Dispatches from a Reporter's Notebook

Signs of Life

Posted November 1, 2007
Updated November 2, 2007

Linda Fisher has experienced what no parent should ever have to face, the death of a child. 

Her 29-year-old daughter, Michelle Young, was found beaten to death a year ago in her Wake County home.  At the time, she was pregnant, and her 2-year-old daughter was by her side.  There's been no arrest.  It's an incomprehensible tragedy to imagine. 

Linda says prayer has helped her cope and something else, something unlikely – ladybugs.  That's right, I said ladybugs.

It wasn't like she came right out and told me about it.  I noticed the ladybug pin, the ladybug necklace and the ladybug earrings.  I commented on them. 

That's when she told me about what they had meant to her since her daughter's death. 

First of all, Michelle apparently loved ladybugs and was particularly fond of a ladybug mirror her mother has. 

But Linda Fisher noticed something strange since her daughter's death – ladybugs seem to be everywhere she is Sometimes, she sees three, four or five at a time, inside, outside, wherever there is talk of Michelle. 

Linda's sister – Michelle's aunt – recently took a trip to Italy – one that Michelle had planned to attend prior to her death.  They went to a town that Michelle had always wanted to go.  All of a sudden, her aunt looked down and saw a ladybug. 

She was not a believer, now she is.

The entire family has ladybug stories from the past year, hence Linda's fondness for ladybug jewelry and all things emblazoned with ladybugs. 

It is a small sign of life, but something she holds onto dearly in her profound grief and loss.  The ladybugs make her grin, and in turn, make her think of her beautiful daughter's bright smile. They are a small comfort when there is no real comfort to be had for a mother who loses a child. 

As we finished the interview with Linda Fisher Thursday at her sister's home, she suddenly called out "Ladybug!"  I looked over at the window next to her, and low and behold, there it was, a ladybug making its way across the glass. 

About this Blog:

WRAL's Amanda Lamb offers a behind-the-scenes look at what TV news reporters do, the people they meet and how their jobs affect them.