As my nephew slash, godchild slash, son dozes into la la land every night he loves to caress my face with his tiny and soft hands. I really can’t figure out why he does this, probably it makes him feel safe. He’s been doing it for a while, but I can’t pinpoint when he exactly began this little routine. He’s turning 23 months old this next Sunday, he’s only one month away from entering “the terrible twos” as they call them. Like any innocent child, Ian trusts me beyond anything else. He knows that if anything happens to him, as he calls out my name I will rush to his side to try my best to fix whatever is wrong. Tonight as he performs his little routine my thoughts rush off to a family that lost their six month old infant as he suffocated to death because his daddy forgot he was in the car.
In it’s alarming statistics the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has informed that from 1998 to 2012 five hundred twenty seven (527) children have died of suffocation. Basically these children were left by their parents in the car to die. For the last couple of days as the news of this senseless death is covered by the media, my husband has tried to bring up the topic a couple of times to which I always answer with a frown and a “don’t want to know anything about that terrible accident”. As I call it an accident I wonder if it truly was an accident. Accidents can’t be avoided and this little baby’s death could have been. The few facts I know about the family is that his dad worked in a Toyota dealer (where the baby boy actually passed away) and his mom is a special ed teacher, and that they had planned this baby. Planning means taking time to think things over, to wait for the right time, to have enough space in your home to receive the newest and most precious member of the house, but above all when we plan something it’s because we really want it to happen.
So, what happened along the way? Do we become so caught up in the things we need to do because of a job or any other thing that we oversee the really important things. How can a dad just forget his precious cargo was with him, what thoughts rushed through his mind as he closed the door and forgot about his baby? I don’t know, neither do I want to know the baby’s name because I would begin getting to know him on a more personal level which would make things even more difficult for me. I don’t want to be judgmental of the father because he has enough to bear with as it is.
Although this is an immense tragedy it gives us the opportunity of learning from it. All parents around the world should create awareness of the importance of double checking your child’s safety at all times at all places. For which, every time I put Ian in his car seat I open the driver’s door up front before closing the side of my mini van because by no chance do I want the doors closed as I still am standing outside of the vehicle. Sometimes as I slide the door and it closes and he is not able to see me he calls out, “mama!!!” with a little distress, to which I always answer with an ” I’m right here sweetie”.
I’m more than careful with these precautions due to another story about a two-year old that died suffocated after her mom left her in the car and stepped into her office leaving her to die alone. Often I would think about the little girl calling her mommy’s name as she suffocated; I would think about the heat she took inside that car; and, I would think about how she cried. Those terrible thoughts haunted me taking my inner peace as my heart went out to that child.
More than once I’ve thought about what happens to us when we die? Does an angel sent by God come to take us to heaven? I really do hope so because this is the only thing that can take the suffering away when thinking of all the innocent children that die each year because their daddies or mommies forget about them and leave them to die in the car. Each and every time one of his youngest die, our loving heavenly Father wails so strong and loud that it has to resemble the fury of the winds of a hurricane. We can find stories of angels throughout the bible, but the one that stands out among them all, is when Lazarus dies and as we read in Luke 16:22 it says “the angels carried the spirit of Lazarus to Abraham’s bosom when he died”. Angels were sent by our Father to carry his spirit in a soft and gentle way, taking him home. I’m more than sure that the spirit of the baby boy was also taken by angels that not delivered his spirit to Abraham but returned it to God himself because He as his loving father will never leave him abandoned.