This I Believe

Entered on June 8, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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In July of 1999, I had no idea when I woke up that morning that the decisions I made would ultimately save my daughter’s life. I never thought something tragic could ever happen to my daughter. As a parent, I protect my children, keep them from harm, and warm and safe. When you put your trust in someone else to do your job and they fail, thank God for miracles.

Every Saturday morning, my daughter’s father would have to go to driver rehabilitation classes because he was caught drinking and driving when he was younger. Usually, I would drive him there and pick him up afterwards. Our daughter was three months old at the time so, of course, she went with me to drop him off and pick him up; and then, we would go out for breakfast before returning home.

This one particular Saturday, the class instructor required that each ‘student’ bring in a person with them for support purposes and accountability reasons. Therefore, I asked my sister to baby-sit so that I could go with him. This would be her very first time with a babysitter and I was extremely nervous.

Anyway, I went to his class, but I spent the whole time in a daze, worried about my daughter. Afterwards, I asked him, “Shouldn’t we go home first, to get Ashley, before we go eat?” Luckily, he agreed with me and said, “Let’s go pick her up and then go eat”.

We arrived home to find that my sister was ‘passed out’ on the couch. I was shocked and horrified to then look over at my daughter who was suffocating from a blanket!!! I pulled the blanket, soaked with sweat, off her. Her face was blue, her head was white, and she was very hot. Hardly breathing, I took her over to the air conditioner to cool her off and then went to the emergency room. The doctor said, “You were lucky to get home when you did, any longer and brain injury would be likely.” She was o.k.; thank God there wasn’t permanent damage.

Turns out, my sister was up all night drinking, and to my surprise, doing drugs. Had I of known this prior, I definitely would’ve asked someone else to watch her. She looked tired to me, just like anyone that early in the morning. I feel responsible for trusting her, but didn’t know I shouldn’t.

Day to day, everyone has to make decisions: What to cook for dinner, green or red pajamas, or where to go? Parents have even more decisions about how to raise their children: What time to go to bed, what to have for breakfast, or who should baby-sit? Ironically, as a parent, I have found that the smallest decisions can actually be some of the most important ones in my life.

I can’t say that I can forgive her…ever… she hasn’t apologized!

But I can say…

I Believe in Miracles!