A terrible thought


Written on Friday, December 29, 2006 by Jessica

"A terrible thought has moved into my mind....It's gonna take a hundred thoughts to make this one disappear." --Poe, "Terrible Thought"

I swore off the news a few weeks ago. A family took a wrong turn in a blizzard and got stranded in the Oregon wilderness. If you don't already know the details and would rather not hear them, I suggest you quit reading now. The family didn't have any supplies save a few jars of baby food. After they ran out of gas, they burned their tires for heat and to signal for help. The mother nursed her seven month old and four year old to feed them. After a week, the father went searching for help in his street clothes. I can't even imagine the despair of the situation. Knowing that no one is looking for you. Having two hungry children who don't understand why you can't feed them. Nursing the children while you can but knowing your milk will dry up due to stress and lack of nourishment. And to make matters worse, the mother and children were rescued, but the father died due to exposure to the elements. Imagine what it must be like to be his wife, knowing that if her husband had only stayed, he'd be alive, too. What kind of conversations did they have before he left? Did she beg him to stay? Or did she desperately scream on the inside for him to stay but put on a brave front and tell him to look for help, it was their only hope.

I tried not to think about it. I tried not to cry. But I kept imagining it over and over. It was all so horrific that I swore off the news. No more news for me.

Except I'm a news junkie, and I can't stop.

I nearly swore off the news after the Tsunami, after Katrina, after that jerk shot his wife and baby and ran home to England. I nearly swore off it when that woman was locked up in jail and her toddler was left to fend for herself at home for thirteen days eating uncooked spaghetti and ketchup. I nearly swore off it when I read about the woman who microwaved her twenty-eight-day-old daughter. But I can't stop, so my mind remains filled with terrible thoughts.

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  1. Ellen |

    I'm right there with you Jessica. I'm not a news junkie (no Fox News or CNN for me..... just the evening news from 6 to 7), but stories like what you mention linger and linger and affect me much longer than I would like. Every story seems sadder than the last. It's hard to have a tender heart, sometimes I wish I was made of stone, but I think those of us with compassionate hearts keep the world from going totally over the edge into chaos and complete and utter depravity.

  2. Jessica |

    I never really thought about that. I certainly wouldn't want to be someone who is unmoved by such stories. I suppose I wish I was moved a little less.


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