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Monday, September 03, 2012

Lost

Yesterday I experienced what no mom wants to ever go through.

I stayed home from church yesterday afternoon with sick kiddos. Katie was pretty happy most of the time and was playing pretty nicely. She was pretending to go shopping and I think I heard something about going to Aunt Amanda's house. Ok, that's fine, you can go, have a nice time! No, you can't go out on the front porch; you have to stay inside and pretend. Ok, that's fine... In my head: maybe I should lock the screen door, even if she’s good about obeying and not going out by herself…. I don’t do it. People are going to be home from church in a minute and then I’ll just have to unlock it for them anyways.

Nick and Alyce come home from church and I walk to the back door with Emma to say hi and chat. I don't hear Katie but assume she's gone upstairs for the zillionith time that afternoon. I say to Nick and Alyce that Katie is being a little too quiet, so I should check on her. I walk to the front of the house and the front screen door is wide open. Ugh, Katie, why can't you listen and stay inside? Oh wait, she's not on the front porch and she's not at the side of the house. Ok, I'll run back in and holler upstairs for her. Nothing. Ok, this is kind of strange she always answers, usually with an excuse about what she's doing. Holler again. Nothing. I ask Alyce to go upstairs and see if she's hiding. I run outside again. Nothing.  At this point I don't care what the neighbours think. I holler again. Nothing. I run back in, I put Emma on the floor and tear up the stairs. She's not upstairs. She's not downstairs. She's not in the front yard or within easy view of our sidewalk. Now I'm starting to get a little freaked out. Ben isn't home from church yet... seriously! Where is he!?!??

I run outside the front door again calling madly. I start running down the street towards Scott St: a fairly busy street. I'm looking down between the houses as I go. I don't see her. Maybe she wandered into someone's back yard, but why isn't she responding? Thoughts start running through my head: maybe someone has taken her, some weirdo picked her up off the side of the road. Maybe she's in someone's house and can't hear me. I'm going to go down in history as a mother who let her child wander off and someone snatched her. I'm praying, madly, incoherently. I'm still running down the street, calling out. I get to Scott St.  Now where? There are three new directions that I can go. How do I decide? I see two kids walking down the street, maybe they’ve seen her. I’m looking frantically, searching for any sign of her. I turn and am about to go and run after the kids to ask them if they’ve seen a little girl and I spot her! My heart leaps. She’s tottling down the sidewalk halfway down the block on the opposite side of the street. She is barefoot, with her too big hat on, and her purse in the crook of her arm. I yell to Nick who is going down the street the opposite way that I found her.

There’s a car coming down the street; I wave, hoping to warn them of this little girl who is looking like she’s going to cross the street back to my side. I’m tearing up the middle of the road, I don’t think I’ve ever run so fast. The car that passed me has slowed down as Katie is starting to cross the road. She hears me calling, no screaming, after her. She thinks it’s a game and starts to run. I scoop her up in my arms and finish crossing the street in front of the car.

Katie, Katie. Oh my Katie. All I can do is hold her and weep. Nick comes down the sidewalk and holds us all together.  We’re standing there in the middle of the side walk. I’m crying, and shaking. Katie is crying; she has no idea what a scary thing she’s done. We walk back down our alley to the back yard. Katie’s sobbing for me to stop crying. I can’t help it. The relief is tremendous. Thank you Lord! Thank for the protection you gave my little girl: walking down the street, crossing a busy road, being totally oblivious to the danger around her. I’m SO unbelievable thankful.

Five minutes later, I’m still kind of shaking, but can talk to Katie about what she did. I think she just may have sensed I was slightly upset. Oh Katie, you may NEVER walk down the street by yourself. And you may NOT go off the front porch or even onto the porch without Mommy or Daddy.

She’s so quick to respond: yes Mom, sorry Mom. But she’s two and a half; she has no idea what just happened.  Oh my little girl, what kind of terrible things could have happened, but God in His providence kept her safe. Thank you Lord Jesus!


The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.

Ps. 121: 7, 8

 

9 comments:

  1. Oh that is crazy scary. I am so glad she's okay. Praise God for keeping her safe!!

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  2. oh man! Tell her she can come shopping at my house together with you cuz moms and girls go shopping together! :-) Thanking the Lord with you!

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  3. Oh Heather ... I am so thankful with you that our God protected Katie. What a wonderful God we have.

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  4. Heather, this made me cry my eyes out. I am so thankful that God was watching over her and she is safe.

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  5. Wow, that brings back memories of losing Eric twice!! for over half an hour!! And, having Leah brought back by the police when we were moving!! Sooooo glad you found her and she didn't get hurt. Crying over here too....

    Sending some hugs for ya!!!

    hugs, Mom VMS

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    1. I had one of our girls disappear on me once and I know exactly how you felt. It's as if the bottom of your stomach has dropped out and your running around searching wildly, praying desperately, and thinking this can't be happening. I'm so glad you found your precious daughter. Now put her back into God's hands once again. He is our protector and provider.

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  6. I will remember the works of the Lord;
    Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
    I will also meditate on all Your work,
    And talk of Your deeds. Psalm 77:11,12

    This is one of those stories that must be told to the coming generations. The Lord was merciful; He kept Katie safe. God's deeds are not just of the past; they are also of today!

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  7. Wow, I'm so thankful that she's safe! That brings back memories for me too of when Leah was that little and wandered off when we were helping Mom and Dad pack their moving truck... it was just one of those times when you assumed she was with the other kids that we heard playing upstairs. She went off down the street and around the corner towards St. George Street, and some people found her and took her in their apartment and called the police. Tim and I had to go with the cops to get her... I felt like the worst mother ever. I was so thankful that the people who took her were honest people - so much could have happened, but God was merciful.
    Sending you a hug, and breathing a sigh of relief with you!

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  8. Terrifying! I've had a couple wanderers myself. And years ago brought a little 2 year old back to his house after walking quite a ways down the road. It's the worst age for wandering off, they are so innocent. And fast! Children have their very own angels I believe. ♥

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