Reflections on innocence

My heart sank deep in my chest and my eyes immediately filled with tears just now as I learned from a radio report that the remains of Tim Bosma had been found in a rural area in southwestern Ontario.

Details will emerge.  Questions will likely be at least partially answered in time, but the fact remains…a family has been shattered.  A little girl just lost her dad.  A young mother lost her partner.  A family, a community – in shock and mourning.


My daughter caught some of the details of this sad case the other night by accident while the news was on TV at home.  “Why did the man get into the truck with strangers?” she asked – her innocence and simplicity both striking and sad.  “I don’t know, honey,” I replied with a heavy heart, suspecting at the time that this young man was neither safe nor sound.  “I guess grown-ups need to remember to be careful when they talk with strangers too, huh Mommy?”

As a mother, I wish so much that my daughter could live in a world where she could openly trust others – one where I didn’t have to tell her how sometimes there are cruel people who hurt other people.  I wish I could protect her beautiful innocence and have no need to warn her about watching her back.  I wish…

But when heartbreaking stories such as Tim’s come to pass, I am forced to remember that we do not live in a perfect world and that it is my job to prepare my kids for it as best I can.  The tragic loss of Tim also serves as a wake-up call to me. I too need to be diligent about protecting my personal safety – being “all grown up” doesn’t mean strangers are necessarily friends.  I just wish it didn’t take the death of an innocent man to be reminded.

I send my deepest, most sincere condolences to the Bosma family.  May all of Tim’s loved ones, neighbours and friends find peace, love and healing in the arms of their loving community.

Share your thoughts and feelings in this time of tragedy and loss.  There are many ways you can talk to one of us directly:

  • Leave us a comment below – we’d love your feedback
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  • Call the HaltonParents line for parenting information or to speak directly to a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) Simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.

About this blogger:

Paula D’Orazio, RN is a public health nurse with the Early Years Health Program.  Wanna know more about her?  Read her blogs!  She’ll tell ya!  (She kinda likes to talk.)

This entry was posted in Children & Tweens, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Child/Tween, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Teen, Parenting, Parenting Your Child/Tween, Parenting Your Teen, Teens and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Reflections on innocence

  1. Karen Sims says:

    Well said Paula. So sad it’s true we ALL have to be wary.

    • Paula D'Orazio says:

      Thank-you Karen. It was a tough one – just awful. We all need each other at times like this.

  2. Tim Burrows says:

    Thanks for posting this. It’s important to remember that as parents, we can’t always protect our children from all that society has to offer, but we can and must always prepare them. Role playing situations is a great way to get them to learn in a safe and controlled environment. You can hope that when a situation arises, they will remember the role play and find themselves in a position to know exactly how to react and respond.
    Be careful about using the age-old saying “Stranger Danger”…our first responders are for the most part strangers to our children, but are not at all danger. There are simply people you know and people you don’t know…some of whom are good and some who are not.

  3. Paula D'Orazio says:

    Thank-you for sharing, Tim. You make an excellent point about first responders and the role-playing is always an excellent tool to “make it real” to kids. Great insights!

  4. Cynthia Lindsay says:

    What a sad situation, my heart goes out to the Bosma family. Tim Borrows’ above comments resonate with me, we try & teach “safe” strangers to our kids… & that adult strangers don’t ask for kids to help, especially for finding a lost dog… As the kids age and are old enough to go the park with friends, we continue to increase the “what if” scenarios… I found this article helpful – We also have a family code word – they are to only go with an adult that knows the code word… even someone they know…

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