GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- My heart hurts from all of the tragedy that has fallen upon us these past few weeks. Though I’m not personally impacted by losing a loved one I can’t help but feel jaded by the world’s recent events. From the back to back senseless tragedies in Kalamazoo, to the horrific events that unfolded in Orlando this week I just can’t shake a very uncomfortable feeling of anxiety deep in the pit of my stomach.
“I just can’t shake a very uncomfortable feeling of anxiety deep in the pit of my stomach.”
As a parent, news of these events affects me differently now. I simply can’t get the horrific images out of my head from these incidents. I’ve thought countless times about the mom and dad who watched their sweet baby get snatched by an alligator from that Orlando lagoon and pulled under the water, to not be seen alive again. It cuts me to my core.
For all of the horrible people in this world who place blame on those parents I beg you to stop judging and just pray for them. I can’t imagine having to board that plane to go back home without my baby. I can’t imagine re-watching that horror movie over and over in my dreams every night.
I looked up their Facebook pages. Why? I don’t know. I guess that’s what we do these days in this social media world. I just want to reach out to them, hug them. I want to rewind the clock for them so that one thing went differently that day to shake up the timeline so that they weren’t wading in the water the minute that alligator approached. I know that mom will think that the rest of her life and my heart aches for her so deeply.
I hugged my babies tighter last night. When I laid with my 4-year-old son last night as he tried to fall asleep I reminded myself to be thankful for his constant chatter next to me. I reminded myself how lucky I was to be snuggled up next to him and that he was safe in his bed. My 18-month-old daughter woke up this morning yelling, “mama!” as loud as she could from her crib I told myself to be thankful. I’m sure that the mother who lost her son would give anything to change one more diaper or hear the sweet sound of her baby waking up safely in his bed at home.
“I’m sure that the mother who lost her son would give anything to change one more diaper or hear the sweet sound of her baby waking up safely in his bed at home.”
This weekend my family is pretty busy like most families this time of year. I’m preparing for a business trip out of town, my husband is chugging through a master class and the kids are full of energy at every turn. I was given some fun free movie passes for “Finding Dory” which my son will love. I contacted a close family friend to see if she wanted to maybe go on a movie date with my son since I was too busy to take him. Though she couldn’t go, she suggested her daughter (whom I adore and is our child’s frequent babysitter) take him instead. Problem solved right? She’s 18, she’s super responsible, I love her dearly but I feel so jaded from all the wrong in this world and I can’t bring myself to say yes. I also can’t bring myself to say out loud the reason why because it sounds ridiculous.
Want to know what I’m thinking?
I’m thinking what if this is the day that a mass shooter decides to walk into the movie theatre and open fire and I’m not there to protect him. Honestly that thought is on repeat in my brain. It’s ridiculous but that’s what the world has brought me to this week. I don’t feel comfortable sending my child to see “Finding Dory” with his beloved babysitter because I worried some crazy lunatic could bring a weapon and gun them down on a perfectly normal Saturday morning, at a perfectly safe location, in our perfectly safe little haven of West Michigan.
“I worried some crazy lunatic could bring a weapon and gun them down on a perfectly normal Saturday morning, at a perfectly safe location, in our perfectly safe little haven of West Michigan.”
It shouldn’t be like this.
But it is…
I mean a man claiming to be possessed by an Uber app one night just drove around town killing random innocent people less than an hour’s drive from my house a few month ago. Then just last week another man for unknown reasons plowed through nine people riding their bikes leaving their children without moms or dads. What is the world coming too?
Of course if I sent my son to the movie and something did happen to them what would people say on Facebook? Certainly they wouldn’t extend their deep sympathies. They would shame me like they do everyone else and say, “Why would that mother let her 4 1/2 year old go with a teenager to the movie?” “It’s her fault for not being a responsible parent and taking her own child” etc.
It’s sad to know that these obscure thoughts are preventing my sweet boy from having a morning of fun with one of his favorite people.
I don’t know what they answer is. I just know that today I have a pit in the bottom of my stomach. I’m to the point where I want to shut down my social media and turn off the TV and live in a happy bubble where people don’t bring a gun and murder dozens of innocent people just for the heck of it.
I want to go back to a time where people said, “What can I do to help?” instead of pointing the finger at parents when tragic accidents happens. I want my kids to grow up in a world that is mostly safe and mostly filled with good people with good hearts.
Is that too much to ask?