I was on my way to take away some lunch for everyone. I thought I might get some exercise on my way to the store so I put on my shorts and running shoes. M1 and M2 said they wanted to come with me, so I told them to put their shoes on too. We left the house and I began my light jog. I saw a friend of ours from a distance and I told the children to shout his name. “Hi Uncle,” they said. He waved back and we continued running. We ran past a large plain and once in a while, M1 and M2 would stop to pick some wild flowers on the ground… well, the ground was dry, so what they were picking up were actually a prettier form of weed. I kept jogging and asked them to keep up with me. Suddenly I noticed a silver SUV behind me, an Isuzu Panther. It slowed down as it drove behind me. So I stopped and let him pass me. And that’s when I noticed that my children weren’t behind me anymore. I called out their names. I ran back towards where we came. I combed the street but they were nowhere to be found. Suddenly, the street was filled with people. I met a friend who I haven’t seen in a long time. She stopped me and I told her, in panic, that I am looking for my children. M1 and M2 were with me. She will help me find them, she said. She ran with me towards where I had seen them last, the plain, where they stopped to pick up the weed. But there were not there. I shouted their names again, but there was no reply. I ran as fast as my legs could carry me to the place where I wanted to get our lunch. But I remembered that I never told them. I combed the streets again on my way back, shouting their names endlessly. Still no reply. I cried. I lost my children. They could be kidnapped. Maybe by someone in the Isuzu Panther earlier on. And then I thought of the worst things that could happen to them. I slumped on the ground on the plain and I cried and I cried, but that didn’t make them appear before me. Suddenly, I felt lost. I didn’t know where I was and I didn’t know where I was going.
And then I woke up.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph. That was the scariest dream I have had in a long time. The scariest. I am still filled with goosebumps as I write this. I felt like I was in a scene from Inception. It was just a nightmare (thank goodness!) but it wasn’t far from reality.
Child kidnapping is a serious issue in our world today. Children are taken with no ransom demands anymore. The world is so crazy that child trafficking is not unheard of anymore, where children are sold into child slavery, illegal adoption or even worse, prostitution.
We have all heard the scary stories. We shuddered as we told ourselves about how unimaginable it is to lose your children. It really is unimaginable. The easiest way would be to withdraw into a glass bubble and stay there, protecting our children from the crazy people. But in the trade off, we would also be taking our children away from the life they need to live and from the purpose they need to discover. Instead, we need to teach our children to protect themselves from the people who can harm them (which is practically anyone… grrrrr!) and train ourselves to be more alert. I am often guilty of being too ignorant on the whereabouts of my children. (Ohhh, maybe that’s the guilt that’s seeping in to my dream…) By ignorant, I mean, when we go out, I like to assume that they are wondering around the store that I am in, or the restaurant that we are at… I don’t always hold their hands. Maybe I should, because it only takes a second to lose them. (Urgh, shake off that feeling!) But again, we can’t hold their hands forever.
I believe that this is every mother’s nightmare. The best we could do is to do our best, to train them and ourselves, and to let God do the rest.
I’m going to give those two kids a big hug now.