Mom's Eerie Photos Show Son Playing Right Where Alligator Attacked 30 Minutes Later

Mom shares photo of young son in same spot as 2-year-old who died by gator in Florida

It's been just a little while since news broke of 2-year-old Lane Graves's horrifying and untimely death, in which he was pulled under water by an alligator outside a Walt Disney World hotel in Florida. We're all still trying to make sense of what happened. And while feelings of sadness and anger are natural, one mother's photo of her own son standing right where Lane was taken, just 30 minutes before the tragedy, is a chilling and powerful reminder to judge less and pray more.


Jennifer Venditti, a Massachusetts mother of three, posted a series of photos on Facebook documenting her trip to Walt Disney World with her son Channing. Never in a million years did this mom think her son was standing in the same exact spot where an alligator would snatch a toddler only half an hour later.

Allow that to sink in for a second ... because it's so unbelievably frightening.

"I can't help but wonder if we played with him, did I talk to his Mom?? How does one go home without your baby in tow?"

When I see Jennifer's son Channing in her photo, I see a happy boy. I see a child who is likely having the time of his life on vacation with the woman he loves most, his mother. What makes this picture terrifying, however, are the dangers lurking in front of Channing that are unseen. What if an alligator attacked Channing at the time of the photo? Even with his mom so close and with eyes on her son, the outcome would likely be the same, no matter how hard she tried to protect her precious boy.

Jennifer's message is a haunting reminder about a parenting reality that's so easy to forget: Tragedy can strike in the blink of an eye. Tragedy that will change a family's course forever.

More from CafeMom: An Alligator Kills a Little Boy -- & We Blame His Parents Because the Truth Is Terrifying

As much as I try to picture how I would react if an alligator tried to take my child, I would be completely helpless -- no matter how much strength I think I have, or what I think I could do given the amount of Gator Boys episodes I've watched.

Sometimes, very bad things happen, and there's not always a damn thing you can do about them ...

Hearing about Lane Graves losing his life paralyzed me. I was numb, and refused to close my eyes as the only face I could see was my own 2-year-old son, who happens to be the same age as Lane. Like most people, I'm having a very hard time coming to terms with this incident. (How can anyone?) It can take you to a dark place, making you angry and full of questions. Why was a toddler in a foot of water by himself? How could this happen? But, no matter how many questions we ask -- or the numerous attempts made to publicly execute these parents -- nothing is going to bring this sweet boy back.

I'm thankful for Jennifer's sharing her story. The visual in itself is a powerful reminder that anything can happen at any time. My sincerest thoughts and prayers are with Lane's family. I truly hope they're able to find peace one day, as I can't even begin to imagine their plane ride home and the emotions they're feeling.




Image via Jennifer Venditti/Facebook

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