Lesley McSpadden, mother of the unarmed black teenager Michael Brown who was shot and killed in August by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., attends a press briefing in Geneva on Nov. 12, 2014, after a session of the United Nations Committee Against Torture. Committee members slammed police brutality that appears to disproportionately affect minorities.

Here we are again. 

Waiting on a decision from a grand jury about the fate of a white man who has killed a black man.


This time, it's Ferguson, Mo. The black man who died is named Michael Brown, and his killer is named Officer Darren Wilson. 

That word "killer" makes you cringe? Makes me sound like I'm saying Officer Wilson is guilty of murder? Makes you feel like I have already made a decision in my mind about facts I can't be sure of?


No, it's just a word of fact. Officer Wilson killed Michael Brown, no matter whether you believe it was justified or the use of excessive force. 

But that's not what this article is about. It's about Ferguson, motherhood and stomachaches.


I hate what's happening in Ferguson as I hated what happened in Sanford, Fla., Staten Island, N.Y., and countless other places where the deaths of other black men highlighted the great racial divide in this country and helped all of us Americans grow farther and farther apart. 

Ferguson is in the spotlight today, but it may be coming to a town near you next week, next month, next year. 


Sitting and waiting for the grand jury to decide whether Officer Darren Wilson will be indicted and face a trial for the killing of Michael Brown awakens a fear in me that touches to the core of my being—to the core of my motherhood: the fear that someone will harm or, worse, kill my child.  

I remember I sobbed for Sybrina Fulton because I felt so connected to her pain. I can't explain why because I haven't endured that type of pain, but Sybrina was the mother whose pain and strength shook my core and changed me. I would later meet Sybrina and even host an event for the Trayvon Martin Foundation. To this day, it's hard for me to be around her and not cry, not sob.


It happened again when I met and interviewed Lucy McBath, mother of Jordan Davis, whose killer's trial was known as the "loud music" trial. Lucy's pain could be seen straight through her eyeballs, so deep and so red and so exhausted with grief. Before I could even hug her in the doorway of the radio station where I work, I was in tears. She would text me during the trial, and her texts would send me to my knees. I didn't know what to do with the grief, how to process it, how to be helpful.

Motherhood tears, "my baby is gone" tears, "you yanked my heart out of my body" tears. That's what I call them.  


Now I see that pain all over Lesley McSpadden, Michael Brown's mother, and I sob again for another mother whom I'm bound to meet, interview or have to present to an audience because of what happened to her son and what her life represents now. I know a father's grief is equal, haunting and guilt ridden. But for me, I identify with the mother's pain in a way that makes me ache.

It's an actual stomachache. The kind that makes your appetite go away, makes you clutch your middle and for sure makes you grumpy. It's the stomachache that keeps me up at night watching TV for hours upon hours just in case there is breaking news, a verdict. It's a stomachache that no medication can take away because its symptoms are based on a problematic past and a not-so-promising future. It's a stomachache filled with the stress I feel over the racial divide in America and the scarce signs of progress I see for the future. 


Right now, it's a Ferguson-motherhood-pain stomachache, and I'm sick of feeling this way.  

Sad thing is, I'm starting to adjust to this stomachache, learning how to cope with it until it fades away. 


Then I just sit and wait for the next one, always praying and hoping that things will one day change.

Mo Ivory is co-host of The Frank Ski Show on WHUR-FM in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter.

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