Trayvons father reminds me of mine
caines | 4/25/2013, 5:30 a.m.
No matter how in control we aim to be sometimes our emotions can have a mind of their own. It happened to me the other day after being deeply touched by a heart-wrenching newspaper cover story that painted a portrait of the close father/son relationship once shared by Tracy and Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old who was shot to death by George Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer, Feb. 26th, 2012 in Sanford Fla. As I read through it, I felt like a an inconsolable relative of the slain teen and even more like a man who was being reminded of his own relationship between he and his father. Aside from the belated mourning that overtook my heart, the story revealed a number of striking similarities that drew vivid memories of my father and I, causing a mixture of both pleasant and troubling episodes regarding our relationship to flash before my very own eyes. Snippet details of who Trayvon was and what he and his father meant to each other made me look back at myself as well as the man whose loins I derived from with renewed interest, evoking thoughts that projected long ago images of my past across the silver screen in my mind. No, I am not Trayvon Martin as those who rallied for justice on his behalf had proclaimed to be. However, according to what was reported about his short-lived life, it appears as though we had enough in common to give me a reason to believe that we could have indeed bonded as pals at the same age living in the same neighborhood. We both played recreational team football, added gold teeth and tattoos to our bodies, have been suspended from school before and both come from loving families. Unlike myself, though, but like many of my friends who I grew up with in Miami Carol City, Trayvon never had any run-ins with law. But what really floored me is how we compared in stature: I stopped growing at 5 feet 11 inches Trayvon was the same height at time of his death, but Im almost certain that he was just beginning to sprout and still had a lot more growing to do in his development as a young man, one aspiring to attend college with dreams of learning how to fix and fly airplanes. To my surprise, I also discovered that his father is a truck driver like mine and acts of heroism between father and son have occurred in both our lives. When I was seven years old, my father came running in a hurry to whisk me away from my elementary school, racing me to the nearest hospital after I broke my arm playing football. When Trayvon was nine, he pulled his immobilized father from a burning apartment before calling 911. Eight years later, Tracy was trying to avert his sons attention away from a path which all typical teens often drift onto y taking him to his home in Sanford, Fla. after he had gotten into minor trouble in Miami. Sadly, only after five days away from Miami, far away from what he thought was a perilous environment, instead of being the hero and best friend that he had always been in Trayvons life, he found himself on the telephone with the police reporting his son missing when he never returned home from his trip to a nearby 7-Eleven the night before. Within a hour later of making the call, he viewed Trayvons lifeless body. The greatest disappointment for my father and I, is that my incarceration has made us miss each other for more than 20 long years. But for Tracy and Trayvon Martin, the death of one has caused the other to come to face-to-face with a tragedy they must learn how to live with, forever. What I think will never change, though, is the sorrowful feeling that gripped Tracy the moment he realized his baby was gone. And I doubt that the wailing in his heart will ever end. By Arthur Lee Hall, Jr.