There was a time when I stopped watching the news and reading the paper. There were nothing but depressing stories to choose from. A grieving parent, yellow caution tape, blaring sirens, and make-shift memorials filled the screen and pages of the news. It became too difficult to watch. I couldn't help but think, "That's someones child."
Yesterday was no exception.
My Mom works at a high school. A military academy to be exact. She often shares stories with me about her days at work. She rarely complains, seldom takes a day off, and always treats the students as her own. You can only imagine how it feels when something terrible happens to one of her students. I know all to well.
Last night I received a phone call from my Mom. I thought she was calling to make sure my son and I made it home safely. Instead, she started the conversation in a weakened voice. A voice that was overcome by tears and heartache. As it turns out, the terrible story we had heard on the news just before I left her house, was just beginning to unfold.
A 19 year-old girl, 4 months pregnant, was found beaten to death near the football field at her former high school. It was later confirmed that her boyfriend killed her. Of course there is immense speculation on his motivates, but only he knows why he committed such a selfish, horrific, and senseless act. The Washington Post reports more on the story here. They later update the story with an arrest made in the case. You can imagine the feeling that overcame me when I read the details.
This story hits close to home. While I did not experience the severity of this incident, my life freakishly paralleled the situation.
I discovered I was pregnant at the age of 19. You can imagine how scared I was. I had just finished a year at college, and decided to take a semester off to examine where I wanted to go in life. Ian was away at college. He was 20. We were experiencing the downfalls that come along with trying to maintain a relationship and dating while in college. In the already blurred reality of becoming an adult in the 'real-world', we were both thrust into adulthood with this unexpected news.
I was fortunate to have the support of my partner when we discovered we would be parents. Although we knew our lives would change completely, we managed to build a strong foundation for our soon-to-be born child. With the help and support of family and friends, we gave birth to our son on Christmas Eve 2001.
Exactly like my story, the girl was 19 and pregnant, and the father was 20 and a college student. Both were probably terrified of what was next.
This story touches me. Not only for its similarity to my life, but the mere fact that several families have experienced a loss. The girl's family will never see their daughter again. The boy's family may never see their son again. The unborn child will never experience life on Earth. And we all are losing two promising students of the future.
At any given point in time, somewhere in the world, people are crying. In times like this, we all experience each others pain. Continue to pray for both families in their time of bereavement.
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