A letter to Trayvon Martin's mother

IMG_3416 Ms. Sybrina Fulton,

I woke up this morning and you instantly came to mind. I made the coffee and started getting ready for church.  but my thoughts kept drifting back to you wondering what you are doing. What do you do after all of this?

I imagine you looking at his pictures, playing over the last conversations and wondering a million "what if's". Mostly, I imagine you sit in immeasurable pain for a life that has been lost.

This entire situation of Trayvon has struck a chord with me. You see, I have a four-year old son. There are the usual challenges of raising a little boy. Put the seat down, stop scaring your sister, and where did you hide my keys?

But my son is white. That eliminates him from so many of the challenges your son faced.

However, soon I will have an African-American son. He will grow up side by side with his white brother, but I am well aware that his experiences will be quite different.

They will be from the same family, the same economic status and the same educational background, but they will not be seen the same. Not by some at least.

I bet my sons will wear hoodies and like to eat Skittles too.

I'm not here to speculate on what the verdict should have been last night. Should Zimmerman be found guilty or not... I wasn't there and I can't answer those questions.

Somehow though shrugging my shoulder's and saying " I dunno..." doesn't seem like enough. But what can I do?

I'm writing you this because I can't get Trayvon back, I can't give you the verdict you hoped for and I can't take away your pain. But I am going to do something.

I am going to address my own prejudices that I have. I'd like to say I have none, but it isn't true.

When I see someone who looks different from me, I will look them in the eye and smile. I want my kids to see me me setting an example of valuing people. No matter if they are a hispanic college student , a black teen with a hoodie or a white suburban mom like me. Everyone matters.

And every time I eat Skittles, I am going to think about your son. And I will remember that the world is not yet as it should be.

Your son's life mattered. Not simply because his death sparked a national dialogue about race and laws. His life mattered because he mattered. His dreams, stories and things that only you as his mama knew about.

He mattered. And you matter Ms. Fulton. I'm praying that God would give you comfort beyond any human measure.

I'm also praying for Ms. Zimmerman. Watching your son be tried for murder - deserved or not -  must be heartbreaking in its own way.

Ms. Fulton, know that mamas across America are thinking of you today. Because your son could have been our son.

Thoughts & prayers,

Elizabeth Griffin