Editorial: A mother’s love lasts forever

Published 10:25 am Thursday, May 12, 2022

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There’s nothing like a mother’s love.

Like an old friend, you can always count on it.

Watching the mothers of Ashton Brown and Aschod Ewing-Meeks at recent news conferences, you can tell these women are hurting.

For one, their son had died – a son she had spent nearly a decade trying to get help for behaviors caused by concussions from playing football.

For the other, their daughter had died – a daughter who brought countless joy to her mother’s life.

And both of those women are also grieving the loss of two young grandchildren.

Their grief is unimaginable. The horrific event is unimaginable.

For a reference, last month, Ewing-Meeks shot his wife and children to death before turning the gun on himself and setting his house on fire. It came after an hour and a half of back and forth with Davie Sheriff’s Office employees, a back and forth that didn’t set off any alarms among those employees.

Now comes the blame game.

Could the tragedy have been avoided? Of course it could have. From the first time the young man suffered a concussion (His mother said he suffered several while playing high school football.) until the day he took his and his family’s lives, there were decisions made by an unknown number of people that set his life’s actions in motion. There were even more on that fateful day. It’s never a good idea to look back and start blaming. It’s always a good idea to look back and see what could have been done differently for a better outcome.

Should the tragedy have been avoided? Of course, it should have. Should the Davie County Sheriff’s Department be held responsible? It may end up that a court will decide that; and we should all respect the decisions that any future jury may make.

Prior to their deaths, the family had been in contact with members of the sheriff’s department several times. They had given two addresses. One thing is for sure, had any of those sheriff’s employees or officers had any idea of what was about to happen, they would have reacted differently. I believe that.

Was the family treated differently because of the color of their skin? I don’t think so, but again, apparently it may be up to a court to decide that. Yes, Davie County is predominately white, but that doesn’t mean we’re a bunch of racists who hate anyone of color. Like most places, we’ve got our share of backwards thinking, but most people here judge others based on how they treat them. Period. It’s the way we are supposed to get along.

But back to those mothers. My heart aches for them.

I’m no stranger to that kind of grief. I watched as my wife grieved for the loss of her daughter and my soon-to-be stepdaughter. I watch to this day as that grief still overcomes her from time to time. On occasion, it even gets to me.

Losing a child isn’t supposed to happen – for any reason.

Thank God for our memories.

And thank God for mothers.

– Mike Barnhardt