Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A Mother's Heart

I am reading a book and the book reminded me of this story. It happened to yours truly. Pull up a chair and let me tell you the story.
Long ago, probably about 20 or more years ago, Bald Man had a certain job. He worked with certain people. Among these people were a father/daughter pair. Which is kind of odd. The father and his 3 year old daughter. And no mother involved. I would bug my hubby for more details about this man he worked with and his daughter. The man was good to his girl. She was clean, well fed, taken care of. Nothing to note on those issues. I just thought it was odd. A man raising a little girl all alone. Bald Man, in response to my prodding brought home these answers. Yes, the little girl has a mother, but she is a bad mother. A drug addict, a woman who didn't care about her daughter, and did bad things, which is how she came to live with her daddy instead.
Still, I thought it was odd. My husband told me not to be so nosy, not to ask so many questions, not to rock the boat, because he had to work with this man.
And so I did. I didn't ask any more questions, I didn't say anything at all for months. 9 months to be exact.
But in those months, I still wondered. One night I watched a show on TV about a mother whose child had been kidnapped, who moved heaven and earth to find her child. Faces on milk cartons and posters of missing children. And I wondered, "what if it were me? What if it were my child who had been taken? What would I do, how would I feel?" "What if the man is lying and the mother isn't a drug addict?" And then, I knew I couldn't be silent anymore.
Through my nosiness, I knew the state that the father and his daughter used to live in. I called the police in that state, I told them what I knew. My husband was a bit frightened, his coworker had a bad temper and he didn't want him to find out that we had made an inquiry about him to his home state.
The next day my husband went to work and was very surprised to find out that his coworker was in jail. For kidnapping, to be extradited to the state he was from. My husband even spoke to him from the jail, thank goodness the man didn't have a clue where the information had come from. We never heard from the man again.
A few months later, my phone rang. The voice on the phone identified herself as the mother of the little girl that used to live alone with her daddy. The mother began to tell me her story.
How once, she had loved this man, how they never married, but they had a child together. She told me about the man's temper and his mean streak. How one day, when he had visitation with the little girl, he called the mother. He put the little girl on the phone and told the mother, "say good-bye, you will never see your daughter again". CLICK. And they were gone.
The mother told me of the tears, and the lonely nights. She told me about the posters and phone calls. The police and lawyers, as they tried to track where this man had gone, taking her daughter with him, into a night that never ended for her. She worried and she cried, but most of all, she prayed.
She prayed that a mother would see her child, that this other mother would know, somehow, that this little girl had a mother who loved her. She prayed the other mother would send her home.
I was the other mother. When she called me to tell me thank you, all I felt was guilt. I KNEW that little girl had a mother and if I had listened to my heart, I could have sent her home nine months sooner. The little girl's mother said it didn't matter, all that mattered was the little girl was home now.
Then she told me how the little girl kept her father's picture by her bed. The mother told me how she never, ever said anything bad about the little girl's father to his daughter. She said she loved her daughter more than she cared about getting revenge on him. I don't think the mother ever understood how much she taught me in that moment. Loving a child is more than just your own feelings. It means loving them more than your own feelings. Love isn't about how you feel, it is a still, quiet place, where the other person matters more than anything else in the world.
I won't ever forget the mother who taught me what being a mother is really about. In this crazy world, where children are used as pawns against other parents and loved ones, there are still people who believe what is best for the children comes first. This mother taught me that lesson. I pray I never forget it.

20 Kids Who Want To Play:

elizasmom said...

Oh my, Jo. What a story. I am so glad you trusted your intuition that all was not right. I know that mother probably thanks you every day for the call you made. As for your last paragraph, that is such an amazing lesson. I hope I never lose sight of it.

Jessica G. said...

Oh wow, Jo. I am so very glad you never ignored that little voice inside that told you this girl had a mother that missed her.

Kristina P. said...

What an amazing story, and lesson, Jo.

The Boob Nazi said...

Wow. That's all.

Jillene said...

WOW--this is such an amazing story Jo. I am glad that you listened to the prompting and were able to reunite that little girl with her mother.

Lady of Perpetual Chaos said...

Wow. That is just amazing. The story and the lesson. I hope I can always remember that.

Ambitious Blonde said...

I heard somewhere once that the little voice you can't ignore is your angel speaking to you. Whatever the case may be, I'm glad you listened.

K J and the kids said...

How does this stuff happen to you.
AMAZING story. That still small voice. mothers instinct. WOW !

There was a similar story about a woman who saw a man in a gas station with a little girl and didn't feel right about it.
She was on a 6 hour drive when she stopped and saw the little girl. Something in her gut told her things weren't right.
She went home and continued thinking about her. She called the cops and they told her that they needed more info.
She drove SIX hours back to the gas station and started asking questions. They all knew of the man and the little girl but that was about it.
The cops said that the surveillance might help but that there wasn't enough man power to go through all of the footage. She asked if she could and finally got approval. She drove back and forth for days looking at footage and hoping the little girl would come back in.
After finding the girl on the tape they said they'd look for the guy.
They got his truck info and found him in a beat up old trailer, I think, and the little girl was in fact kidnapped. Not under the same safe circumstances your little girl was (if you know what I mean :( ) They were able to find her mom and sent her home.
All because things didn't feel right.

God bless ya Jo.
I've had bad feelings before and I always dismiss them and think...I don't want to say anything...I don't want people to think I'm a freak and accusing innocent people.
I always have to wonder...you don't.

Me said...

Truely a life lesson! We need more people like you. Those that will stop and listen to the what we are being told..as we are guided to answering the prayers of others! You truly amaze me my friend!

Yondalla said...

It's a lovely story. I wonder why you are thinking about it today.

anything in particular?

Amber said...

Wow. I'm glad you followed your instincts. The calling of being a mother is not just to mother your own children (IMO) but to mother all children.

3 Bay B Chicks said...

What an absolutely amazing story, Jo. I have never read anything like this is the blogosphere. Thank you for sharing such a personal and touching story.

-Francesca

Holly said...

Wow! What a story, you amaze me.

littlebear said...

Wow, that really happened to you? That is such a sad story, in so many ways... for the mother who thought she'd never see the daughter again, for the little daughter who was taken from her mother, and last but not least for the daughter who eventually lost her daddy... because of course she never understood that she was kidnapped! Probably if you had seen the show nine months earlier you would have called... but it would have been a little strange to call the police just because a single father EXISTED! They might not have done anything, anyway, until they knew there was reason to believe that something was really wrong! Thats a really good story!

Laura in L.A. said...

Jo, what a heroine you are! ALWAYS trust the "Spidey sense." But it takes guts to act on, that's for sure.

Love, Laura

Shauna said...

Hey woman! I miss you! Hope you are doing well! ♥ HUGS ♥

Lobbie said...

Wow again. I'm so glad you shared this with us. This is amazing and a great reminder to not ignore those possibly "impolite" feelings we sometimes get about people or places. You handled it extremely well too. No storming into this man's house in a fit of rage, but through the back door! Amazing!

SO said...

What an inspiring and wonderful story. I believe it is so important to listen to that "mother's intuition" that little voice that is given to us. It rarely is wrong. I'm so glad you listened to your voice and how wonderful that the little girl made it back to her mom.

And what an amazing mother to be able to give her daughter that gift of not saying bad things about her father. She is a great example. I sometimes complain about my husband in front of my kids and I really shouldn't do that.

Caustic Cupcake said...

What an incredible story!!

Motherboard said...

What an incredible story! You were definitely inspired!