This morning, as I was doing my usual fecal sample analysis at work, there was a fly hovering over the waste bin. Every time I threw another sample in the trash, the fly buzzed around and came back to rest on the lid to the biological hazard bag. I was trying not to think about the fly sitting on the trash can because it was making me sick.
My thoughts, though, kept buzzing around and coming back to rest on another image that made me feel even more ill.
This is the face of Riley Ann Sawyers, thought to be "Baby Grace", whose body was found in a plastic box in Galveston Bay.
In a statement to Galveston authorities, her mother, Kimberley Dawn Trenor, said that the child was beaten with leather belts, had her head forced under water, and then was thrown across the room and landed on a tile floor. I read somewhere that there were three skull fractures found in the autospy report.
In a way, I wished I had never read this article this morning, because it upset me so very much. All I could think about this morning is how terrified that little girl must have been. I thought about the details that have come out so far, about how the mom moved in with this guy she met online in June, how the "stepfather" wanted her to use corporal discipline to teach the child manners. In July, the little girl died because she didn't know to say "please" and "yessir" and "nossir" to her new "stepfather".
On the Roula and Ryan show in the morning, they were talking about this story, and Ryan Chase, who admitted that he is "as liberal as they come" and generally opposed to the death penalty, thinks it is warranted in this case. He said "there's a special place in hell for people like that."
I am ambivalent about the death penalty, and I am not sure which is worse: serving a life sentence for being a "baby killer" or being put to death. I do think that Royce Clyde Zeigler II is a monster for doing this to a sweet baby girl, to any human. I don't think he should be allowed to breed and I am really upset about the news that supposedly Kimberley is pregnant with his child.
It makes me think about Andrea Yates, and about this show I saw on WE about "Women on Death Row" in which they featured a woman on death row for very similiar circumstances to the one that Kimberely Dawn Trenor is facing. In both situations, there was a child being beaten over a prolonged period of time by a man who was not blood related and who was punishing the child through brute force for something that was not age-appropriate for them to be able to understand. Both of those children died from head trauma from being slammed up against something.
In the end, both the woman who was on death row and Trenor failed to protect the child. I don't understand these women. There are options! Like taking the child and getting out of there, like calling someone to come save them, like going "momma bear" on his ass. Our primary job as mothers is to protect the children. Even if they are not yours, like in the case of the woman on tv, your duty is to protect.
It makes me so scared to think of my children coming to harm. Like the fly on the proverbial crap, that fear keeps coming back. Sometimes when my husband is disciplining them, I worry it might break their little spirits and hover over them waiting to offer comfort. His punishment is not corporal, but he does set boundaries, and sometimes I worry it is too harsh; for instance, thinking the ten minute time out should really just be five. If I felt he was really crossing the line, I would intervene and stand between him and my child. I would rather feel pain than have them experience it.
Not that there is danger of that with the man I live with. I worry about the mental damage, never the physical, and I would never allow it. I would keep my cub between my legs and show my teeth. Where was that instinct with these women?
More on this to come.....?