My heart is very heavy today.
Staying at home with my sons is a luxury worth more than I can give value to. Some days, time drags on while others it flies by. Daily, I thank God and my husband for the opportunity to have so much with my sons, our treasures.
With time feeling so lucid, I honestly lose track of dates.
As was the case yesterday, until about 6:30pm.
Shortly after six, I read a news article in which a young boy was saved from drowning at Falls Park here in town. But, his heroes were missing.
My heart felt like it hit the floor. I became lightheaded and tearful.
Shortly after, I realized the date.
On March 14, 1994, my beautiful young cousin, only two-years old, Carissa, went missing. After what seemed like weeks, but really wasn't, she was found in the river on her family farm. She had followed their dog out the door quietly, quickly, and to the river, where she fell in and lost her life. I remember sitting, watching, waiting, praying, hoping, terrified... Until I saw a sight I will never forget.
Last night, when the date and tragic coincidence hit me, it toon my breath away. Literally. The room began spinning.
Partially out of my own sorrow and scars. But also, largely, for the overwhelming empathy I felt for the families of these two heroes. I felt their weighted, heavy hearts. Their world crumbling. Their shiny and restlessness. Their helplessness.
It hit home. I don't know them, but I felt I was there with them.
Two families lost lived ones who gave up their breath so a little boy could have his back. So selfless.
I've been spending a great deal of time over the last 21 hours praying. Praying for peace, for comfort, for strength. I've prayed for the rescue and recovery workers. I've prayed for the lost lives. I've prayed for their families. I've prayed endlessly for this young boy who will live the remainder of his life knowing that his sister and a complete stranger lost their lives for him.
It truly angers me that there are so many inconsiderate people that, instead if offering compassion, consideration, and condolences instead find it appropriate and necessary to offer condescend and blame. Hostility toward the mother. Angry critiques of parenting skills. And all while these heroes are still being searched for (though they may have just been found). It makes me sick to my stomach.
I'll just continue to pray.
Update: They have recovered the body of the little boy's older sister.