I don't usually write posts like this as it's a family-like blog and well, as such, it really isn't a place to for me to rant. But this time, well, i'm writing 'that' kind of post.
The photo above is of Autumn Pasquale. She's twelve years old and in six days will be thirteen years old. Autumn looks like she is a sweet girl and from what i've read, very active and loves to ride her bike. Autumn would always check in and was always home at her curfew time.
She lived with her dad, his girlfriend, and siblings in New Jersey.
A few days ago, Autumn was going to ride her bike to a friend's house.
She never made it there.
Autumn didn't check in at home like she usually does.
Something was wrong...and her Dad called the police to report Autumn missing that night after Amber didn't come home at her curfew.
When i first read the story, i thought, "No, not again. Please, God, not again. Bring this young girl home to the people that love her. Please bring her home safe."
I also thought about Jessica Ridgeway from Westminster, CO, who also went missing recently....Jessica never made it home safe. Her remains were recently found...
I will admit that when i read a news story about a child who is missing, i automatically assume the worst. I don't know why, but i do. I also always assume the worst when i read about women in domestic violence cases who are missing. I look at the photos that are posted and look into their eyes and i know. I don't know how i know, but i know.
I know that they won't be coming home alive.
And then i get sad. I try to tell myself that the woman or child is in God's arms and now safe. I tell myself that God was with the woman or child in what was probably their worst moments; that God was there, comforting the victim who needed to be comforted. I tell myself that God is now with the family, comforting them...comforting them in their worse moments.
And after thinking all of those things, i get very, very angry. I scream in my head at God....I demand to know why He didn't step in and stop what was going to happen. I demand a different ending. I demand to know "why". Why didn't He save that woman or little child? Why does such evil exist? Why do these things continue to happen? What can be done to stop it? How do we protect our children and women from this kind of violence? How does someone to this? Why does someone do this?
Autumn was riding her bike. She was out riding her bike to a friend's house. In her neighborhood. You know, where she is suppose to be safe? Where she knows her neighbors? Where folks are suppose to look out for each other and keep each other safe?
They found Autumn yesterday in a recycling container, apparently not far from where she lived.
Autumn will now not be on earth for her birthday. Or Halloween. Or Thanksgiving. Or Christmas. She won't go to the prom. She won't go to college. She won't have a first love, get married or have children. Oh, how my heart aches for her family...while i am happy that she is in God's arms, i wish this story's ending had her home, safe and sound, getting ready for her thirteenth birthday.
We have a fenced in back yard where Emma and Pickles can play and run.
Half of me is embarrassed to tell you that even in a fenced in back yard, i don't let them outside unless i am with them or i can see them from the back porch. Emma is five and yes, we do live in the most boring neighborhood ever, but the fear that something will happen is great. I can't imagine letting Emma ever walk to school. I can't imagine letting her go somewhere that i have checked out and will come with her. The chance of what i would loose if i let her do those kinda things as she gets older is too great...i won't take that chance.
It's sad that i'm like this. Heck, my Mom let us walk to school alone when i was in the first grade. We played outside all day long and rode our bikes. We came home for lunch, dinner and we had to be in when the street lights came on. We did live in Spain and not the US while i was growing up, but my husband grew up the same way: hanging out with his friends, riding his bike, playing and coming home when the sun went down. I simply cannot imagine letting Emma do these things and i wonder if i am off my rocker at times.
Early this morning (at 5am, sigh....), Pickles was barking to go outside and do her thing. I grabbed my shoes and jacket and walked out with her, to get some air. I let Pickles out and walked down the stairs of the back deck and looked up at the stars and do my morning prayer thing.
I was stunned when i looked up.
I have never seen so many stars in the sky from our back yard. Bright, twinkling stars were everywhere in the sky. I felt like God was telling me "I got this, I promise!" The stars were stunning this morning....simply beautiful. I stayed out much longer than usual this morning, praying, talking to God and looking at the stars. I didn't come away with any earth-shattering knowledge. I didn't solve any of the world's problems.
But i did come away with the sense that God is all around us and sometimes, that's the most important thing. When you feel like you need more answers to questions that can't be answered, finding His strength and His love gives you the hope that somehow, somehow, things will be alright. You don't know how, but you just know that somehow, things will be alright.
Rest in peace, Autumn and Jessica...