Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Reeves Law Group Scholarship Contest

This post is for a scholarship contest that I have entered. The names of the innocent and guilty will not be used, and the images used will not be of the actual individuals.

Soothing Innocence

From the first moment I saw her, I fell in love. A sweet beautiful face and thin platinum blonde hair. She was not more than a year old, and her smile made me smile too.

Her tiny little hands had dimples on each knuckle, even when she was holding her bottle in her hand. It was as if a little angel stood before me. I wanted nothing more than for her to be happy.

My tenant had not mentioned that she was a mother. But, when she brought this angel over and told me that she was fighting for custody and was in hiding, I believed her. Being a mother myself,  I knew that I would do anything to keep my children safe.

The first night that she had her daughter with her things went very well. It appeared that they were close and that different aspects of her story were probably true. By the second night, I knew that something was wrong. I kept hearing this sweet angel crying all through the night, and I wondered why I did not hear her mother get up to soothe her.

Because her mother was renting a room from me in my basement, I decided to go and check on her. The door was open, and I saw this sweet angelic girl on the floor by herself crying.

 Her bottle was empty, she had no clothing on except for her full and sagging diaper, her face was sticky and dirty and her hair was in little knots.

Her eyes were red and swollen from crying so hard. I immediately felt the need to mother her. At that moment, her eyes met mine, and she started to scoot across the floor and then tried to waddle to me in her overly full diaper.

I tried to wake up her mother, but she would not get up. She was breathing, just refused to get up. She mentioned something about being out too late, and I asked her if it was ok if I took care of her daughter. She mumbled that she did not care and to do whatever I wanted. 

I scooped the little princess up in my arms and carried her upstairs where my children were. As I set her down to change her diaper, I noticed that her legs were raw from how long the wet diaper had been rubbing them. I changed her diaper, putting oinment on every wound. I combed her hair while singing to her, and fed her. She suddenly became vibrant and happy again. 

I set her on the floor with my own children, I had four under three at the time. And they played together throughout the day. 

Her mother did not get up until it was well after dinner time. I told her that I was not happy about the fact that she left her daughter crying all through the night, and did not wake up until now. I told her I was concerned about how her daughter would have had what she needed while she was sleeping. 

Her mother became upset, and she told me that she would take the girl to her mother's for a couple days. I worried about whether or not she would be taken care of, but I thought that surely this angel's grandmother would make sure that she had the care that she needed.

During the two days that they were gone, I had some unexpected visitors come by. It was little angel's birth father and paternal grandfather. I listened to what they had to say, but I did not reveal to them what I knew about little angel or where she was because I did not know what the truth was. I asked them to show me evidence that this sweet girl had been taken, and that she actually was supposed to be with her father, which they did provide.

After reviewing what they had, I told them that I knew where she was, but I did not know where her grandmother lived. The police came, and they discussed with me what I could do to help. They explained to me that the mother had lost custody due to neglect, and that the grandmother mistreated the child as well. I was horrified, and wanted to do whatever was needed.

I was asked to let them know the moment that they mother returned, and whether or not sweet angel was with her. It was not long after that, that they did return home. I cried as I picked up little angel and saw cigarette burns on her legs. In that moment I had mixed feelings. I felt sad that I would never see her again. I felt relieved that she would be cared for better than what she had been going through, but I also felt remorse for not knowing what the truth was and getting her into a safe place sooner.

I picked up the phone and dialed the number I had been given, and said the coded phrase. It was not long before her father, grandfather and the police arrived. I picked up little angel and told her that it was going to be ok. I stepped outside the house and walked into the street. She clung to me tightly, and I took one last look at her beautiful blue eyes, then placed her in her father's arms.

I had never dealt with anything like this before, and was not aware that I could have checked out her mother's story. There are a lot of people, just like this angel, who cannot help themselves. And it takes loving parents, neighbors, and friends to help them. I will always cherish the time that I had with her, and that I was able to love her during that difficult time in her life. I often wonder about her and how her life turned out. 

I will never forget the look of joy on her face the moment that she saw her father. I will always remember the gratefulness of her grandfather and the police. And she is only one of the many experiences that I have had that has fed my passion for helping others escape abuse. While I lost a tenant, I helped protect an angel girl. And there is nothing better than that.

1 comment:

Carla Wardell Jones said...

really enjoyed reading this essay it really will be a winner in my book if it is chosen in this essay contest.