Yesterday, I got an amazing gift: A phone call from Sybrina Fulton, mother of slain teenager Trayvon Martin. Last week, I asked readers to send holiday cards as comfort to Sybrina during what surely will be a painful first Christmas without her son. I’d explained to her attorney Benjamin Crump that I had long wanted to give a signed copy of Brothers (and me) to Sybrina in hopes that she would find some solace in my journey to recovery after my own brother’s inexplicable, decades-ago killing by police.
So I was pleasantly surprised to receive a call from Sybrina, who was in Miami yesterday with Crump and her ex-husband Tracy Martin to do interviews with media including The Miami Herald. Sybrina said she hadn’t yet received the book or readers’ cards because she’d been on the road, but promised to read them once she returned home. When I asked how she was holding up, Sybrina slowly replied, “One day at a time,” in a measured tone. Somehow, I couldn’t ask her to elaborate. How could I press her to describe her agony? So instead I told her what I’d wanted for months to express: That her dignity and grace during her life’s most agonizing event has inspired not just those who have suffered similar losses, but millions untouched by such tragedy. That the agonized emptiness that feels like a gaping hole in your mid-section after such a loss does indeed fill. That I pray that she takes some small measure of comfort in knowing that she isn’t just representing Trayvon with commendable poise in her search for justice, but countless other beloved and essential men whose slayings remain unacknowledged and whose absences still haunt those who will always love them. That she isn’t alone.
If you’d like to support Sybrina (and her ex-husband Tracy Martin) with a holiday greeting, please send it to the following address:
Benjamin L. Crump
240 North Magnolia Drive
Tallahassee, Florida, 32301
Thanks for loving and giving.