For seconds my mind frantically wondered if our lives had just forever changed.
Updated: Jun 1
I was in the check-out line at a home warehouse store, with my then three year old daughter, the place was packed and the shortest line for check-out was by the front door.
I had recently read articles about child traffickers snatching kids from check out lines near doors…the article said it was easy for traffickers to grab kids while moms unloaded carts and paid, they could be out the door and in a waiting vehicle in seconds.
I held my daughter’s hand tightly with one hand while I unloaded all my new home decor purchases from the cart with the other hand. When my total was said I realized my daughter was holding the hand where my wrist-let style wallet hung. To get my debit card I would have to let her go.
I let her go, unzipped my wallet and pulled out my debit card—all while keeping my eyes on her standing next to me. I turned my body and looked at the cashier to hand her my card—this was less than a second of time—when I looked back down my three year old was gone.
SHE WAS GONE IN LESS THAN A SECOND!
I did all the right things, I held onto her, I watched her while I did everything, except for one second when I turned my body less than 45 degrees away from her to look at a cashier.
Still my daughter was gone.
I frantically turned my head left to right, I turned around calling her name. After a few excruciating panicked seconds, that felt like years, my daughter popped her head around a Christmas tree display about fifteen to twenty feet away.
My daughter was gone in ONE second. She was able to get roughly twenty feet away from me quietly without notice and she was GONE.
Believe me this took ONE second, I went home that night shaken. After my daughter was in bed I reenacted the situation over and over timing it to really know, “Was it really only a second?” Over and over I pulled my debit card from my wallet and turned to hand it away and turned back, each and every time it was one second.
I am so thankful my daughter was safe, I am so utterly grateful my one second didn’t have a tragic ending.
But that is not the case for every mom, so many one second experiences or one minute experiences end in tragedy. For the seconds before my daughter popped around a Christmas display my mind frantically wondered if our life had just forever changed.
I read a story today in which one minute did forever change a family. My heart broke, tears streamed and my mind went back to that store three years ago. My heart and prayers are with that family tonight.