some joyful news. Lincoln Jesse had been born at 4:11 pm, and all was well with baby, mom, and oh-so-excited dad.

The disparate nature of these two events—a joyful birth and the remembrance of those children whose lives had been cut short—was not lost on me. Also in the news in Chicago around that time was the death of a six-month-old baby killed by gun violence. The birth of a new child is a cause for celebration, but we must not forget that the sad loss of little ones demands recognition too.

Of course I hope that Lincoln lives a full and healthy and happy life. With a well-resourced and loving family, he is already on his way. More than this, though, I hope that every child lives a full and healthy and happy life, with an abundance of resources and an abundance of love.