The Human Touch

Greg Bryant played for American Heritage in Delray.

Greg Bryant played for American Heritage in Delray.

Mother’s Day can be a bittersweet holiday.
Scroll through your Facebook news feed and you’ll see picture after picture of people sending greetings to departed moms. I can relate. I lost my mother, at a terribly early age, in 1998.
Time dulls the pain, but the loss still stings.
You’ll also see posts from new moms marking their first Mother’s Day or mother’s with young children enjoying a day of being doted on.
It’s wonderful to see the smiles, share the memories, post the old pictures and publicly proclaim the important role that mother’s play in our lives and in our society.
This Mother’s Day I found myself thinking about mom’s whose kids are in trouble and kids whose mother’s may be struggling too.
Substance abuse is very much in the news these days. And while we read a lot about overdoses, sober homes and patient brokering I sometimes fear we lose sight of the human side of the story. I understand the fear, the concern and the worries about our neighborhoods.  I get it.

But I also believe we need to exercise compassion and introduce empathy to this important discussion. Compassion and empathy are not mushy words, but rather they often lead to understanding. And understanding leads to solutions.
Can you imagine if your child was caught in the grips of an addiction? If you feared every phone call and went to bed at night wondering if tonight was the night they might overdose?
Sadly millions of mother’s don’t have to wonder–that’s the lives they are leading.
There was a front page story in yesterday’s New York Times that detailed the shooting and eventual death of a 29 year old man in the Bronx. He was paralyzed by a gunshot allegedly delivered by a gang member. It was most likely a case of mistaken identity. When he left the hospital he died a few weeks later of a blood clot. He grew up in foster care and spent lots of time in prison. His mother was a crack cocaine user who lost custody of her 7 children. A sad story but a common one nonetheless.
Sadly we can go on and on–we all heard about the death of a young UFC fighter who was struck a week ago by a hit and run driver in Delray. The Delray police worked night and day to solve the case. Over the weekend they did.
But as soon as that headline ran we read about the shooting of another young man on I-95. Greg Bryant was a standout college football player who starred at American Heritage while in high school.
The intent here is not to bring you down. But rather to appeal for more empathy in our community. Gratitude too.
There’s a lot of pain out there. Let’s be thankful for what we have. And let’s heal those who need healing.


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