Are Mommy and Daddy Coming Soon?

This article in USA Today showed up in my newsfeed this morning. I couldn’t help but cry when I read it. It’s about a 2-year-old boy, bloody and alone, who was found wandered the street in Highland Park, Illinois, where a mass shooting killed seven people Monday at a Fourth of July Parade.

Over the course of the day, strangers found him and mobilized the community to find the boy’s family as neighbors shared his photo across social media with pleas to help identify him.

The town rallied to help locate his grandparents and reunite the boy, Aiden, with his grandparents. But soon after, they received heartbreaking news that both of his parents had died in the shooting. Aiden McCarthy was orphaned at two years old.

People in the community organized to raise more than $2 million on GoFundMe as of this morning. “Aiden will be cared for by his loving family and he will have a long road ahead to heal, find stability, and ultimately navigate life as an orphan,” the GoFundMe page said.

Back at home with his grandparents on Tuesday, Aiden was still waiting for his mom and dad to come home. When his grandfather picked his grandson up from the police station, the 2-year-old asked him, “Are Mommy and Daddy coming soon?”

“He doesn’t know,” Aiden’s grandfather said. “He doesn’t realize it.”

I have a 2-year-old grandson and I can’t image what this poor little boy has gone through. It truly breaks my heart.

One-Liner Wednesday — Differences

“It’s not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”

Audre Lorde, American writer, feminist, and civil rights activist

Written for Linda G. Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt. Image from Snowpeaceful at

Fandango’s Provocative Question #172


Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

My provocative question this week was suggested to me by Jim Adams (A Unique Title for Me). In a comment on one of my posts he wrote, “I was thinking that you could do a Provocative Question asking people about their phobias.” And I thought, why the hell not?

It’s possible — and even likely — that Melanie (Sparks From a Combustible Mind) may have asked this question in one of her Share Your World challenge posts. But it’s a good question, so I’ll pose it anyway.

But first I want to define “phobia.”

It’s an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. A phobia is not just being afraid or fearful of something. It’s extreme and/or irrational. So, that said, my provocative question this week is…

Do you have any phobias? If so, have you had these phobias all your life or have the developed or evolved as you’ve aged?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.

FOWC with Fandango — Improve


It’s July 6, 2022. Welcome to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (U.S.).

Today’s word is “improve.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. Show them some love.