Devean and Ja'van: Your Life Mattered
The story of Devaen and Ja'Van, two lovely boys who were killed by their mother has stayed in my consciousness since this tragic ending to their lives. Only the mother truly knows what led her to murder her two boys but reports are that she was unemployed, a single mother, overwhelmed, and that she couldn't handle the harsh criticism of her own mother. Everyone desperately searches for answers when a mother takes the life of her child; we want to believe that she is mentally unstable or a bad person but the answer is often more complex. In the wake of this tragedy, there was a news report that a mother takes the life of a child every 3 days. There is no spin to put on this story, we can only learn from the tragedy.
As mothers, we all have moments, days, and even weeks when we feel overwhelmed by parenting, we fear that we are failing at it, we have little personal time, and we have great moments of insecurity. Have you ever slumped down on your sofa in defeat saying, "I can't even get a 3 year old to listen to me?" If you have seen the movie "Sex and the City", there was a moment when Charlotte was so overwhelmed, even with a nanny, that she went into the pantry and cried. Well, there is absolutely nothing wrong with making sure that the kids are safe and then taking a moment to go into the pantry or the bedroom or bathroom and taking a moment to cry, center yourself or just breathe. When all 3 of my boys are crying at the same time and I am feeling outnumbered and unable to meet all their needs, I just have to cry too, or call a friend for help and not feel guilty about it. Thankfully, most mothers won't seriously harm a child but when you will find yourself yelling too loudly, too often, swearing, feeling hopeless, overwhelmed or just saying to yourself, "maybe, I wasn't cut out to be a mother", it is time to ask for help. It is just fine to say to a friend, a family member, a co-worker, sometimes even a stranger, "I NEED HELP!" You will be surprised how many people are willing to assist. There are no perfect moms, just moms doing our best everyday in our own way.
It was reported that the worker who retrieved the bodies from the water didn't immediately put them on the stretcher but hugged them like the precious babies that they are. When I look at their photo and into the beautiful eyes of Devean and Ja'van, I silently say to them, "boys, you were here, you were loved, your life mattered."