I wore my love attracts love shirt on Monday to work out in. I hadn’t heard the heart-breaking story that was featured in the news earlier that morning. A senseless tragedy took place at Carter Jones Park during a community picnic on Sunday evening around 7:25 p.m. A lovely summer day ended with two children suffering gunshot wounds after someone fired 24 times from somewhere near the basketball courts. Stray bullets changed the lives of everyone there and claimed the life of an 8-year-old girl named Markiya Simone Dickson who was fatally wounded. The 11-year-old boy Jacquez Moses sustained life threatening injuries, but he is expected to recover. How could this happen to two innocent children in a park that is meant for recreation and rejuvenation for all who go there? If love attracts love then, what do we do when anger and hatred enter into our lives causing havoc and chaos?
With a heavy heart, I drove by Carter Jones Park this morning, and saw a few paper hearts on the rocks on one of the borders of this community park. I recently moved to the Southside of Richmond, and my thoughts drifted to the playground where my sons had played when they were younger. What if this had happened at Mary Munford Playground? Would I hover over my sons and let them play after such a thing as this? Would fear or courage rule my choices? Are we at a crossroads in Richmond? Do we work together to make our small corner of the world a safer place? Love attracts love is more than words on a shirt! What will we do?