‘We need to look out for each other’

It stretches the limits of human capacity to feel anything but anger toward Gina Summers, the Orono woman who killed her 5-year-old son and then herself in a custody battle this week. The comments section on our own post on the subject showed that.

It is near impossible to ask how something like this could happen and who Gina Summers was when happiness existed in her and her family’s life. Not without being accused of forgiving the murder of a child. We get it.

And yet, we ask it because it defies all human norm to kill your child and there must be more to understanding that without relitigating a custody battle in which we are expected to choose one side or the other. We don’t want to choose.

Robert Williams, the long-time sports editor of Detroit Lakes newspapers, isn’t choosing sides either, but he has a perspective toward understanding who Ms. Summers was that the rest of us do not. They were high school sweethearts, he said in an essay he forward to me today.

He’s read all the comments on Facebook and his essay suggests we can be repulsed by the crime, and still be better people.


As this information became public, I, Bob, the sports guy, broke it to our editorial staff with very grim feelings and a heavy heart.

You see, I knew Gina.

I remain emotionally wounded from the first time I read the initial report. I still find it hard to think about what led to the horrific end to my friend and her beloved son.

Gina and I were short-term high school sweethearts in 1987 at Detroit Lakes high school as underclassmen. We shared a love of crazy Falco songs and would cruise the strip singing along, word for word, to everything but “Rock Me Amadeus.”

Gina was as funny and as weird as I was.

You know those first kisses you have in life? I was lucky enough to share one with Gina Summers.

Just the sound of “Gina Summers” in my head or in conversation always brings a smile to my face.

I adored her.

I still do.

If you didn’t know her and are just barking up the wrong tree, which is what makes Facebook such a decrepit place in my thought-process, and it took a lot for me to even converse here, your input is insulting to even the least-empathetic reader.

Furthermore, as someone who knows the mental strife of being a non-custodial parent in a custody spat that is hardly ever leaning in the father’s favor due to Minnesota statute, I fully support and empathize with Jude’s dad and his efforts to pass a new law, Jude’s law, to require additional psychological testing in certain circumstances to prevent this from ever happening to another family.

What news of this level really conveys is that we, as people, need to look out for each other. We need to really start giving a crap, to be frank. Get off Facebook. Get your face off your phone.

Every member of these two families is suffering a grief so far removed from the layman, let alone the lambastic Facebook commenter who has an opinion on everything.

I’m lucky I get to cover sports and not tragedies like these. I get to showcase success and smiles.

The world is far heavier to scale on distress.

That is what happened here.

The least we can do is show remorse for all of us and exponentially to the families.

Comments are closed.