(WTOL) - It's been a heavy week for this new mom.
Last Wednesday, I dressed my daughter in her "love & kisses" onesie and red bow, as you can see in the photo, and d ropped her off at daycare.
Valentine's Day, a day to celebrate love, turned into a day of heartbreak. A shooter stormed into a Florida high school, opened fire, and killed 17 people. Many of the victims were sweet children, children who I see my innocent baby girl growing into.
This was my first experience of "hugging my daughter a little tighter" that day. I know many of you have had more of those days than you can count.
I'm not writing this to start a debate. I'm writing this as a new parent who has suddenly become very aware of the realities of this world and what I'm bringing Maggie into.
One week after the Florida school tragedy, we reported an 8-month-old baby girl has died in Toledo. Her mother's boyfriend is accused in her death. An autopsy report confirms the baby, a mere four months older than my daughter, died of "abusive head trauma."
Her death ruled a homicide. She had devastating head injuries with massive brain swelling and extensive facial trauma from a beating. There were also previous reports of bruising on her body in the three weeks before her death.
How did we get here? So many of you say you don't watch the news because it's "depressing." Working in television news has always been difficult. I'll admit, it's been quite painful this week. The other side of that coin is that in being a journalist,
I also have the opportunity to become a public servant. We have an incredible platform to inform the public. Whether that's alerting viewers of a potentially dangerous person in their neighborhood, warning of a scam that's going around, or providing information about resources that are out there for people who are struggling to care for their loved ones.
Moms and dads, it is not easy providing for our children. We want to give them the world, but let's face it, some days we're lucky to make sure they're fed and are wearing clean clothes. The struggle is even moreso for many people in our community.
I find it is my responsibility to do what I can to reach as many people as possible and arm them with knowledge. Knowledge that can hopefully make their lives easier.
Yesterday, my colleague in the newsroom did some digging to find out what resources are available to help parents who need it. If you're a mother or father who needs help with child care, transportation, or other necessities, here are a few places you can turn:
- Moms and Babies First at Neighborhood Health Association- 419-242-6028 ext. 655
- East Toledo Family Center Home Visiting Programs- 419-691-1429
- ProMedica Toledo Hospital Help Me Grow- 419-291-5581
- Mercy Health Connections- 419-251-2282
- Northwest Ohio Pathways HUB- 419-842-0800
Please share this information with the people in your lives and hopefully, I won't have to report on these types of tragedies anymore.
For that 8-month-old baby girl, I can only hope she has found peace, and as I write this, I look forward to picking up my sweet girl from daycare and showering her with "love & kisses."