October 10, 2012 – it’s a date that for so many, was an ordinary and regular day. Unfortunately, for my family and me, it is a date that we will never forget.
My son, Benjamin, became the 17th homicide victim in Trenton, New Jersey, and an innocent bystander of senseless gun violence. More than six years later, no one has been charged in the murder of my son, and the police have no new information. I talk about Benjamin every day because I want his son, Tykir, to know his Dad the way we knew him.
I just did not lose my son … I lost the opportunity to see him be a father to his only son, see him grow and achieve all his goals, hear him say “I love you my Mother” again, see him making new memories with his loved ones. I lost my future. My life has been forever changed. Life is different. I am different. Benjamin is resting in peace, but my family and I are still living with his loss. When asked how has losing Benjamin affected me, I describe a fractured leg that did not heal properly, and now you walk with a slight limp. Every day you are aware that your gait is different … and now walking is very painful. There some days you can tolerate the pain and other days the pain is just too much to bear, but somehow you still get up and walk.
You know your gait won’t ever be the same again and the pain won’t ever go away. So you just learn how to walk with a limp and through the pain.