June 25, 2011

When tragedy hits too close to home

For those of you who regularly read my blog, you know the impact my work as a news reporter has on my role as a wife and mother.  When I cover a story about child abuse or - worse - a child who is murdered, I see my own child's face. I believe it is a natural reaction for any parent.  And it is frightening.

While I have shed more than a few tears for these children I have never met, I also know my decade-long career has allowed me to develop an armor that protects my sanity.

Venting helps.  And that's why after a particularly hard day at work, I come home and tell my husband about any stories that really get to me.

But last week, our roles were horribly reversed.

My husband had left to help a friend move.  He was gone for maybe an hour when he called to tell me that I should watch the news. A four year old girl who lived a few blocks away had been hit by a truck right in front of my husband and his friends.  They all were covered in blood as they tried to keep the girl alive.  My husband hugged the family and other children who were outside on this sunny, summer day that suddenly turned dark. 

He told me the girl was alive when they took her to the hospital.  But when she got there, she was pronounced dead.

It was after midnight when my husband finally came home.  He was absolutely devastated.  Through his tears, all he kept saying was "She was just a baby."  I didn't know what to say, so I didn't say anything, except that I was sorry.

Because I was sorry.  I was sorry that he will forever have to live with the image of a little girl getting run over by a truck.  I was sorry he has to keep a memory of her broken body covered with blood.  And I expect that at least for a split second, that dying child has the face of our daughter.

When my daughter woke up in the middle of the night that night, my husband ran in to comfort her.  He kissed her over and over while telling her "I love you. I love you".  I stood in the doorway with tears in my eyes.

While my job puts me in difficult situations where I have to report on heinous crimes, I can say that I have never witnessed the death of a child. 

I don't think my armor would hold up.

1 comment:

  1. Your story hit me like a freight train. I commend your husband for such a brave act. God bless all of you.