Opinion: Focus on love and family values

Jake Crissman

Jake Crissman

Jake Crissman is a sophomore English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

These are truly troubling times that we are living in. How can there be people that are just such terrible human beings that they would take the lives of innocent young little children? In Toledo this week, 54-year-old Sandy Ford and her 32-year-old son Andy took their own lives along with those of her three grandchildren.

Andy Ford was the uncle to these three children, 10-year-old Paige Hayes, 6-year-old Logan Hayes and 5-year-old Madalyn Hayes.

Randy Ford, Sandy’s husband and grandfather to the children, entered his house on Monday only to find strange letters written by his wife, son and grandkids. The garage door was locked, and he frantically called the police. Firefighters busted down the garage door with sledgehammers and found a running truck with a hose leading from the exhaust to the back window of the car. Inside the car were five bodies along with a cat and two dogs. They had all died from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning.

For the past four years, the children had been living with Randy, Sandy and Andy. Recently, however, the parents of the children, Mandy and Chris Hayes, had been trying to regain full custody of their offspring. Police believe Sandy was upset by this notion and that this was her motivation behind the murder-suicide.

I’m not going to pretend to act like I understand the dynamic of this loving and jovial family unit. But I sure as hell can guarantee you that these people (well, Sandy and Andy at least) were not sane at all. They took advantage of the trust that those three little children had in them and committed an ultimate wrong.

And why shouldn’t the children listen to them? They had been living with them for the majority of their tragically short lives. These were the people that were raising them and teaching them the alphabet and how to count and instilling values into them. It would be literally impossible for their little brains to comprehend such a deception on the part of their guardians, Grandma Sandy and Uncle Andy, when they sat them down and told them to write a nice letter to Mommy and Daddy and Grandpa telling them how much you love them.

I feel terrible for the children’s parents and Randy. I’m giving Randy the benefit of the doubt, that he had absolutely no prior knowledge of this premeditated heinous atrocity. It’s possible that, at some point, he may have even suspected that something was wrong with his wife — that she wasn’t exactly all there in the head. In the end, her cruelty prevailed, and there is nothing that can be done about it.

My picture above shows me smiling like a fool, but that’s definitely not my sentiment right now. This story has deeply troubled me for some unexplained reason. But I can’t dwell on pain and hate or anger. Just focus on love and remind yourself that they didn’t know any better.