That was fiction.
The real story is one where a single mother left her child in a running car at 1:15am to run into the grocery store and she returned to find her car, and her child, missing. The car was found 15 miles away from the store with her son inside dead. A bullet through the brain.
In the hours which followed her finding her car and child missing, back-to-back Amber alerts went out far and wide. These Amber alerts woke us up in the middle of the night. We read them, put our phones back on our nightstands and went back to sleep.
The mother did not go to sleep. She waited for news of her child, terrified. Hoping for the best but terrified of the worst. A parent's worst nightmare playing out. Not knowing where her child was, who had him, was he safe, what were they doing to him.
By the time we were eating breakfast, the news of his murder broke and all our collective hearts broke for that baby and his lost life.
By the time we were all reading the news reports online, the undercurrent of hateful rumors had started. Speculation about why the mother was out that late started. Stories of how the mother was in the club partying while the child was in the car. Theories of how the child found a gun in the car while outside of the club and accidentally killed himself. Rumors that the mother was inside the store for over an hour waiting for the car to be fake stolen. Adamant statements of the mother contacting the murderers and setting up a fake kidnapping so she wouldn't be charged with her child's murder. And...the most startling of all...DEMANDS, IMMEDIATELY, FOR THE ARREST OF THE MOTHER FOR CHILD NEGLECT FOR LEAVING THE CHILD IN THE CAR.
Whenever I saw one of these statements and comments online I noted that the most vocal of them all were single mothers and, quite frankly, it came across with such an air of the "better-thans" that it was sickening. "Look at me! I'm better than her! My child is still alive!"
Smug, nauseatingly so.
"What kind of mother..."
After a mother lost her child in the blink of an eye. Her baby in that car terrified, or maybe the baby didn't even wake up. Just sleep and then dead. A bullet to his lil developing brain. Dead.
Why was it so quick that the potential story surrounding the child being in the car at that time of night be so ugly instead of the fictional story above? Why was it so easy for so many people to jump on the bandwagon of straight damning this poor mother immediately after her child had been murdered? Sure...she made a life altering decision to leave him in the car...but that woman didn't want her child to die. SHE LOST HER CHILD!
I saw pictures of this mother being carried by family members after she collapsed upon hearing the news of her child's murder.
I saw pictures of her grief-stricken family, horrified. I read the story in the Clarion-Ledger and got so upset I had to walk away from the computer. I had to walk away from all the perfect mothers who "would never..."
Turns out Ms. Archie, Kingston's mother, was in the store for 10 - 15 minutes buying medicine.
Turns out the child was murdered after the car was stolen by, in another tragic twist to this horrible crime, 17 and 18-year-olds.
Turns out Kingston was murdered by at least one of the children who stole the car at 1:15am.
Turns out all those rumors were mean-spirited and evil. Judge and jury in the midst of a mother's grief.
Turns out...people will do the most to be "better-than" someone...even during the most heinous of times.
As you can tell...this shit has sat on me hard. *sigh*
I know enough single mothers to know the shit is hard as fug. I listen to how exhausted they are getting it all done. I sit back and watch them do every single thing they can do to make sure their child/children have the best life possible. Because I actually KNOW and interact with single mothers...I can empathize with this poor mother even though I'm not a mother myself.
You'd think that other single mothers would have been able to empathize with her even easier than I did.
But the ones spreading the rumors and calling for her to be charged chose the low road.
How dare you add to this woman's grief in such an ugly, ugly way. How dare your narrative be so without compassion for another mother. How dare you.