My husband and I were cooking dinner last night as news started to filter through that an arrest in the Daniel Morcombe case was imminent.
We stopped the chopping of the ginger and garlic but didn’t put down our wine glasses. Hearts beating a little bit faster, watching and listening what was unfolding on the tv.
I went straight to Twitter and Facebook. Sending my thoughts out to the Morcombe family.
A family who has been to hell and back since the disappearance of their 13-almost-14-year-old son eight years ago. A family who, despite the most horrific personal tragedy, has worked tirelessly* to educate young children and adults around Australia about being aware of suspicious behaviour, whether that’s online or what they see in person.
The day Daniel disappeared both my husband and I were working as journalists at The Sunshine Coast Daily. This is a story that touched each and every one of us in the newsroom and many of those journos, who either still work there or who have moved on, left touching Facebook messages last night.
As a journo, you remember the stories that move and shake you. This one did and continues to do so.
Especially as a parent.
My eldest kids – my teenagers – attend the same school Daniel and his brothers did. When my eldest son started Year 8 (he was only eight at the time of Daniel’s disappearance), I remember looking at him. Still a boy. The hormones had not yet kicked in. So innocent.
And I couldn’t but help think of Daniel.
That photo of him, gorgeous, smiling eyes staring back at us. Life all ahead of him.
He was wearing a red t-shirt the day he was last seen waiting for a bus under the over-pass of a very busy road. Heading to our region’s major shopping centre to buy Christmas presents. The red t-shirt has become the Daniel Morcombe Foundation’s symbol.
This morning his parents, Bruce and Denise (who I know the whole of Australia just want to hug) said they would like all Australians to wear red tomorrow to remember Daniel.
For tomorrow, is hopefully the first day that the Morcombes will be able to get some sort of closure (closure of the worst kind, but closure all the same). It’s the day the 41-year-old man they have charged with murdering the Queensland teenager will appear in court. He has also been charged with deprivation of liberty, child stealing and interfering with a corpse. I have tears just typing those words.
So, I’m asking you, my beautiful readers, to please get behind Daniel and wear red tomorrow.
And to really help spread the awareness of the day, I’d love you to please post a photo of you wearing your red bag, shoe, lippy, t-shirt, tie, scarf or dress to my Facebook page.
Can please you do that for Daniel and his family?
*For more information about the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, check out visit www.danielmorcombe.com.au
Blog link-up: I’m wearing red today for Daniel, are you?
Wear red for Daniel mosaic: This is what a big red virtual hug looks like?