Mother’s Day is unlike any other holiday in the United States, as it does not subscribe to any specific religion, ideology or political stance. Mothers are revered regardless of your position on any of the issues of the day. It is a day for mothers to be recognized for their undying love and strength and to be celebrated for being able to bring life into the world. Unfortunately, many of these women find themselves with a void in their hearts that cannot be filled. Violence has overtaken many of Chicago’s neighborhoods and has created a community of mothers who come together and mourn the loss of their children.
The pain and heartache these mothers feel are oftentimes not recognized and they are left to filter through all of the emotions alone. These mothers deserve a voice. Their children represent more than a statistic or latest story on the news. These children represent the chasm of unrealized dreams, potential and broken hearts.
We have been fortunate enough to speak with a few of these women and offered them an opportunity to share their story about who their children are and the struggles they are going through.
Cheryl Myles still mourns the murder of her son Kyle Myles 10 years after his murder. We spoke with her about her loss and she shares her feelings.
What happened to your child?
There was a man in our neighborhood that everyone knew was a pedophile. He owned a barbershop with his dad on 75th and Crandon. He was trying to talk to this 13 or 14-year-old girl and my son intervened and he shot my son numerous times.
Talk about the best memory of your son.
My son was a boxer. He was very smart and with the advice of his father he started a halfway house with his girlfriend. He was a chemistry major at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia.
Describe the pain you have been feeling over the past 10 years.
It’s not pain. It’s pangs. It’s like an aching loss. It’s like you lost a part of yourself. It’s more of me thinking how would it be if he was here. I have a younger son who is in college. He tries his best to make his brother proud. It’s just mostly me thinking “what if.”
How does Mother’s Day feel for you?
I remember Kyle would call me at six in the morning and ask me what I wanted and I would say him waking me up a six in the morning was fine. I know he’s not here now, so I just pray. I was so angry at first.
What happened to the man who killed your son?
He got 48 years and last year he went up for clemency. I had to relive that all over again. His entire family was there speaking on his behalf.
So many mothers in your situation have open cases and never get any justice. Do you feel like you have gotten justice for the death of your son?
Oh yeah. I had to forgive him. If I didn’t forgive him, I would have just been bitter. Evilness will eat you up inside. I’m not saying I will forget. I went through a phase when they let him out on bond initially. I would wear different clothes; I carried an ice pick and a gun and wherever he was, I was there. When my nephew got shot, I realized it had to be a sign. I had to stop thinking about getting revenge and give it to God.
How has the sisterhood of other mothers with children killed by violence helped?
I’ve bonded with them. I can pick up the phone and get encouraging words.
What encouraging words do you have for mothers who have gone through this?
Just pray. Have faith. We all have to go one day. Some are ugly circumstances, but we all have to go one day, but if you live right you will see your child again.