Saturday, May 13, 2006

A Chance Encounter with Sadness

It was an ordinary if hectic day yesterday; exhausted from working extremely hard I arrived at my car where Rob was waiting... I started the car and set off at the helm expecting nothing more than the usual Friday routine of friendly discussion regarding theology and events within our circle of friends. At that point in time the only thing bothering me was the fact that I hadn't had opportunity to say hello again to that girl from the estate agents I'm quite fond of (it's the girl I'm fond of... not the estate agents).

Unbeknown to us, things were about to take a darker turn.

Driving back along the country road, I turned off taking note of the signs warning us about a horse ride taking place that day... a minute or so later, on approach to a narrow S bend by a weir, I saw a different sign - "POLICE SLOW". On approach I assumed there had been an accident in the road ahead.

Rob and I cruised gently through the narrow gap between the roadside and two police cars and wondered what it could be that was so wrong? It couldn't be a car accident because there was no debris or wreckage. Whatever it was was significant because there were two television crews on the scene as well. I hypothesised that it was either a cache of drugs or in the worst case, a body that had been discovered.

I didn't know how close I was to the truth, and I wish now that I hadn't been. Rob doesn't normally watch the news and he had wanted me to text him to let him know what it was, but in the end.... I didn't have the heart to do it, the news was too grievous for me to pass on like that.

I asked Mum and Dad to turn on the news and it was then that I learned the awful news that a newborn baby girl, sealed in a Mothercare bag was the source of the investigation. She had been found in the river by a family of walkers... how terrible they must have felt.

Autopsy results on the child reveal that she was delivered fulll term... but whether or not she was stillborn or died of other causes is as yet unknown.

Police are making enquiries after the mother... they are naturally concerned as to her physical, emotional and mental wellbeing at the moment. Despite the fact that the babe was found near Great Alne, just a stone's throw away from where I go to church, the police are stating the discovery as being in Aston Cantlow... they must be assuming a certain amount of drift from the nearest large settlement.

I hope and pray the mother turns herself in and that she can get the help she needs. I pray things don't have to turn any darker with this story then they already have. I just hope it is a case of the mother not being able to get to medical help and suffering from a state of confusion and post-natal depression after finding her newborn child had not survived. It sounds strange to hope for the least worse possibility, but I'd rather not entertain the thought that this was an act of wilfiull neglect or cruelty.

One mistake I believe the police made when issuing the press statement, was getting a man to deliver it. they should have asked a female officer to make the appeal... preferably a mother herself. If this lady is to turn herself in, I feel it will be to empathic arms and not authoratitive ones.

Pray for the mother, whatever she has done.... pray for her.

N

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