The Nightmare Before Christmas
Dec. 9, 2012 11:49 am
Updated: Dec. 16, 2012 7:10 pm
If you want to read blogs about happy times and Christmas cheer, this is NOT the one to read. I enjoy this holiday season the same way so many do, baking, cooking, and decorating the house while listening to beautiful Christmas
music. I am sorry to interfere with Christmas cheer but this story has to be told and I need help from all of you, finding an avenue to channel my endeavors so that this might not happen to another child.
Sadly, this week, I read a horrific story in our Las Vegas newspaper. It was a about the death of a little seven year old boy named Roderick. He was beaten to death by his parents. They beat him because he did not do his homework and did not read a bible passage.
When the mother found him unresponsive in the morning she didn't call 911......she called her pastor. They showed an interview of their pastor and he told the interviewer that he told them to call 911 immediately and that he believed they had committed child
abuse against their son. This horrific event brought me back to a story I had recently read about a young woman in a far away country who was stabbed to death by her mother and father for wearing or acting contrary to the strict adherence of their Muslim???
religion. I was aghast at the story, but I went on with my day and soon that sad story was behind me.
Then Roderick came into my life. He was not really in my life, but his story has touched my soul and my quiet moments. His face has woken me in the middle of the night and I feel guilty that I lived up the hill a couple of miles in a warm and safe home with
hot food bubbling on my stove while he was beaten mercilessly in the house of horrors he called home. Did he have a hot dinner the last night of his life or was he so broken that he huddled away from his torturers? Did he believe that God would forsake him
for not reading his bible passage? Did he still look forward to Christmas and all the promises that brings to so many little ones?
The stories say that he was recently returned to his parents after having lived for some time with his grandma. Does his grandmother weep and wail at what she couldn't fix in his life? Does she wake up and feel guilty for returning him to the mother who wanted
him back? The newspaper said that someone from his school called CPS the last day of Roderick's life on this earth. They also said that he had not been able to sit down in class that last day and he shared with his teacher that he had been whooped on the
butt and it was too painful to sit. The teacher? or someone at the school did the right thing and called the authorities at the CPS hotline, but it was too late for Roderick and I wonder how much pain this teacher/mentor suffers now. Does he/she blame themselves
for not stealing little Roderick away and saving him from the monsters he called mom and dad only to risk being arrested and stripped of a teaching license for interfering with due process?
My husband is a public school teacher, and when I shared my despair with him he said he could NOT hear it. He has witnessed the sad lives of so many kids with broken lives brought on by neglectful or irresponsible parents or crime or divorce that he said he
cannot stand to hear one more sad thing about some innocent child being hurt. He is fully convinced that education's biggest enemy is the pitiful lives so many kids live these days. Divorce, prison, or just sad neglect of nurturing or value for education stunts
the lives of so many children in our society. My husband has 45 of these charges for six periods a day (that is over 250 students a day) and he wonders frequently how he can touch their lives for just one moment in a positive way. It breaks his heart that
so many of them seem so needy or miserable. Many of them do not even like holiday breaks. What kind of life do you live as a kid when you don't look forward to the wonders of Christmas or a long warm summer to explore your world?
I have watched the videos of this beautiful boy with the spark in his eye named Roderick. Every single photo shows a wide smile and a delighted look in his eyes. His happiness looks genuine and I wonder if anyone else could sense the impending doom. I will
hold his smile and sparkle in my heart through this holiday season and search for an answer to the dilemma of abused children and the monsters who perpetrate such violence. I will search out an avenue to channel my energy and hope that I can prevent one more
Roderick/victim. It is the least I can do. I ask that all of you be vigilant in your defense of children and nurture and protect all children.
With love and warmest respect to Roderick. You live in my heart little man.