I love being a dad. As we wait for baby no. 3 to arrive, I am treasuring each moment with my kids more and more.
Some of the best moments came Christmas morning as my children dove into their gifts, delighted in the things they had picked out for their mother and I and danced at the idea of baking cookies.
And let me tell you — it has been a rough year. It would be easy for the stress and anxiety to take us over. But no matter how rough it gets, we choose hope.
On Christmas morning, one woman received two text messages from her former brother-in-law. She knew there would be no Christmas cheer.
“I received a text yesterday about 2:52 p.m. Two messages, first one saying, ‘I just killed Iris and the kids.’ The second message was ‘with a gun,’” said Mary Woga.
Anthony Millian Ross, a vegan chef and motivational speaker in the Phoenix area, had confronted his ex-wife in the parking lot of her apartment complex. Some neighbors rushed to confront him, asking if his ex-wife, Iris Ross, was all right.
When he brandished a gun at them, they fled. He then went inside and shot his two children: 11-year-old son Nigel and 10-month-old daughter Anora.
What followed was a six-hour standoff. Police were unsure of the well-being of the children, and Ross changed his story several times until police weren’t sure about the real state of his two kids.
Eventually the police sent in a robot. When they confirmed that the little girl was dead, they entered the unit.
Residents of the apartment complex are obviously upset. We can only imagine what Christmas day conversations this has led to around the complex.
Sierra Scott, whose mother lives nearby, said “It’s kind of crazy, just because it’s supposed to be a holiday for your family and getting together.”
Domestic violence takes lives. Women are more likely to die at the hands of an intimate partner than by any other cause.
If you see or suspect abuse, talk to the authorities. If you want to help women escape terrible situations, please volunteer at a shelter or open your home.
Like me, you might be wondering about the systemic issue of abuse and how we can help the next generation never have to worry about this terror.
Well, fellow father types — and really anyone who interacts with the next generation — you and I can make a difference.
Let us teach our sons to be men who respect women, can name their emotions and who choose a path other than violence. Let us teach our daughters to respect themselves, never put up with violence and know how to identify traits that make an intimate partner not worth their time.
If you begin to feel the weight of stress and anxiety, choose hope. Reach out. Don’t let the pain you feel drive you to cause pain for others.
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