Monday, June 17, 2013

Life's Greatest Gift God Endowed us with...

“No man should bring children into the world
who is unwilling
to persevere to the end in their nature and education.”
― Plato

This true story I’m about to tell you happened this morning, Sunday June 16th 2013, on Father’s Day…

I woke up early this morning getting ready for my Sunday long run/walk. Today my sister-in-law had decided to join me. 9am we are finally out of the house, headphones on, music blasting, and the sun is out with still a beautiful morning breeze keeping us cool before the temperature hit its peak. We are maintaining a good pace. Almost at a mile, alternating between runs and speed walks, I see across the street walking down toward us 2 little “kids”. I slowed my pace as I’m not quit registering what I’m seeing. I stop running, look at my sister who looks just as chocked as me. So I crossed the street.

I kneeled down in front of this cute little boy, couldn’t be more than 5 years old, barefoot, dark blisters on his little bottom lip, and holding the hand of a very pale toddler (couldn’t be 2 yet) dressed in a filthy 1 piece pyjama.
“Hey baby” I said softly to the older boy “where are you going? Where do you live?”
“My baby sister woke up so I’m taking her for a walk” with no fear in his eyes as he is talking to a stranger “I live far, at 249 xxxxx Angela was crying so I took her for a walk”
“Where is your mommy” I asked while wondering what we should do next.
“My mommy is sleeping”
“Alright” I said “show us where you live so we can take you home”

It quickly became very clear that he didn’t know how to get back home however he knew is address (which is part of the project housing around where we were) unfamiliar to me.
We started walking; Angela who looked so pale and un-normally calm, came in my arms with no hesitancy.
We walked, turned around the corner and there was a man standing in his front yard across the housing project so I asked:
“Excuse me sir, do you know these 2 babies?”
He said no. I explained to him what was happening and we decided the best thing to do was to call the police.

It took the police department a little over 15 minutes before they dispatched a car to where we were. During those 15 minutes we found out a life story…what I feel safe to assume to be a sad life story… He was 5, she was19 months old. “Daddy? I don’t know. He is not at my house”. “Breakfast? No, we didn’t eat yet…mommy will make me macc n’ cheese when we get home” “I go to school at (silence)… 249 xxxxx (his address)”
I asked my sister, should we leave them with those people since the police are coming. Thank God she was there to put sense into me, she said Rose, we don’t know those people. We just can’t leave the kids, and what if something happened to them?”

The dispatched car finally came around the corner, stopped in front of the house. The officer pulled his window down and asked what was going on. Once again I started to tell the story and before I was even able to finish he saw the older boy and said “you again? Don’t you live at 249 xxxx?”
The boy right away said “I didn’t go to the store, I promise!”
The officer said “yes I know, you always take care of your baby sister…” He took the kids and put them in his backseat, I asked him where he was taking them, and he said he was taking them home. “Why take them home apparently they are not being taking care for”. He said he had to go there first and then they would file with social services.

I didn’t understand. My heart was hurting. My throat was closing up…it was painful to watch how at 5 years of age he was so fearless of us, strangers, and of police officers. It was so disturbing to know where they were being taking back to…
My sister said come on Rose, it is what they are supposed to do, they have to assess the situation…let it go”

I finally put my headphone back on…music was blasting again…I resumed my Nike+ GPS run and went back to my business. But my day was forever changed…

EVERY child deserves to feel loved, safe and special. They deserve a loving environment surrounded by people who cares for them. They deserve the opportunity and ability to be a child and not be forced to grow up too soon. They deserve an education and the chance to make a life for themselves. ~RS

Unlike the “heroes” we create ourselves to be such as nurse, doctors, police officers, firemen, soldiers… To be able to bring a life into this world makes us innate heroes as it is life’s greatest gift God endowed us despite the negativity in this world. Fathers and mothers, let’s take our role seriously!

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