There was a photo of a father and his daughter on the front page of the New York Times today. There is a story to go with the photo. You may have seen it, you may have read about it. You may have ignored it. When I came across it, it was like an emotional punch in the gut. I felt something break. Hell, I’m sitting here writing about it. Don’t go look for it. It is tragic. Another day, another tragedy, another child gone, another family destroyed. Another story.
I know the lengths I would go to keep my little boy safe. I know what I would do, or try to do, to make sure he has a chance at a better life.
That photo is seared into my brain. I don’t know that I’m ever gonna shake it. Face down, clothing intertwined. My son is upstairs asleep and safe. Wanted a story for bedtime, not a book, a story. I cast him as a jungle adventurer searching for a secret treasure. He fell asleep after the treasure was found and the adventurer returned to the safety of their home. Politicians are on television being politicians. And the lives of these kids is forever changed. Damaged. Broken. These are kids. They deserve better. We are doing so much damage. We have to do better. We have to make it right.
I can’t get that photo out of my head.