How often do you get to hear of a big experience in your life, from a strangers perspective, 12 years after the fact?? Hearing a story that is all too familiar, yet the details are different?? I am still processing it, and wondering at the oddity of it all.
My sister, Karen, met and married a control freak, drug using con man when she was 20. She had already had Vanessa by this point, and went on to have four more by the time V was 5 1/2. Mike was abusive to the kids, and by the time they had three or four kids, he was full time on drugs, and not working. Her ward stepped up and made sure the kids got to church, and they had food. Karen ended up working full time to support them all, including his habit.
My mom and I tried to help Karen escape, but you can't help someone who can't or won't help themselves. We stood by while she spiraled down and self destructed. Then we stepped in and I took custody of Mikey, then 7 and Andrew, 5. Mom took Vanessa, 8, Jonathon, 4 and Emily, 3.
We had the kids for a year before Karen got them back. In that time she got rid of Mike, got her self an apt for her and the kids, and started a new life. The kids are now 20, 19, 17, 16, and 14.
Meanwhile, Back at the ranch. I have lived in this ward for ten years. THe boundaries have changed a few times, the name has changed, and last year the stake was revamped and 1/3 of the bulging neighboring stake was now part of our stake. We ended up with half of another ward to really boost our numbers. If my sister still lived over in that little house, she would be in my ward now.
Last night we had a presidency meeting. I am the only member from the former ward in YW, and have made great friends with the gals from the new ward/stake. Girls camp last year really helped us get closer. As I sat down, one of the girls asked me about my sister's last name. It is a unique name, and I was rather stunned when she said it. She went on to tell me that not only had she been in the ward at that time, she had also worked at the kids school. She said those kids made such an impression on her because it was her first experience knowing abused kids. She told me things I had no idea about. Things Mike did at church to show everyone he was in control of the kids. Things the kids told her on one of the many times she gave them a ride. And how she was the one who Mikey confided in that last day, when CPS ripped them out of the school and called me to come get them. By the time she finished, we were both teary eyed for the lost childhoods of these kids. I thanked her for being there, for loving my extended children, for being a guardian angel to kids who really needed her. Ihave often wondered about hte woman who did so much for the kids that they told me they referred to her as an auntie, and she has often wondered what happened after that fateful call.
What does God say about you?
9 months ago