Have you ever had one of those moments, hours, days, weeks? I just had one. Where you connect with everyone and everything around you, and realize how real life is. I know that sounds stupid, but how many of us just go about our days and not take the time to look around, or talk to someone different. My night was just turned upside down, and my soul as a mother cries.
I waited for my husband to come home from his model airplane club and the kids were already in bed. I talked to him about his day and what not, and told him I was gonna jump in the shower and go grocery shopping. I like to do this late at night (11pm tonight) because it gives me a chance to decompress and not compulse buy (which is what I tell myself, when the real truth is sometimes it SUCKS taking a 10 month old into a store will a million people!).
I head out the door and drive to the store. As soon as I pull into the parking lot I see this pink jacket with a girl inside with the hood pulled over her head. She is sitting on the concrete with her head on her knees just looking out into the parking lot. First thought, "Where the hell are her parents?!" So I watch 1 couple walk into the store and the a clerk walk out of the store, no one saying anything to this girl. I grabbed my cart and walked up to her. She looked up at me and I figured she was about middle school age.
"Hi honey. Are you ok?"
"No. I am lost. I figured I would sit here in the light until I saw a security or a police office drive by and then I would have him help me."
(WHAT????) *Is what I was thinking.
"How long have you been out here?" (It is now 11:20ish pm)
"When the sun went down. I am not sure. I got lost in the dark."
"Ok, well what is your parents number and we will call them and I will take you home."
"I do not have parents. I am staying at a group home."
(My heart just fell onto the floor.)
"What is the group home called? We can call them and bring you back."
"I am not sure but the ladies name is ________. And the name of the foster center is _______."
"My name is Renee. What is yours?"
She tells me.
Ok so now the heart inside me has broken into a million pieces. I don't know if she is lying (which totally didn't seem like it) and she is a run away or what. So I did the smart thing.
"How about we call the police and have them come help us out?"
She looked at me and started crying and said yes. She said she has been sitting here ALL NIGHT WAITING for someone to help her. So I called and they said they would be out as soon as they could. So I asked her if she wanted to help me shop, and she said sure.
So as we are shopping I am asking a million questions, how long have you been here, where do you go to school, do you have siblings. She would answer them, shyly and had a hard time looking at me, but she did answer them.
An hour went by and I was done shopping and standing there talking to her and some of the store clerks (they found out what was going on when I was outside initially talking with her). There was still no police officer. I didn't know what to do, but I sure didn't want to leave her in the store at midnight (even though the store is 24 hours). I called the non-emergency number again and they said they got very busy and will be out soon. So I sat and talked to her. Very smart, articulate girl. Didn't smile much, but can't blame her.
Finally the officer showed up. I gave her a piece of paper with my name and number on it and told her if she EVER needed to talk or go to coffee or anything, to call me. She said she would. Then she gave me a hug, YES A HUG, and said that was the first time someone has taken her grocery shopping since her mother died 3 years ago.
I got into my car and sat there and cried for at least 10 minutes. As I cry now writing this. Then the questions flood in. Why did no one else go up to her? Why did no other person even see if she needed help? Why didn't she just stop someone and ask for help?
There are times in our life people come into our world and help us, and there are times we go into theirs and help them. I was ment to be there tonight. I hope to hear from her tomorrow and many more days and weeks and months and year from now. I hope that we will have a ever lasting friendship, and I hope she knows that not everyone has given up on her. Cause I wont, I never will. I am a Mom. I will never give up, on any kid. No matter if they are mine or not.