As we moved further along the street, I saw a man on a horse carrying a Denver Broncos flag. I had read something about him the night before. He had been at the funeral at Darrent Williams' old high school. His son had played football with him. He was paying his respects.
The man’s face was covered—he didn’t want publicity. The horse paced back and forth as the man held up the flag and declared his support for our Darrent Williams.
We finally parked in a field next to Grace Lutheran Church, which was across the street from Grace Community Baptist Church. I stepped out into muddy grass with my Bible in hand and checked to make sure that the letter to Mrs. Williams was still inside.
As I looked around at the other mourners and noticed that a lot of other people were wearing their Broncos gear. Meanwhile, I was wearing my short-sleeved dark blue polo shirt. It was very, very cold, yet I hadn’t brought a coat. I was willing to endure the cold to show my colors.
Then I heard a lady talking to some other ladies. “Are y’all looking for husbands here?” I turned to see a group of African American ladies walking toward Grace Community Baptist Church. They were wearing black dresses, and some of them had hats on. “No, I already got a husband at home,” said one of the ladies.
The lady who asked the question turned to my family and me, examined us for a moment, and then pointed to Grace Lutheran Church. “Is this y’all’s church?” she asked. “No,” I responded, confused.
“Where are y’all going then?” she asked. “To the funeral,” I said, pointing to Grace Community Baptist Church.
“Oh, okay.” The lady turned her head to one side, as if she was still confused, and then she walked off.
It was then that I realized my family and I were attending a funeral at an African American church. We were some of the only white people there, but the thought had never even crossed my mind that I was white and Darrent Williams was black. There wasn’t any difference to me. I didn’t see why there should be any difference to them.
The lady had probably meant no harm, but my heart stung just a little more inside. Darrent Williams was a Denver Bronco, and I wanted to pay my respects to him.