While it was still an exhausting and draining day, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. We didn't make it to the mass, I just didn't think Joaquin would handle it and it just felt way too hypocritical to me. We got to the church as mass was ending and joined in the procession to the cemetery. The procession passed their home and the murder scene which was right across the street. There was a huge memorial of sorts covered in flowers and signs on the sidewalk in front of their home. When we got to the cemetery, I was shocked by how many people were there. Luckily Joaquin fell asleep on the drive over there, so he was asleep in the ergo the whole time. I didn't really want him around for all of this, but I didn't have anywhere else for him to go, either way, it didn't end up being an issue. Ms. S seemed to be holding herself together for the most part, I don't know how she did it. She did say a few words and expressed how much it meant to her that so many from the community were there to pay their respects. I talked to her afterwards and she gave me a big hug and said she had been thinking about me and told me to hold on to my sweet boy and to never let him go.
What really struck me as the most disturbing was the huge gang element present. I don't know if his death was gang related, people have said it wasn't, but it was just so there, in your face. As I looked around many were wearing shirts that said "Logan" or "Loganeros", it just seemed so disrespectful and wrong to me. Couldn't they just put it away for this? A funeral? I also recognized former students from Perkins, only they weren't kids anymore, but hard and mean looking men and women. It was weird. Because of the schools I've chosen to work at, I've seen what gangs look like, but I've never seen anything like this. It was almost like they were proud, proud of a fallen solider. It sickened me. Here was my friend, grieving over her lost son and they were proud.
I don't know. Today is bringing me to a place where I'm reflecting a bit on where I choose to work. I'm not sure I'm up for this anymore. Last year was hard, and even though "this" had nothing to do with my current school, it makes me wonder if scenes like this may be in my future. Things are getting a lot worse in these neighborhoods and I'm not sure I have the strength to be around to see it. My priorities seem to have changed.