Tonight's first meeting of photo club didn't go quite like I had planned it. Everything went well until we were wrapping things up to go home and then the night unfolded like a nightmare or what could easily have been the worst nightmare of my life. I am only blogging about it because, this is "my" journal after all and I need the outlet right now.
As my friends and I were looking at some photography books that we had all brought to share, there was a knock on the door. It was a police officer wanting to know if anyone had Dr. 2th plates (I love those plates so much right now). I asked if I had parked badly or if my lights were on and he asked if I new a little girl named Kate. And then the breath was sucked right out of me. I thought back to earlier in the night when my girlfriend's husband had peeked his head in and asked if any of us had brought a girl named Katie with us. It didn't even phase me to think that he might be referring to my beloved four year old. We had gone on with our meeting...but now here I was with the ugly realization that it was "MY" Katie. She was lost and I could have rescued her an hour ago.
Even as I walked with the officer to his car I thought, "it can't be, how could she have gotten all the way down here (miles away, where she had never been before)?" But there she was sitting still as a statue in his front seat. Looking back I think it was only my embarrassment in front of law enforcement and especially my friends and maybe a little anger that kept me from breaking down then.
So the story is that right before I left for the evening Katie snuck in the car to go with me. Chase had gone out to get his book bag and seen her. So that explains why Dave wasn't frantically trying to get a hold of me wondering where Katie was. Chase had been an eyewitness that she had come with me and he thought I knew I was taking her. However, I didn't. I went to pick up my friend and while I was in her home Kate fell asleep. We drove to photo club, got out and went about our merry way. Kate woke up and didn't know where she was. She hadn't seen us go into any house. She wandered around crying until some neighbors heard her and brought her into the house. They saw Mike and asked if he knew if any of his wife's company had lost a girl. At this point Mike comes in to ask...that's when I should have checked. Thinking back I think I had a feeling I should check. I mean after all the age and name matched. Almost... if he had asked about a four year old maybe I would have thought better about my decision that there was no way she could be mine. But Kate is so proud to tell everyone she is four. I never thought the missing three year old Kate was mine. Anyway we went on with our first meeting. In the mean time the neighbors are looking after Kate and calling the police. Then comes that knock at the door.
She was safe tonight, thank the Lord. But as I nursed Sara to sleep all I could think about were the "what might have beens". Like my sweet girl wandering around the streets in her dark clothes and being hit by a car. Or the neighbors that took her in not being nice and taking advantage of her. I can't even see straight as I type. What a horrible, horrible feeling. Tonight when I pray I will most certainly thank God for looking after her. And pray for peace for my poor little heart that is heavy with "what might have beens" and 100 years older than it was this morning.