Friday, October 19, 2018
Today I am grateful for children. All children. Everyone’s children, all over the world. Children are our future and it is our duty to protect them. Always.
I thought I was getting over the separation of children from their parents at our southern border, but I guess I’m not. Maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe none of us should. Then in the state where I am residing for a month a 13 year old girl went missing, glutting the airwaves with Amber Alerts for days and days, calling in hundreds of volunteers to search for evidence. At this point they have only found her murdered parents and still have no trace of her. My heart breaks. I’m a grandma. She has grandparents whose child was murdered and now their precious granddaughter is missing. How do they function?
Then on the news this morning, which I swear I’m going to stop watching, some woman dumped a toddler on someone’s doorstep, rang the bell and ran away, leaving the child there. When the stunned little one turned that precious little face into the video I burst into tears. What is WRONG with people? Who does this? On what planet does this seem okay?
Our culture is full of chatter about who should be let into our country, who should be kept out and who is causing the entire thing to be such a huge problem. In today’s political culture I say, “Follow the money.” But in today’s humanitarian vacuum I ask, “What about the children?” I’m not just talking about children who have a parent who is trying to save their lives by evacuating a country where they could all be killed. I’m talking about children right here in America, who are abused, tortured, kidnapped and dropped off like a UPS package on someone’s doorstep. They are human children!!! What is wrong with people? I can’t ask it enough.
Since that young teenager with the murdered parents has been missing, I’ve tried to function, going about my day, seeing my mom and friends, pretending I’m okay. But I’m not. Another child is missing. And when found, is going to need years and years of therapy and support to become whole again. To find “Real.” But she will. I know she will. I know because though I was not abandoned, I had my share of childhood trauma and the subsequent, necessary therapy. And I am whole! I am real!
I was reminded of this in the ladies room of the Sugar River Pizza restaurant in Verona, Wisconsin last night. Hanging on the wall just inside the door was my all-time favorite quote from my all-time favorite children’s book, “The Velveteen Rabbit.” I burst into tears when I saw it, because I needed the reminder so badly. I didn’t read this book as a child. I read it as an adult when it was given to me by another member in my group therapy. My supporters, my encouragers saw my faults and flaws, my foibles and quirks, my internal scars and worn out soul. They convinced me they were just the paths to my becoming “real”.
The burden I feel today is so great that I could use a little help carrying it. Could you please do me a favor? Hold the children in your hearts? All of the children. Not just those in our country, but in the entire world. And not just those missing or hurt, but also those whose hurt you might not see, or might never know about. Because without the children we are nothing. They are our future.