Try to look at that photo and not shed a few tears.
The three children pictured were hurt — badly hurt — in a crash that killed their parents and an infant sister. Another brother also was hospitalized but released after a few days.
I came across the story on the Metro & State section cover of today's Dallas Morning News.
Before I saw the photo, the headline grabbed my attention:
Orphaned siblings lean on one another, faith
So apparently, there is a religion angle to this sad story. I read the lede and then turned to the jump page, interested in learning more.
The Dallas newspaper quotes the children's great-aunt Teresa Burrell, whose home state offers the first clue about the family's possible religious affiliation:
"They've come so far," said Burrell, who flew south from her Utah home to be with her niece and nephews, "but we know there's a a tough road ahead. They're in so much pain."
Angela, 8, was in a coma for days after the crash. She's stable and able to speak now, but casts cover half of her body to support her legs, which were crushed. Brain trauma also caused her to suffer memory loss, and she had to be told twice that her parents and sister did not survive.
Zachary, 5, suffered a broken back and internal injuries, and has recently been fighting fevers and other complications. Burrell said he was conscious throughout the crash and has had night terrors because of it.
He lost his first tooth after waking up from his coma and was happy to discover that the tooth fairy makes hospital visits.
Wyatt, 4, also suffered severe head trauma and was in a coma. Several strokes left half of his body paralyzed, but with the help of physical therapy and lots of prayer, Burrell said he's now walking again, and even trying to run around.
Kudos to the Morning News for providing important details about the children's conditions and experiences.
But as I kept reading, I started to wonder about that "faith" angle mentioned in the headline.
Finally — near the end of the story — I came to it:
As devastating as the situation is, she said, the family has been able to find strength in their Mormon community and beauty in the outpouring of support they've received.
"People have been so kind and so supportive in their thoughts, in their prayers, in their contributions," she said. "We feel it, we really do. And we just have so much hope for these children and their future."
Give credit to the reporter for catching the obvious importance of faith to this family and how they're handling the crisis.
At this early stage — with the children still battling injuries in the hospitals — expecting many more religious details than those provided may be asking a bit much.
But at some point, I'd love to see a more exhaustive treatment of the family's experience and their view of God's role in the aftermath.