Yesterday morning I awoke and watched in horror as the news of the Disney Alligator Attack spread on social media. A 2 year old little boy was snagged by an alligator and taken underwater as his parents watched in horror. The father tried to save his son but to no avail. I. CANT. EVEN. IMAGINE.
My own dear children have played on these same beaches. Disney even used to allow people to swim in the lake! I played on these beaches AND in the water as a child!
I’ve taken my kids down to Fort Wilderness and we’ve spent the evening on and in the sand while watching the electric water parade. Almost always, we take our shoes off due to the sand. I’m quite certain many of their little toes have ended up splashing in the water in the evening.
I’ve pointed out the “No Swimming” signs to the kids. I’ve told them about the horrible bacteria that is said to be in the waters.
I honestly never even considered alligators.
Yes, I know it’s Florida. Yes I know there are gators in Florida. However, out of all the times I’ve been to Disney, which is likely around 20, I cannot recall seeing an alligator. I’ve seen snakes, possums, varieties of birds and other creatures. Never an alligator.
Since everything unfolded, there are numerous people placing blame on the parents. “Why weren’t they looking? Why was their kid in the water? It’s their fault!” and other horrific things that aren’t worth repeating. Again. I. CANT. EVEN. IMAGINE.
The horror of what they witnessed happening to their poor baby. Wondering where he was. Wondering if it was quick or if he suffered. Knowing they will have to pack up and return home, one child short. Knowing they will have to see his room left perfectly as before their trip and know that life will never be the same. Do you think for an instant that they wouldn’t take it all back? That they didn’t wish they had stayed in the hotel room? Or perhaps stayed late at a park that night?
Topping the horrible event off by knowing people blame and accuse them. Even worse, likely blaming and accusing themselves.
They need our help, love, and compassion, not accusations. They need our support, not our condemnation.
I pray that they have or will find a church family to surround and support them. I pray that they will find peace and forgiveness. I pray that they know they are prayed for over the next days, weeks, and years.
There but for the Grace of God, go I.