I'm not going to lie...I usually catch up on daily world events by reading the headlines on the home page of Yahoo. I know I am not alone in this. The truth is, I rarely watch television and when I do, I'm surely not going to depress myself by watching the news. More importantly, it's hard to find good and accurate news anywhere these days anyway. Media today is so unreliable, not to mention EVERYONE has their own opinion on EVERYTHING. And I rarely blog about said events because I don't really want to turn my blog into a political debate platform (which, let's face it...tends to happen no matter what topic you discuss). So I tend to stay away from expressing myself on certain issues all-together. Everyone will have their own opinions regarding politics and religion and usually you just have to agree to disagree.
|Ashley Moser (left) and her daughter Veronica Moser (right)|
With that being said, I felt incredibly compelled to say something about a certain topic that broke my heart today. Since I know I'm not alone in reading the Yahoo news, most of you have probably heard of Ashley Moser. Ashley was the 25-year-old mom who was critically wounded when a gunman opened fire at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater during the premiere of 'THE DARK KNIGHT RISES' (also known as the Colorado Massacre that you have all heard, seen, and read about). Ashley was shot in the abdomen and neck. She is also the mother of 6-year-old Veronica, the youngest to be killed in the theater shooting. As if that wasn't painful enough, it is now being reported that Ashley was 8 weeks pregnant and suffered a miscarriage due to her injuries. You can read the full article here.
I remember the night that this tragedy was unfolding. My mom called me in a panic to tell me what was going on so I turned on our TV. My eyes were glued to the television. I didn't get to sleep until 5:30am. I couldn't stop thinking about all of those parents and family members waiting to see if their loved ones were okay. I couldn't get that thought out of my head. My mom was quite worried because my 20-year-old brother was at a movie theater at that same time to attend the 3:00am showing of the same movie here in California. But apparently the worry came from everyone on the news being very concerned about “copycats”. She did eventually get a hold of my brother and was a bit relieved after. But just a bit.
I was in tears the following days when I found out exactly how many were killed and that one was a 6-year-old girl. I remember reading news articles about how the family didn't want to tell the mother about her daughter because she was in very critical condition. How heartbreaking. How something that was supposed to be fun and exciting can turn into such a tragedy is completely devastating. My heart hurt for that mother (actually, for all the loved ones of the victims) because if I were in her position, I do not know what I would do. Now to find out that she actually lost 2 children in all of this? Words can't even describe that kind of heartache.
Now for the reason for this post. As I was reading this particular article (the same one I linked to above), I noticed all of the comments of people expressing their sorrow for this mother. They were letting her know that she was in their prayers. They wrote heartfelt letters to her. They consoled her with their words, the way you would your closest friend – if your closest friend were going through the same thing. It was so nice to see people come together like that and be there for someone whom they have never met but share in their grief.
I also couldn't help but notice the comments that were attacking this mother. They were calling her an awful parent and saying that it was her fault that her daughter was dead. Some said she got what she deserved for taking her 6-year-old to a midnight showing of Batman. Also according to some of these comments, pregnant women who go to the movies at midnight don't really want their unborn babies...since they are willing to put them at risk and all (and these weren't even the worst of the comments - some were nothing but pure hate and completely disgusting). Now, let me just put this out there right away...no parent EVER deserves to have their children murdered! EVER!!!
Reading these comments seriously made me sick to my stomach. Even if you don't agree with what she did...how can you be so judgmental and insensitive? This woman just lost 2 children. She is lying in a hospital still trying to figure out what happened. The last thing she probably remembers is going to a movie to have fun and the next moment, her whole life has been taken away from her. They don't know if she will ever be able to walk again and she will probably have to have someone take care of her for the rest of her life. I don't even know how I would live if I was told that I lost my children. And all some people can do is criticize her? Really? Because you are so perfect? You are perfect parents who have always made “good” decisions?
I apologize if I come off a tad angry. It's because I am. Some people never cease to amaze me. Would I ever take my 6-year-old to a midnight showing of a movie? No, I would not. However, that doesn't mean that I am going to judge those that do. After all, it is summer. Kids are out of school and most parents let them stay up late. And it's not like kids don't like Batman. He's not awesome or anything. Pretty sure kids would be telling their parents that Batman scares them and gives them nightmares if it were so bad. “Well isn't it too violent a movie for a 6-year-old?” I don't know. I haven't seen it. I know it's rated PG-13 but maybe so. So are 90% of the shows on TV and the commercials for that matter. So are their comic books and most of the music out today. And who judges what is too violent for MY child, anyway? You? When I was younger, too violent meant my parents covered my eyes during the bad parts and that was it. We also went to the drive-in quite a bit where it was quite common to have children's movies playing past midnight during the summer. Does that mean that all of those parents who filled that parking lot are bad parents too? Or is it only considered bad parenting when a tragedy occurs? Also, you know what the great thing about us living in a free country is? We get to make our OWN decisions. We get to parent the way WE want and the way WE see fit. That includes keeping our kids up a little later if we want to. All children are different and can handle different things. Only you know your child better than anyone. I see parents doing stuff every single day that I don't agree with. Am I going up to every one of them and lecturing them? No. I even come across blogs of parents writing about certain things they do that I might find appalling. Do I leave them a bunch of nasty comments? No. It is not my right to do so (unless you are abusing your kids...then I will definitely do what I can to save your child). If I don't want to take my daughter to the movies at midnight, that is my choice. It doesn't mean that I am right or wrong, it just means that my parenting style is different. And that's okay.
All of that aside, the point I was trying to make was about the insensitive comments. Whether you agree with her or not, you should keep your mouth shut unless it's to offer your condolences. The story is about a grieving mother. Not about your “super-great” parenting skills. That's what your blog and Facebook statuses are for. It's about common decency and having empathy for what this woman is going through, regardless of your personal beliefs. Also, let's not say this would not have happened if she didn't take her daughter to a movie so late. A shooting spree like this could have (and HAS) happened anywhere. A mall. A school. You just never know. You can't predict what all of the sick, crazy people out there are going to do. All we can do is love our children and our family and our friends with all of our hearts every single day. Let this story be an example of just how short life really is.
I will continue to pray for all of the victims of this tragedy and their families. And God bless all of the people in that movie theater who risked their lives or stayed behind to help others. You are heroes.
*Photo courtesy of Google ImagesTweet