Auntie M enjoys the pictures we get at Christmas of friend’s children.  We track their progress, see whom they favor, giggle at lost teeth and wide smiles.  I keep these non-family-but-very-special photo’s in their own album, adding the new snaps every year.

We also dote on our four Grands, even though they live so far away.  We have hopes that one day down the road Paramedic Son and his wife will give us one living closer, too.  These little people are a joy to behold, so very different from having one’s own.  There is a remove there, a generational gap which allows us to enjoy them, spoil them and love them without the agony of parenting and the full time worry.  Pure bliss.

And although Our Three Sons are all married now, Doc and I can still easily recall those days when we were the responsible parents: the time committment, the aching for them when things were off, the delight with them when they went well, the accomplishments and the failures and the hurts and the highs as we watched them grow and become independent human beings with thoughts and feelings all their own.  Three distinct personalities, all special.

So it is with a heavy heart that I heard on the news today that it is very likely the body of a little girl missing for over six months has been found in Florida.  I ache for those grandparents, their worst fears confirmed, who now have to grieve for their grandchild even as they face the very real probability that their own child is capable of murder.  I wonder at the mental process of a parent who can toss their own child away and see this most precious gift as only a burden.  And I feel deep sadness for that little life cut so very short, not through illness or any fault of her own.

It’s unthinkable, and it’s left me in a blue funk all day.