Elevator encounters are brief, yet highly intimate. The doors close, you make eye contact and smile. Doors open, and everyone goes about their day. The interaction between alleged murderer Yoselyn Ortega, nanny to Lulu and Leo Krim, and their neighbor, Mrs. Friedman, was so ordinary. Lulu was "happy happy happy" as she went on about her dancing classes. Never in a million years could anyone predict what would happen next.
I can't get the images of those beautiful children out of my head. The whole thing is so tragic. People are looking for answers. Were there warning signs? By combing through data, we are trying to convince ourselves that something like this can could have been avoided. But sometimes, the information just simply doesn't add up. Some tragedies are unpreventable. We are just left with the unsettling stomach-wrenching question of "why?" Rather than pointing fingers and placing blame, we should honor Leo and Lulu's memory by stopping to appreciate daily interactions with our young children that we might normally take for granted. Life is too short.
Marina Krim strikes me as the type of mother that is always able to find the humor in any situation. Her kids relished playing together. In Marina's Live Journal blog, there are pictures of Leo dressed like a girl and Lucia with lipstick across her face. But you can tell that Marina didn't see the mess, just the absolute delight. She writes: "I let the kids go crazy with makeup this morning." The pictures capture that energy so beautifully. Smiling faces, pillow forts and pumpkin patches are all so... so alive. Raising three children so close in age is anything but easy, but Marina seems so headstrong and together. In June, Marina's blog title was aptly named "A Day in the Life of Our Chaos." These are her captions under a picture: "Leo standing on the table, flickering the lights, Lulu doing art in her underwear, Babar begging for food and Nessie drawing with a permanent marker." This captures childhood bliss so perfectly.
The most haunting part of all of the news coverage is the description of Marina's screams upon discovery of her children. They were heard across the street. Her last journal entry was posted only hours before and it described the sweet way that Leo spoke to her. "Leo speaks in the most adorable way possible." It's all so ordinary and that's what makes it so heartbreaking. Little Leo just turned 2 on September 30th. He shared Pinkalicious cupcakes with his sisters at ten o'clock at night.
These children has so much life yet to live. In April, Marina posted a picture of Lulu in a car with two little boys at the wheel. The blog title? "Fast Forward 10 Years." Lulu was robbed of her future.
I wish that there was a way to bring those children back; I wish that their was a way to turn back time. I ask all of you to hold your children a little closer today. Try laughing when you might have gotten annoyed. Show patience even if you're running late. Let them make messes. Our children are our most precious assets. Marina, Kevin and Nessie, we grieve with you.