Jonathon Watkins, the father of the 6-month-old baby girl who was shot five times while he changed her diaper, was released from the hospital today. I can't even imagine the utter sadness he must be experiencing right now, but there is something that might lift his spirits, even for the smallest second. Chicago rapper and singer Lupe Fiasco wrote, recorded and released a song about baby Jonylah Watkins and the lyrics and music are as touching as they are heartbreaking.
Fiasco, a Chicago native, is just about as tired of gun violence in the Windy City as anyone, and decided to share his grief and disbelief through the medium he knows best: song.
Titled "Jonylah Forever", the tune's lyrics imagines what the girl's life would've been like had she not become one of the youngest victims of gun violence ever. She takes her first steps, she reads her first book, she bonds with her parents, she goes to college, to med school, and comes back to open a clinic in the hood where she grew up.
Jonylah was shot five times. Dad Jonathon was shot three times (once in the leg, once in the buttocks, and one bullet grazed his face). Believe it or, Jonylah's mother was also shot a few months ago while working at a McDonald's in the area. Combined, this young family sustained nine gun shot wounds. Baby Jonylah's the only one who didn't survive.
The song is a beautiful depiction of a life that will never be lived. Jonylah was robbed of the opportunity to grow up -- something most of us take for granted everyday -- and it's songs and activism like Fiasco's that are one small step in the right direction. Jonylah, like the victims in Aurora, like the victims in Newtown, shouldn't have to be remembered because they shouldn't have been taken in the first place -- a picture "Jonylah Forever" paints perfectly.
Listen to Lupe Fiasco's "Jonylah Forever" here:
What do you think of the song?