I heard a man the other day say no child is a born a loser.
He was talking about football players and how some can develop a losing mentality, but on the day they were born there was no built-in mentality whatsoever and that child’s mindset was wide open, its future unabashedly not preordained.
It reminded me of a talking head I once saw on television who claimed one of the world’s many killers wasn’t born evil. Nobody, he said, was born evil.
The day of our birth, the moment we emerge from the womb and come out into the world, for that one instantaneous moment, we are truly all equal.
It lasts about 10 seconds, I figure; the time it takes for a doctor to hold us and somebody to cut the cord.
We get handed to our mothers and from that point on, it’s a whole new world.
Some of us are fed with a silver spoon. Some of us are fed with government cheese. Some of us have a meal waiting for us every night at six o’clock. Some of us go so hungry, our bellies hurt.
That say our country is a melting pot and it’s true. The rich of us get richer while the poor try not to cry themselves to sleep at night. In between is everything else, a mishmash and hodgepodge of life lived daily.
On Friday afternoon, news came out of Boston that Baby Doe — a young girl whose dead body was found wrapped in a trash bag on the shoreline of Deer Island — had been identified.
Her name was Bella Bond and she wasn’t even three years old when a man whose heart and soul must have died a long time ago allegedly ended her life.
He was her mother’s boyfriend.
From where I sit, he is nothing more than a piece of shit.
In the fall of my life, I try so hard not to judge people anymore. One of my pet peeves is how so many people rush to judge others for faux pas both giant and miniscule. As if they’re better than the next person.
Matthew 7:1 says, “Judge not, that ye be not judged” and it’s probably the one Bible passage that I presently try to live by on a day-to-day basis.
But when I look at the photos of Bean’s mother, and when I look into the dead eyes of that boyfriend, I can’t help but judge.
He is somebody’s son, maybe somebody’s brother, maybe even a “dad” himself. But he is a piece of shit and if he did do this heinous crime then part of me wants to say nothing short of the death penalty would be a worthy retribution.
An eye and for an eye, right?
Not really. It’s too good for him.
He took away a child’s hope, a baby’s future. He took away a little bit of all us because we have to be reminded that such evil exists in our world.
Perhaps the daily beatings of a baby killer in general population would be a just and righteous punishment. Every day in a cement cell behind bars, rotting away — if there is anything left to rot, that is.
And then I look at the mother and wonder how could this happen? How could she let such a person into her life? Drugs? Mental illness? Stupidity? Hatred?
In reading all the coverage over the last 24 hours, since Bella had been identified and we’ve learned how everybody’s heart is breaking, one sentence sent chills up my spine.
The website boston.com was talking about the mother’s facebook page. There was many photos of Bella posted on her timeline, it said.
“But the photos stop in December 2014,” the story reads. “The last photo of Bella was of the toddler opening Christmas presents with her mother.”
Bella is wearing a pink robe and sitting on a pink Hello Kitty chair as her mom helps her unwrap a gift. It’s a Kodak moment.
I can only hope that it was her last happy moment, captured forever because the thoughts of her actual final moments make me want to cry.
Bella Bond was born into this world the same as everybody else. The future should have been hers to grow into and to build. She should have grown up, felt loved and safe, gone to school, made friends that would last a lifetime, graduated and gone to college, seen the world, gotten married, had children of her own and raised them before dying of old age, loved by all those who knew her.
But we know life is not always like that. Life is cruel.
Instead, Bella died loved by a world that never got to know her; by a community who watched her disappear right under their nose and never thought about what happened to the little girl with the innocent eyes.
Did Bella really have a chance being born to that mother who had that kind of inner weakness that she would let somebody do this to her daughter? I don’t know. It appears not, but only the road traveled by that family over the last two and a half years holds the answers.
In Latin, the name Bella means beautiful, loving, lovable, graceful.
And, from looking at the pictures of the little girl taken from this world far too soon, you can see was aptly named.
May she rest in peace knowing that in death she is more loved than she ever was in life.