Six years ago today, an unthinkable tragedy shook the New Haven suburb of Cheshire. Last night, I snuggled up on my couch to watch HBO’s documentary on the Cheshire murders and relived the horror. Only this time, I was looking at this horrible crime from a new perspective – as a mother of three young children.
Mother or not, the situation is beyond tragic and our hearts break for Mr. Petit and his family, but for me, it was a whole new level of tragedy to realize that this could have happened to any family, including my own.
Cheshire is a safe town. I work there. I shop at the Stop & Shop where one of the felons chose his victims. My bank is the Bank of America where Mrs. Petit was forced to withdraw money on the last day of her life. In many ways, Cheshire is similar to the town where I live. I try not to feel scared but how can this not be frightening?
Today, I find myself wanting to honor the Petit girls – Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela – for the beautiful people they were, for the beautiful lives that they lived, and for the beautiful memories that they have left behind to live on forever. It is clear that these three angels were remarkable individuals who have touched the lives of so many.
But what can I do?
I will do my best not to feel scared in my own home. I will try my best to keep things in perspective. I will hug my kids a little tighter each day. I will tell my family members how much I love them. I will be the best mom I can be. I will live the best life I can live.
Being and doing my best is the best way I can think to honor these beautiful lives lost.