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Many on the web have been quick to blame the parents of 2-year-old Lane Graves, who was attacked and killed by an alligator at a pond at a Disney resort in Florida. But not Holly Hyatt – she’s standing up for those parents and taking aim at those putting the blame on them.

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Holly understands all too well what Lane’s parents are going to, having lost her son Drake to drowning on his 3rd birthday, and the family was on vacation. As she says, “I will never forget the way I felt leaving that vacation without my child.”

She explained what happened in a post:

The morning of the nightmare, we had pancakes and he drank white grape juice. He had took a bath and talked to his Mimi and Nannie so they could tell him Happy Birthday. This day was not like others, because it was Drake’s 3rd birthday.

We had all gathered around to figure out what kind of cake to get him. A second later I couldn’t find him.

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I tried to remain calm while frantically searching and calling out his name, only to hear a bloodcurdling scream that I still can hear to this day. I remember that everyone was gathered around, trying to help my child come back. He had been found in the pool.

My uncle tried all he could to hold me up, but it felt as if I was using every muscle in my body to scream. Was it audible? I had no idea because everything seemed silent.

I remember telling the paramedics to not let my son die. Then I turn around and my brother latches onto me. He gives me a hug and tells me that Drake’s going to be okay.

I believed him for a minute.

 

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But it wasn’t to be. Drake never began breathing again and Holly was faced with something no parent should ever face – the throngs of absolute strangers on the internet who thought they knew exactly what happened. She says she learned “the internet is home to the most ‘perfect’ and ‘courageous’ people” who “think they are the perfect parents”. Those people began asking her questions.

  • “Where were the parents?”
  • “Why did nobody see him?”
  • “They must have been partying.” (Mind you this happened around noon.)

After years of guilt, she’s firing back and standing up for Lane’s parents, asking those “perfect internet parents” if their child ever scraped a knee, needed sticked, or broken a bone. Because, as she says, accidents happen, some worse than others.

The last thing someone needs to see or hear after a tragedy, which they had no idea was going to happen, is some judgmental person on the internet who lives half a country away asking them, “Where were you?”

To those bullies I say: Would you be so brave if that person was in front of you? How about vice versa? If it was YOU having to bury your child, would you want someone to ask, “Where were you?” Don’t you think we harbor enough guilt over something we had no control over?

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She then left off with a message for Lane’s parents, who are dealing with article after article and post after post on social media saying they are to blame.

 

Dear parents of the beautiful child taken away from you on your vacation…

Please know that you are not alone. I am sorry that this has happened to you, and just know that you did everything within your power to save him. Know that Jesus is rocking that sweet child, and I know it’s not as great as rocking him yourself.

I know it seems pointless sometimes for the sun to keep rising. I know it takes all the energy you can gather to even put your feet on the floor. I know your heart seems missing like someone has punched it out of your chest.

Please know this: I don’t judge you. My heart aches for you. I wish that I could reach out and hug you both, tell you it’s going to be okay.

I don’t like cliches, so I’m not going to say any. There is no rhyme or reason, and God didn’t do this, but God was there to make sure your baby came straight to him.

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With my son, I like to think that the moment he hit the water, an angel scooped him up. No pain. You will have the memories in your mind, but know that the bullying, the judging will subside and those crazy people will dart their attention somewhere else eventually.

Lean on each other, love each other and do NOT blame each other, for neither of you at fault. Remind yourself of that every day. Wherever you are, I pray for peace and comfort that God can give you.

Please don’t listen to all these people out there that have no idea. It’s like I said, they have no clue and just pray that they never have to go through what you did.