Thursday, April 16, 2009

Remembering Sandra

I haven't written about this before, but I just have to take a moment to remember the bright young life of Sandra Cantu. This was a local story, occurring in the nearby town of Tracy, California, but it made national news. A few weeks ago, this lovely 8-year-old who lived in a mobile home park with quite a bit of security disappeared. A massive search began with nightly candlelight prayer vigils taking place without fail. Two weeks later, the tragedy's extent became apparent when a piece of luggage was found in some water being drained. Inside was Sandra's lifeless body.

Sandra captured our hearts. She was caught on videotape leaving her home that sad day when her life ended and skipping across the street. She looked happy and was just out for a fun afternoon. We know now that probably within minutes, Sandra was dead. As we also know, the alleged murderer was a woman who also lived in the mobile home park. I don't want to dwell on the monster, but on the life that was taken from us.

I didn't know Sandra, but it's hard not to smile and laugh at that beautiful little girl who was just heading out to play. Lately, it's just bothered me more and more about how innocent children are and what evil is so often done to them. I don't understand the mentality of people who do these things. It makes no sense. Why not just walk away, rather than commit this hateful acts? In this case, it's so senseless that it boggles the mind.

Yesterday Sandra was laid to rest, and this afternoon a memorial was held for the public. Close to 3,000 people showed up, and who knows how many others, like me, tuned in to watch it live on television or on the streaming feed on the internet. That's how much little Sandra Cantu has touched Northern California -- a little girl, just an average little girl, has made such an impact that her service is on television, with state dignitaries present.

Every now and then I incorporate sad tragedies like this into my fan fic, simply because it's an outlet. We need to remember, and we need to do everything we can to stop this craziness. In reality, I know we can't, but, geez, we have to try. There are just too many Sandra Cantus who are being victimized. They don't deserve that, and we deserve a better world.

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