Her child was missing. The child’s father had suddenly shown up at her mother’s with the police, demanding his son. They were still married. There were no orders which gave either one of them superior rights so they had equal rights to the boy. One thing was for sure, the father’s rights were superior to the grandmother’s. When pressed, the police couldn’t do anything about that. They had to demand the boy from the grandmother. They had to turn the boy over to the father.
By the time the mother found out about it, it was too late. The boy was gone. Missing. Disappeared into the darkness of the streets. The father only paused long enough to text, “You will never see your son again.” When she read his message, she shook to her bone. The boy’s father was mad enough, violent enough and mean enough to follow through on his threat. It could very well be true.
Over a year before, the father had beaten her, kicked her, eventually even put a gun to her head swearing he was within seconds of killing her. When that ordeal had ended (there had been many), she called the police. The police took him away. She obtained a 12 month Protective Order for she and the child. The court ordered that the father could not be within 500 yards of either she or the child for a year. For the first time in a long time she felt a sense of relief.
As the year wore on she relaxed more and more. Occasionally she thought about getting the divorce started but the thought of having anything to do with him again was more than she could bear. Out of sight, out of mind seemed the best strategy. What she didn’t know, what she couldn’t foresee, couldn’t hurt her. She felt safe in that calendared bubble.
The 12 months had only recently come to an end. The Order expired on its own terms. She hadn’t heard from him so she didn’t think anything about it. She still didn’t want to. Each day, she kept going to work. Each day, her mother kept watching the baby. Day in, day out, the way it had been for the past year.
Then, one day, without any warning he showed up like a blitzkrieg and stole that child off into the night and onto the streets vowing to make deadly sure that she would never see her child again.
There was much she could do about it, and much that was to be done, but all of it paled in comparison to how it could have been handled before, before the 12 months expired, before the child was stolen, before her fears of never seeing her child again were provoked by this mad man.
Everything that could be done, would be done. No stone would be left un-turned for fear that the last stone would be a headstone. Still, the child was in grave risk because time, once her comforting friend, had become her enemy. Time had been taken for granted.
When is it the right time? Some say that you never know the right moment when it comes, only when it has passed, when it is too late.
The constant of time is that it is always passing. Don’t take time for granted. Don’t wait until it is too late.