Monday, August 24, 2009

Missing Children Banner and Other Good Things

Back in July, when I followed SecretWave101's lead and posted information about Lindsey Baum, 11, of McCleary, Washington, I "post-dated" the entry to August 20, 2009.

The hope was, of course, that she would have been found by then. Instead, she remains missing and is believed to have been abducted.

In addition to the hope was the thought that I would then add the name and story of another missing child -- who would then be promptly found unharmed, unscathed. It seems such an easy thing to do with a blog -- particularly blogs like this one, that don't exactly follow a grand design.

And so I went hunting this afternoon through the names, faces, and harrowing tales of those children who have been reported missing during the last month. A fair number of the cases are "family abductions," code for custody-battles-gone-wrong. I figure those will likely be solved through basic application of 2 + 2 = 4 logic -- also, I figure those kids are, at least, with someone who cares for them.

I know, I know. There are big holes in my 1 + 3 = 5 thinking. Some of those kids are in real danger.

Still, I chose not to concentrate on custody cases.

I picked Daisja Weaver, a beautiful 9-month old little girl, out of the lists at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) website.

I'll spare you the details, but her parents have been arrested for her murder.

Then I was drawn to the grin of Hasanni Campbell, the precious 5 year old with cerebral palsy who disappeared without a trace from an Oakland street. He has difficulty walking, so believing him to have been abducted by a stranger didn't stretch my incredulity one bit.

Not like the news that his foster father has failed a lie detector test and has a newly discovered history of violence. The truth of it just seeped into my bones. I know of no other way to describe it -- it has a bone feel. Hasanni Campbell won't be helped by having his picture and tiny story on this blog.

I could go on -- and Lord knows, I need to -- but I won't. Did I think that the world of Missing and Exploited Children was one of lighthearted frivolity? No, not at all. I just deluded myself into forgetting the deadly evil adults can exact upon these young souls.

At least, thank heavens, I am no longer paralyzed by Do-Gooder's Disease -- even if I just barely escaped falling prey to the delusion that these ugly realities rendered my small efforts a complete waste.

A few weeks back, Fred and I had a Difficult Conversation. Contrary to the reigning pop psychology (that endorses a shift from either/or to and, for example), I was at fault. I was wrong. I was in error. I had been ba-a-ad. One of the things that came from our Difficult Conversation was Fred's belief that I did not spend my time in good and uplifting pursuits. I have been too focused on my pain and my illness. I was driving him crazy.

He asked that I please spend my time "on good things, on doing good."

It was a conversation worth having. I find myself examining every choice -- from making toast to surfing the web -- and questioning the subtle influences exerted by each activity.

He felt I was too interested in medical blogs and bloggers, that this interest didn't dovetail well with the reality of being sick, disabled, in a bleeping amount of pain, and on the verge of losing my insurance coverage. He might, maybe, have a point. Could be. It's within the realm of the possible.

Good things.
Doing good.

I don't know, Dear and Darling Readers. But when I have it all figured out, you'll be among the first to share my illumination.

Until then? I am installing a banner that links to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children -- and I hope some of you will do likewise.

And I consider this afternoon's reality check to be something of a dare to Fred's admonishment that I "do good," and involve myself with "good things." It is not that I am attracted to the underbelly of the beast -- foster parents murdering the children in their care, parents absconding with trusting sons and daughters, those sorts of fluff affairs. No, it is just the simple, sad truth that I understand the darkness more than I will ever comprehend the light.

It could be that Fred mentioned balance and equanimity along with all that jabber about goodness. At least, I'm sure he meant to.

You'll find the easy instructions for adding the Missing Children Banner to your webpage/blog here.

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