Missing in Three Seconds, A Wandering 2 Year Old

I watched 8mm starring Nicholas Cage on TVJ the other night and I’ve been left tormented by the memories. Yes, we are aware of the possibilities of what can happen when someone goes missing but when the outcome of the search is confirmation of death, that must be incredibly hard to handle.

My occasional morning stop to the service station to get my daughter a patty gave me a minor scare this morning. I was about to hand over my cash for the items, looked down and she was not in sight. Knowing well she likes to look for other items to put on my bill I assumed she was on the other side of the aisle, after all, it was no longer than two seconds before that she was by my side as I picked up Pringles and a pack of peanuts. I called out for her, no answer, I peeked by the snack aisle she was not there, mad panic sets in. A store attendant asks if it was the baby in a pink top that I was looking for, he had seen her go through the door.

Lawd a mercy mi haaaat tap!

At a busy service station with vehicles going to and fro, the possibilities were:

1. Someone could have grabbed her in their vehicle and sped off

2. She could have been looking for our car and been hurt by another vehicle

I Bolted through the door and looked left to see a lovely lady coming towards me hand in hand with my little princess.

No sah!

That feeling of absence, of uncertainty, of missing, hurts to the core; it is a journey of pain that does not allow you to stop and feel it just sets you into action to make things right. Though my experience lasted but five seconds I sympathize with the families, especially parents, who have had months, some years of that feeling. For some their pain has been worsened by an inability to do anything further or to get further help with their search.

When I grabbed my baby in my arms, I immediately started asking her why she walked away, if she didn’t see that I was still in the store and started reminding her never to go anywhere without me, but no, those are heavy responsibilities for a toddler. It was my responsibility to hold onto her, to ensure that she was with me.

We can’t afford to fall off as parents and guardians, we must be consistent, always conscious and never lay our responsibilities at the feet of our children. My baby could have become a missing person in a literal three seconds , three seconds.

It must be said that of the 3 or 4 other females inside the store, non seemed concerned in the slightest way. One of the ladies seemed annoyed that I had returned so quickly, apparently she was happy for the opportunity to cash her goods ahead of me.

Sad.

Heartfelt love and respect to the lady who held onto and brought back my child to me.

We are imperfect humans but the role of a parent or guardian requires the best of us; we should at least try.

Dedicated to those who extend their love, those who need to know how to love, those who need love and to those lives that remain ‘missing’. 

(c) C.E. Clarke in mommy mode.

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