Life is precious. Life is a joy unspeakable. The waiting. The expectation. The unknowns. The hopes and dreams and visions of wondering who this beautiful gift will become when they get older. Will it be a boy? I’m sure he will be the star quarterback of the football team. Will it be a girl? I’m sure she will be full of sugar and spice and everything nice—as well get out of my way ‘cause here I come!
Then you feel the first movement. Now, you know the life in you is growing strong. You hear their heartbeat. Now you can almost hear them cry with their first breath of life. The anticipation is mixed with pure joy and angst of the unknown. But sometimes, our dreams must take a back seat to the realities that life is at best unexplainable, at worst very fragile, but always with purpose.
There can be few things said that have not already been said about the injustices in this world. Those who plan and purpose to make someone’s life miserable solely because they can—just because you call them out and refuse to be a pawn in their game any longer.
That was once again the case in my daughter’s life. She finally did it. She finally stood up to him. She finally said, “No More” to his selfish determinations to have everything his way. She finally left him. She cared for herself and her two children and God then blessed her with a man who stepped in and loved them all. Finally. We could breathe. They married and were expecting their first child together. Their joy was being made complete. This was May of 2013.
She left him in January 2012. Before the end of that year, my oldest grandson came home from a weekend visit in pull-ups only, no clothes, with a 2” wide, 6” long purple bruise across his lower back, that was hidden by the pull-up. “With my 3-year-old grandson’s testimony, a phone call was made. An investigation ensued. “He” was arrested. “He” was put under supervised visitation. “He” was not happy. What happened next was not a surprise to anyone.
Accidents happen, they say. There is always an explanation. In my daughter’s case, this was indeed an accident that garnered the force of the wicked to come against her. My youngest grandson was a klutz when he was young. Anyone who knew him and spent any time around him knew it. One day, he went to see his dad on supervised visitation and had a defined speckled pattern of something in his back. A phone call was made, which then ensued with an investigation.
I asked a lot of questions. I couldn’t get settled. Something was very wrong. I’ll be one of the first to call out abuse when I see it, but something was not right about this. I walked into the boy’s room and found toys all over the floor. I saw a huge toy wrestler’s belt laying on the top of some toys. It had dozens of raised points on the medallion of this toy champion wrestler’s belt. To my great joy, I saw that the pattern of this toy matched the pattern of the picture of what was on my grandson’s back. When I was called by the investigator, I told her about this toy. I asked her if I could bring it to her so she could see it, noting I was sure my grandson simply lost his footing and fell on it. My grandson was two years old. I’d seen him lose his footing walking across an uncluttered floor and lose his footing and simply fall to the ground. She determined she didn’t need to see it. That bothered me, but I trusted the investigation would prove this was just an accident.
I was wrong. I was so very wrong. The investigation was determined to be valid. I was livid. I was not speechless. I was beyond livid. What kind of investigator does not look at all the facts—all the possibilities of what could have happened?? I insisted the toy was taken to my daughter’s attorney, who agreed with me she was sure my grandson had simply fallen on the toy. The daughter went through the torture of realizing she had been accused of child abuse. This is the woman who finally stood up to this “person” and said, “No More.” Yes, there are a lot of stories of women who abuse their children, but I knew my daughter was not one of them. My grown children had to go through the gamut of interrogations that ensued, including taking a lie detector test. Except my daughter, because she was pregnant. The stress of it all was almost unbearable.
“He” was relentless. “He” reported her dozens of times during the two years after she left him. “He” was sure he had “done it to her this time.” To make it all the more difficult for my daughter, she still had to take the boys to see him every week for supervised visitation.
Then it happened. I got a phone call on Saturday, August 3, 2013. My daughter could hardly speak. She lost little Addison Marie. She knew she had not felt her move in the past week but she didn’t pay much attention to it. The doctor confirmed Addison was gone. She just stopped growing. She was no longer alive. My heart almost couldn’t take it. How? Why? Anger burned within me. I knew why this happened. Surely the God of all grace, mercy and love would not allow this to go unpunished!
I immediately went to be with my daughter and took care of the boys while my daughter and her husband went to the hospital to have the D&C. My grief was mixed with anger. I watched the now young woman who I had raised, loved and nurtured, go through the loss of her own child. So very hard. My soul was vexed. How could someone be so cold and hard-hearted?
Eventually, there was a hearing on the alleged abuse charges. My daughter and her husband were completely exonerated. Even so, the stress and heartbreak proved to be too much for this young couple and so as with the loss of their child, their marriage ended as well. I arrived at another level of realization of the injustices that can occur.
What I have to hold on to is what the Lord continues to remind me, “Vengeance is mine says the Lord.” I’ve learned though, keep on talking. Keep on trying until someone listens. The should’ve, could’ve and would’ve of me knowing the truth about the toy almost ate me alive. People are human. People make mistakes. We all process through our own thoughts and experiences. Yes…I know. But why didn’t I just charge into the investigator’s office and demand to speak to her supervisor and insist they look at this toy and the probability, at least possibility he fell on the toy that caused the marks on his back?? It took a long time for me to get over this. But I hold on to the hope of knowing God is able to work all of this out and that God will heal us all from this whole ordeal and the loss of Addison and bring justice on our behalf. Recompense. That’s what I want.
I’m learning God’s grace is so much greater. His love is vast and incomprehensible. His forgiveness is freeing. Mercy is everlasting. Yes. Amen.
Each time I saw the boys, my youngest grandson wanted to dance with me. He would stand on my feet as I waltzed through the room to the tune of “Somewhere My Love” (music written by Maurice Jarre). He loved it. After Addison died, I penned my heart to the tune of that song. May the God of all comfort, grace, and mercy give us strength to walk through the grief and heartache of this life.
©2017 Katrina Stanley
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