Thursday, October 2, 2008

Losing A Child

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.

15 comments:

Rebecca said...

Jen, you are an absolutely wonderful mom and I am so thankful too that everything turned out fine and that we live in a nice neighborhood, let's forget the what ifs, thank god for his care of her and learn a huge lesson that it could happen to any of us.

Kath said...

Oh Jennifer! How scary for you and Kate. I'm so glad everything turned out alright and I'm sure Kate learned her lesson. My kids try to hide in the car too, and so this hits close to home as it could have easily be me.

The Seaquist Family said...

I can't imagine what stress you were having! What a blessing for wonderful people in the world. It goes to show that there is goodness out there. She probably couldn't have been lost in a better neighborhood. I'm glad Kate is OK, and hopefully Mom will be soon.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, my stomach is turing now just thinking about it. Thank God our little Katie is safe, I bet I can guess what next FHE lesson is on. I am so happy she is okay.
Love
Grandma D

Meghan said...

This seems vaguely familiar. Something about the night before Nicole's wedding... But Katie is safe and that is all that matters. I'm just glad you guys live in such a good neighborhood.

Familia Bethers said...

Jen I am so sorry that you guys had such a horrible scare! I too am so thankful that it all turned out the way it did, and none of the "what if's" were realized! Our Father in Heaven surely loves you all and took good care that night! It is a parents worst nightmare, I think!

Nicole said...

Wow...

Jenny- I can't imagine how you were feeling. I am so glad she was safe.

Jamie C. said...

I have been thinking about you all day. Many times I have wanted to pick up the phone and call and see how you are today. I hope you are feeling comforted and assured that you are a great mom. And very blessed. I think we all learned something as mothers last night! Keep your head up, you're amazing Jenn.

Daniel said...

This story has a funny, sweet ending but think of all of those people who never saw their child again. A couple of years ago I took Carter with me to the Route 66 celebration in downtown San Bernardino (shudder) with a couple of my buddies. At one point, we were at this dark, scary little carnival and I got in line to purchase some tickets. Carter wandered off and although he was only a few feet away and was lost for approximately one minute, it was the longest minute of my life as I ran around panicked screaming his name. You're right: thank God that we don't have to endure losing a child...for good.

blaire said...

Jen, the most important thing is that everyone is okay! and if i'm still a good mom after our trip to the ER, then you're definitly sill a good mom;)

Fisher Family said...

Little Kate what cute little stowaway. So glad things turned out the way they did. Her guardian angles were definitely on call. I think I've kept mine on overtime at moments in my life.

Dana said...

Ohhhhh! I know EXACTLY how you feel. I cried for two days when Roger escaped our house and almost got hit by a car. He was missing almost 20 minutes before I even realized he was gone. The police officer was not very nice, which made it even worse. Those feelings still haunt me every once in a while! I am soooo sorry about Katie.

shelly said...

Jenny, I am so glad that Kate is safe! Don't beat yourself up over this, it could of happened to anyone! You are a good mom, and everything turned out ok! Love you!

sixlayerdip said...

Jen!! I'm so glad she is safe! Wow! Watch out for little stow aways who fall asleep. Thank goodness all is well!

Cathy said...

Oh, Jennifer, I have butterflies in my stomach just reading this! I am so sorry you had to go through that, I can't even imagine. I'm so glad to hear that everything turned out alright.