A little sunlight has finally shone on the family of Juliani Cardenas, the 4-year-old discovered dead last month in California. His mom has given birth to a healthy baby girl. If you followed the Juliani Cardenas story, here's betting you breathed a little sigh of relief for Tabitha Cardenas.
It's hard to put into words how it made me feel, but I read the story of little Jolyssa Rhianna Cardenas' birth with a huge grin on my face today. Obviously, the cases of murdered children never have happy endings. How can they? But that doesn't mean there can't ever be happy stories for the families of those kids. If there's ever a kind of person who deserves happy stories, it's a mom who lost a child. A baby seems just right too.
Because there's something about babies ... they are, by their very nature, joyful. They come to this world with no baggage. They are not mean, hateful, or spiteful. They are -- yes, I'm going to go into cliched territory -- hope.
And after an ordeal like Cardenas', boy does she deserve some hope. In case you weren't following the case: allegedly it was Jolyssa's father who ripped the 4-year-old from the arms of his grandmother in January, put him in his car, and sped away. The family never saw the little boy alive again. He was discovered in a canal in mid-February.
I wondered at the time how Tabitha would fare with her pregnancy. That the stress didn't put her into premature labor alone was incredible. But I confess I wondered too, would she put too much pressure on this kid because of the loss of her other one?
I shudder when people who find out I have one child ask me if it's wise to stop at one, who ask "what if something happens to her?" One child cannot replace another, and fortunately Tabitha isn't laying that burden on her daughter. Jolyssa isn't like some consolation prize for her mom. She's just a gift, a wonderful, happy gift.
For a family who has been through tragedy no family should ever experience, it's nice to hear they have a healthy little girl. In fact, both Mom and baby are doing well. Tabitha decided against naming her daughter in her son's honor, but when the little girl gets bigger, she'll tell her about a little boy who loved his little sister.
Congratulations to the Cardenas family. Have you been following their story?
Image via rumpleteaser/Flickr