Do you ever hear, read, or see something that you just can’t possibly erase from your mind? My heart is breaking this evening as I read, and re-read news stories of a 10-year-old little girl, full of a love for life, and a smile that could light up a room. In an Alaskan village, where everyone knows everyone, went to play at a park, and never came home. Eight days later, her body was found. Her family, living the ultimate nightmare.
Details are emerging about a family member taken into custody, not yet for murder, but for lying to the FBI when questioned.
I watch the candlelight vigil being held for her, via internet. Her loved ones sobbing. Hugging. The heart wrenching, bone-chilling sound of their voices singing ‘This Little Light of Mine and Jesus Loves the Little Children’, among others. Purple balloons, her favorite color, being released to the heavens.
Though I don’t know this precious angel, nor her family, my heart is full of excruciating sadness as I can’t fathom what her loved ones are going through. Worse yet, I can’t even begin to imagine what this precious, innocent child went through in her last moments on Earth. If this man is indeed the guilty one, she trusted him. He was considered family. Someone obviously, that she wasn’t scared to leave the park with.
My soul is crying out for her soul. In pain, agony, fear…my heart bleeds for the injustice, the inhumanity.
My tears fall for her. An uncontrollable sobbing, for the loss of a child. A life full of love, laughter, and innocence… stolen from her. Her family robbed of their most precious gift. So many lives changed forever-more. A beautiful, irreplaceable life taken, at the hands of what I would refer to as nothing less than a monster.
I write this tonight, hoping all whom read it will say a prayer for her and her family. But also a prayer for your own.
I write this tonight, praying that those whom read it will take the time to discuss safety with your child, or family members. Sadly, in today’s world, we must prepare our loved ones at a very young age about not only stranger danger, but the possibility of danger around every corner they turn. Stress to them that a smile, or candy, a cute puppy, or someone crying, doesn’t make it a safe situation. In a fragile manner, you must stress to them as well, that just because you know them, or someone they know know’s them…does not make them safe. Teach them a SAFE WORD, or phrase. Basically, a word that only you and your child know. A word that would be used in the case of an emergency situation, where you had to send someone to pick them up. So in other words, you tell the chosen person the word, and your child has been taught to ask for the safe word. If that person does not know the safe word, then your child would know that you, the parent, had not sent this person, and needs to seek safety. A teacher, principal, etc.
Something I have done with my children. It doesn’t guarantee their safety, by any means. Truly, I’m not sure there are ever guarantees of safety. But it just may keep them safe if a situation were to arise.
Now I realize, it is very easy for someone to find the opportunity to grab a child and run. I am not oblivious to that chance whatsoever. A safe word is just an extra step of caution. I am sure her family had taught her about dangers. Sadly, tragically… there was not a happy ending. May it not be in vain. May it be a horrifying reminder that this world is not always rainbows and unicorns, and we as parents, grandparents, family, must take every step we can to teach our loved ones the dangers.
And NEVER, EVER, leave them without saying I love you. Hold them tighter for an extra 30 seconds. Never go to bed angry. Don’t hang up your phone, until they know how you feel. Hang up your phone when you’re with them. Cherish each and every moment.
Prayers and love, my dear readers.