How the Jackie Robinson West Little League Team Made Me Face My Fears and Become Vulnerable

How the Jackie Robinson West Little League Team Made Me Face My Fears and Become Vulnerable

Perhaps we'll travel this journey together. Photo courtesy of Spanish Photographer Jimmy Hoffman.
Perhaps we’ll travel this journey together. Photo courtesy of Spanish Photographer Jimmy Hoffman.

I ask myself a lot how can I tell you about the city of Chicago and hide myself at the same time. Blogging for me is so personal. I put my heart into everything that I write. But what about the times when my heart feels something that words can only defile. For example, the National Championship winning Jackie Robinson West Little League Team is celebrating a major historic win right now, at this moment in our city. Those babies and the people that support them have taken off work and lined their children on the parade route to give them a glimpse of what is possible when you dedicate yourself to a common goal. But as I watch the news coverage, because I certainly don’t have one of those take off for parades type of positions, and I see Governor Pat Quinn and Jesse Jackson and other public officials, I’m furious. I’m heated. I’m sad.

Photo by @merjourn for the Chicago Tribune
Photo by @merjourn for the Chicago Tribune

As the parade route marches down Halsted I couldn’t help but thank God that these 13 beautiful boys, 13 beautiful Black boys, were being ushered down the street in a trolley and not a hearse. How do I tell my readers, my readers whom 50% are non-ethnic, how sad I feel knowing that as soon as tomorrow there will be another parade down Halsted, a parade of grieving family members for a Black kid just like those 13 Little Leaguer’s on the Jackie Robinson West team.  How can I be honest about the city of Chicago without being vulnerable?

Photo courtesy of Gatlings Funeral Chapel
Photo courtesy of Gatlings Funeral Chapel

I have not addressed the nationwide news story of the murder of Ferguson, MO resident Michael Brown at the hands of police. I don’t know how to. ‘I don’t know how to’ are words that I have never uttered before when it comes to my writing. I have thesaurus’s’, dictionary’s, encyclopedia subscriptions and one of the most photographic memories I have encountered outside of Rain Main. So here’s a moment of silence, a pause, for the death of Michael Brown, the growth of the Jackie Robinson West Little League Team, the maturation of my vulnerabilities and the catalyst of our bonds together through sharing my real self with you.

I hope you excuse my absence and come back for more. My writing can only get better as I open up from a caterpillar to a butterfly and find the courage to share my true self with you and the city of Chicago. I love my city like no other, and together I know you all will get me through this. Thank you for your patience, and remember to always spread love- it’s the Chi-Town way. –RD.

P.S. Thank you to my favorite word-smith Penelope Trunk for the encouragement to write again and let go of my fears of being vulnerable. You my friend, rock.

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