Those who live locally here in Jax know about Somer Thompson. If you don't, please click here, then read on.
North Florida has been heartbroken for the past 72 hours, first with her disappearance, then with the discovery of Somer's body. When the story first broke, I was annoyed that they interrupted my Big Bank Theory to talk about a missing girl that never came home from school. Then when Barry said (who, at first, was also annoyed) "What if it was Alexa?" my annoyance quickly dissipated.
I admit, I kept my distance. Even though it unfolded in Orange Park, minutes from where I grew up, I felt as I did with any other story on the news. It was a "There goes another one" attitude. Then, yesterday morning, I listened to Somer's mom give a news conference on the way to work. Her voice was so... distraught. I've never heard heartbreak, real sorrow, like I did from her.
Then, last night, they found the body but couldn't confirm it was Somer. So again, I kept my distance - they don't know yet.
But listening to the news on the way to work this morning, they confirmed the body found in the landfill was indeed Somer Thompson, a 7 yr old who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. I've never let a news story affect me like this. I sobbed all the way to work. I'm realizing that, as a parent, you see the news in a completely different light. Prior to Alexa, I could sympathize and say "I can imagine what they're going through." Now I realize that I really didn't have a fucking clue. No one can tell you how scary it is going to be as a parent. No one can warn you about these things. Does it get any easier to listen to the news? Knowing that the family on the screen really isn't any different than us and, just like my family, doesn't deserve to feel that horrific grief?
Somer, I didn't know you. But I know that your mother loves you. Your brothers and sisters love you. And now, a whole town, state, and country love you. Please dance with the angels, and give my Grandma a big hug from me.