I've been consumed with the recent news of the Midland City, AL hostage situation where 5 year old Ethan was abducted at gunpoint from his school bus by 65 year old Jimmy Lee Dykes. Dykes had boarded a school bus and demanded that the driver, Charles Poland, Jr, give him two children. When Poland refused, Dykes killed him. Ethan fainted and was carried off the bus by Dykes into an underground bunker where he was held captive for 6 days until law enforcement stormed the bunker, rescued Ethan, and killed Dykes.
Midland City, AL is roughly 100 miles from my house. A sleepy, quiet community, much like the small city I live in. It's part of my marketing territory, and I drive by there once a month heading to Dothan, AL. Ethan is 6 months younger than my oldest son, Jackson.
This could have been us...
In light of the recent tragedies involving children, such as Newtown and now Midland City, my anxiety level of being a mother has reached sky high. It seems like every where I turn there is something else that strikes fear in my heart that something is going to happen to my kids, and that there is nothing I can do to stop it. It feels like I'm a mother, trying to get my kids through life, but I'm trapped in quicksand, just waiting for something bad to happen to me...to my children...to my family.
A long time ago I heard a saying, "Being a mother means forever having your heart walk around outside of your body." Those words are so true, and they have been bouncing around in my head as I prayed for the safety of a little boy, held underground with a crazed gunman. Every beat of my heart is echoed in the bodies of two precious little boys that have forever stolen my heart. I have a very strong faith that God is in control of our lives, but it kills me to know that although I would do anything humanly possible in the world for them, I can't stop the bad in life, no matter how hard I try.
I can't stop the bumps, bruises, broken bones, cuts and scraps.
I can't stop terrible medical problems.
I can't stop a tragic accident.
I can't stop the bullies and mean kids.
I can't stop the child molesters and abductors.
I can't stop drunk drivers.
I can't stop crazed gunmen.
I can't stop something bad happening to Jeremy or I.
I can't stop a single bad thing in life happening to me, my kids or my family, and that makes me feel like I'm sinking in quicksand. Like the mud is going to pull me under any second. However, there is a secret to quicksand; the more you struggle and panic, the faster you will sink. With quicksand the best thing to do is relax, and slowly wiggle yourself out of the mess; out of the mud that is sucking you down.
I guess I'm going to try to do just that with my boys. I'm going to relax and quit struggling.
I'm going to keep giving unlimited hugs, kisses and cuddles.
I'm going to make sure my boys know that I love them with all of my heart.
I'm going to live life to the fullest everyday.
I'm going to love life.
And I'm going to teach my boys to love life, even when we are surrounded by quicksand.
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