So, I just finished up a story about a 19 year old accused of violently shaking his 2 month old daughter until she had a fractured skull, ribs and bleeding in the brain.

Gaskins

I’m still waiting to update the story on the 150 people killed in a plane crash in the French Alps.

french alps

Before I started that one, I wrapped up the arrest in the cold case murder of a 64 year old, unarmed hotel security guard who was shot twice in the back by a robber.

William Williams - Cold Case victim

In-between stories, I cried all over the desk after reading a friend’s blog about her friend’s 21 month old son who died unexpectedly last week.

Yesterday, I sobbed on the drive home after a stop at the vet’s office to get my dog’s medication. I saw a woman holding a little boy on her lap in the parking lot as they wept over a dead pet.

When I have a spare moment, I am overwhelmed by sadness over my mother’s struggle to care for my grandparents alone.

They have Alzheimer’s and dementia.

She works full-time in the news business too and comes home every night to soggy adult diapers stuffed in the dog food canister and profanity-laced tirades from my grandmother who is perpetually threatening to kill herself or escape. (When she’s not berating her husband, who has no memory of her insults just moments later.)

grandparents

Last night as I worked out, I sweat, cried and worried for a friend whose marriage is falling apart.

Along with the endless sorrows of this life, I had to fight off panic today when I realized I missed a phone call from the day care because Alma was screaming that her eyes were burning for some unknown reason.

Then, I cried because I feel like a shitty parent. For missing the call. For not being able to rush to the school to pick her up.

Then again for the mother I don’t even know who just had to bury her son.

I am worn thin from the misery, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I love hard, even though it means I hurt deeply.

I care for complete strangers and take pride in my empathy.

I hurt for my family and friends, but I also celebrate their joys like it’s my own private party.

And at the end of the day, when I put my daughter to bed, she will give me a real hug and a kiss on the cheek and tell me she loves me and it will be enough to prepare me for another day of tragedy and despair.

alma

My son will ask me to read him a book and rub my arm nonchalantly and lay his head on my shoulder and I will feel like I can walk around with the weight of the world on my shoulders forever.

huck

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