I can't imagine the deep suffering of Mary Rose Trinidad, the 53 year-old woman whose husband and four daughters were killed in a car crash when a pick-up truck suddenly crossed the grass median and struck her family's minivan head-on.
On that fateful day, Friday, July 6th, Ms. Trinidad began the day with her family, wrapping up their vacation to Ocean City, Maryland. By the end of the day, her husband and daughters, ages 20, 17, and 13 year-old twins, were dead.
I share this story for two reasons and requests:
First: please dedicate a moment right now to say a prayer for Mary Rose Trinidad. If you don't believe in prayer, or the power of positive thought, then please consider donating to the GoFundMe page set up to support her.
Second, at the risk of seeming to go off-topic, the story makes me think: in my practice as a family law attorney, I've seen parties in custody cases take active steps to hurt the other party's relationship with their children. Just within the past couple weeks, I've had one case where the opposing party raised all kinds of opposition to my client taking court-permitted vacation time with his young son; and I've had another case where the opposing party intentionally made plans to take her young daughter out-of-state on the girl's birthday so my client, the girl's father, won't be able to see her. These are just a couple recent examples out of many more in the course of my career.
When I think of these actions by parents in custody cases, in contrast to and with the context of Ms. Trinidad's grief over the loss of her entire immediate family, it further underscores how petty and pathetic some people can be to purposely minimize their children's time with the other parent, for no reason other than a sense of selfishness and, in some cases, jealousy of the other party's relationship with the child.
Despite the negativity I've seen, I'll return to a positive perspective for the final point I'm coming to: I pray that parents always do what's best for their children, having the strength and will to overcome any selfish impulses in doing so. The emotions in a split custody situation can prove to be strong impulses, but the love of one's child must be stronger. To hurt a child's relationship with the other parent is to hurt the child herself. I pray that parents understand that and act rightly. And I ask you to join me in that prayer.