British family shotA British family vacationing in the French Alps seems to have been the victim of a carjacking gone wrong. A mother, father, grandmother, and passing cyclist were all shot to death while their two children survived.

As tragic and awful as this story is, the worst part is that after the mother and father were shot and killed, their terrified 4-year-old stayed beneath her mother's legs, not moving, for eight hours. It's an awful, horrific story. The silver lining may be the child's survival. The other child, a 7-year-old, was injured, but is expected to survive. One has to wonder what will become of a child who has witnessed such things, though investigators say when she finally did emerge, she did so with open arms and a shy smile.

As a mom of two kids that age (a 4- and 5-year-old), my heart just breaks. Here they were, on vacation, and then this.

Those who watched the family vacation days before the shooting said they seemed normal and happy, like any other family. They picked fruit and camped and enjoyed their time in the French countryside.

It's hard to imagine how an idyllic vacation went from so good to so awful within seconds. Though investigators aren't ruling out family issues, the theory right now is that this was just a random bit of terrible luck. They were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Chilling, no? Imagining my 4-year-old hiding beneath my skirt, scared and unsure who the good guys were, chills me to the bone. No child should ever have to go through that.

It isn't clear whether she was hiding or simply pinned there when her mother fell, but either way, she is a brave little girl. I hope there are many other members of her family who can raise her and her sister and fill them with good memories of their parents and erase the horrific memories of their murder.

This story is the kind that will haunt for years. It just goes to show we have to appreciate every single, precious second we have with our family. It can all end in an instant, on a perfect day.

Does this story affect you, too?

 

Image via jayneandd/Flickr