By Jabari Suhuba-Baruti
Suhuba-Baruti is a senior from Kalamazoo studying mathematics education at Ferris.
I think I understand why my Uncle got sick.
Why, after 35 years, his cellular structure changed,
Harbored harmful reactions and his body attacked him.
Rendered his systems useless, if ever left tubeless.
The perils of my Uncle mended a splintered family.
Took two factions, typically at odds,
And created a unified front,
Fused together by the pain of the one member they share.
Through his pain, we learned a valuable lesson:
It makes no difference on what side of the fence you fall
When the fence needs repairs.
I get why a man so ferocious between the lines of a football field
Would be afflicted by a disease that would shut his body down.
I have no confusion about why the greatest ball player ever couldn’t beat one last opponent:
A few ounces of his own flesh that turned against him.
I understand why Walter Payton—
A man nicknamed Sweetness for his smooth moves on the field,
And his giving personality off of it—
It can be explained why he perished a yellow eyed man,
A shell of himself,
As he endured pain even his hall of fame career couldn’t match.
When Sweetness went sour what he did was incredible.
While Walter and Chemo were going twelve rounds with a disease
Walter took time to raise money and spend most of his own
With the simple hope that realizing it could happen to you is all it takes
And maybe a few lives would be saved.
Its reflection on these lessons that lessen the sorrows of loss.
Seeing the good,
Not in the bad
But that stems from it,
Gives purpose to pain so you can embrace and
Not run from it.
But what lesson is there in nine people dying?
Nine of your followers, doing your work,
Gunned down with every intention of starting the second civil war?
What lesson comes of mothers losing their young sons,
While trying to make routine purchases at a neighborhood corner store?
I need you to answer me, God!
Please tell me there’s a purpose to all this pain.
Don’t let us suffer in vain.