Posted by Richard D. Meadows, Jr. on February 4, 2009 at 7:30am
I was deep in conversation with a brother yesterday and we were talking about reconciliation. One of the most profound events that arose from the slaying of my son was not only would I choose to forgive this “brother” but totally see him in a different light. I take a lesson from Ernest Gaines book A Lesson Before Dying where I would transform this brother in my mind. I see his humanity and that he was created by God.
Desomond Tutu speaks of Ubuntu whereby I am because you are. Even with all life’s disappointments and flaws you still are therefore I am. My son had no trouble understanding that in his role as peacemaker. My first thought was he died doing what he knew to do, “No greater love has a man than this, that he would give his life for a friend.” John 15:18
That was it, it clicked like the proverbial light bulb, Courtney was giving his life for a friend. His friend Nate, who I have not heard from nor seen since that day, was with him and Nate who Court has known from about the age of six was one of his friends. Courtney became friends with Nate after I had him clean Nate’s home after a egging. Thinking about this made me write a letter to Jamar.
Dear Brother Jamar:
I have been thinking for a long time about you and how you are doing. I have prayed for you on many occasions. I have never met you or anyone from your family, and I know quite a few people in Buffalo, but I can’t say that I know you or your familiy. I don’t know if anyone took the time to tell you about my son Courtney, but I will give you a brief description. He loved people especially the underdog and was extremely loyal to his friends. He was very big but you may not have known he was harmless. I don’t know exactly what went down on that day, but I figured something made you nervous or scared that someone might harm you so you did what you knew to do. On that day I lost a son and your family lost you. I imagine you would do anything to have that moment back again. I want you to know that I forgive you; I have reconciled your actions and I don’t hold this against you. I have no malice or hatred toward you only forgiveness. You will learn that one of life’s most powerful weapons is the ability to forgive. I wonder who you are and what your hopes and dreams are, I wonder about your family and how your little girl is doing. I don’t believe life is over for you and pray that one day you will find peace to avoid the fear that keeps black men from living.
Be strong and may God be with you.
Richard D. Meadows, Jr.
This letter now become an open letter, which I did not mail, but my hope is that someone will truly understand that I have reconcilled our brother Jamar, who may be free someday to live again, for his daughter’s sake.