Less than a week ago, at the same time that THGGM and I were spreading out a picnic in our backyard for Jonge, Famke, Kado, and Feintsje before they left for home (they spent the weekend with us) a few miles away things were going much differently for a school friend of Jonge's.
A nine year old boy in Jonge's same grade with whom he played with at recess time was brutally murdered by a twelve year old boy while playing on a small playground in his neighborhood.
The details really aren't necessary, and they are all over the internet if you do care to know them
I cannot imagine what Connor's parents and his three younger brothers are living through. But although I cannot possibly imagine, I also cannot stop trying to imagine.
Jonge's parents arrived home from a nice business trip to Atlanta to have to tell their children that a friend had not just died, which would be difficult enough, but that he was murdered by another child that he did not even know. Just random. Been planning it for over a year. Not even a fight, as Connor wasn't a fighter. He was a soccer player, a big brother, a much beloved son.
My son-in-law explained it as best he could to his oldest of four children, also a kind boy with a big heart who loves to play soccer. But really, what can one say? NOTHING will ever make this crime understandable. NOTHING. It should not have ever happened.
If you are the praying kind, or the kind of soul who believes that good can come from horror, please think of the young boy's family. A week ago this unimaginable pain was nowhere in their thoughts or plans for their future. Everything for them is different now, and will forever remain so.
Jonge seems to be doing well. He has parents he can talk freely to, and he is talking. Famke too, who knows the brother who at seven years old witnessed this horror. Connor's last words were to him. "If anything happens to me, this wasn't your fault. I will always love you."
God help us.