She was a petite three-year-old.
She loved Dora the Explorer. They had the same big brown eyes.
Unlike Dora, she rarely spoke.
I was on my way to choir rehearsal and decided to stop by and see the new affordable housing unit her family called home. We had worked so hard to get them qualified and moved in. We had successfully used eBay and some of our own belongings to nicely furnish the new apartment.
She and her older brother were playing on the stairs of the apartment building. When she saw me coming she began to shake with what I thought was joy. She reached up her arms for me to pick her up. Then she held me like always, unusually tight. I hugged her with my own enthusiasm. She was precious to me. We climbed the stairs together. I carried her because she wouldn’t let me put her down. She did not utter a word.
The house was askew. Broken toys and dirty clothes were thrown about and miss-matched shoes made a path from the front door throughout the house. Her mother was upstairs on the computer. It was dinnertime.
When her mother opened the refrigerator I saw a half bottle of milk, a slice of pizza sitting unwrapped on the shelf and an open egg carton containing one egg. She opened one of the two large cans of soup from the cabinet. I wondered what had been eaten off of all the dirty dishes in the sink. I wondered about a lot of things that day.
Instead of going to choir rehearsal, I went grocery shopping. I stayed to help give the baby her bath and read her a Dora story. This time, she hugged me too tight and too long when I kissed her good night. She did not utter a word.
Her mother was my administrative intern, courtesy of a special back-to-work program. She was beautiful and smart. She was efficient and soft spoken. She had three children who had three fathers who were all absent. She received no child support, she had no childcare or family that was evident or helpful. She was a survivor and she had invisible disabilities. Off her medication, she was unpredictable. It was then her children became collateral damage.
One day she disappeared with no warning. She left everything behind in the apartment except the children. She never came back to work. I felt helpless and hopeless. Her case worker explained the dynamics of her condition as well as the unintended consequences. Her explanation didn’t ease my separation anxiety.
Although it was many years ago, Little Girl Blue has not left my heart. All I know is that she lived in a silent place with no complaints. She ate, she slept, but did she dream? Would her future make sense?
Little Girl Blue’s silence motivated me to expand my company’s mission. For Goodness Sakes Productions … creative programming for children will now include For Goodness Sakes Foundation. For Goodness Sakes Foundation will provide programs to help Little Girl Blue find her voice.
IUntil next time, remember,
You are not alone.
You are not your circumstances.
You have everything within you to live a purpose-filled life.