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“I can assure you alligators were not on my mind at all…”
As was the case with the young boy who walked into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, the Internet is again rushing to judge the parents of the 2-year-old boy who was attacked and killed at Disney on Tuesday.
However, one mom is coming to Melissa Graves’ defense through a powerful Facebook post showing pictures of her son playing exactly where Lane Graves was snatched by the alligator at Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian resort.
While many have been quick to question, “What was that mom thinking? Why wasn’t she paying closer attention to her child? Why would she let him get that close to the water?”…Jennifer Venditti‘s message is instead one of empathy and deep compassion.
As a fellow vacationer whose son was playing in the water in that precise spot a mere 30 minutes before the incident, the tragedy hit way too close to home. Moreover, she realized, that could’ve been her.
In her viral Facebook post that has now been shared more than 130,000 times, Jennifer sends a “judge less, pray more” message—and it’s the crazy powerful reality check that moms everywhere need to hear.
PRAY, PRAY so hard for the family & for those who witnessed this tragic event. I took these pics at the exact spot this happened betw 8 & 830, the incident happened at 9. Helicopters flew overhead til 1 am and were back around dawn. I can’t imagine anyone could sleep knowing that the helicopter was searching for a missing child taken by an alligator. I can’t help but wonder if we played with him, did I talk to his Mom?? How does one go home without your baby in tow? I’ve already seen posts criticizing the parents. I can assure you alligators were not on my mind at all when Channing was in the water. It’s a tiny beach, surrounded by pools, water slides, a restaurant and a fire pit. I can’t conceive that an alligator would be in such a busy, small space. #judgelesspraymore
Search teams found Lane Graves’ body yesterday afternoon. His devastated parents and two siblings must fly home to Nebraska without their baby boy, and I cannot imagine their grief! I pray the Internet spares them the rage that the mom in the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla incident felt, and I pray that kindness, love and God’s comfort surround them during this terrible time. I wept when I heard of their tragedy yesterday, and I am thankful Venditti came forward with such a public show of support for the grieving Graves family.