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It can happen to anyone

Forgetting that your child is in the back of your vehicle happens a lot more than what people are willing to admit.
Forgetting that your child is in the back of your vehicle happens a lot more than what people are willing to admit.

Unfathomable, but it can happen to anybody.

When a San Jose father headed for work in April of this year, there was a break in the routine in the household, a huge warning flag for doing the unthinkable. A family member was suppose to watch their infant son but the father ended up with the task of dropping the child off at daycare.

In the hustle bustle of the Silicon Valley the extra time for the task meant additional pressure and distraction in the morning rush to get to work. When part of the normal routine this task is as automatic as any other. But the breaking of the normal procedures and additional distractions cause what the majority of people cannot understand….this father forgot his son was in the back of the car.

Losing a child is any parent’s worst nightmare, but the horror of being an unwilling participant by forgetting your own child in a hot car for hours is as devastating a scenario that could be imagined.

Those unsympathetic to those that accidently leave an infant or toddler in a car lack understanding, compassion, and empathy to something that can easily happen, particularly when the normal routine is interrupted, hectic schedule, and multitasking become dangerous distractions.

Interruptions can short circuit the most disciplined individual. It has nothing to do with intelligence, whether male or female, or how much one loves their children.

Police investigators see the underbelly of society all the time, and even the most novice officer can understand and identify genuine grief when they see it. About 90% of these tragic accidents fits the profile that leads to unknowingly leaving a child in a vehicle. These officers are well trained in separating the authentic from the theatrical.

Piling on more insult to injury on grieving parents does little to remedy anything. There is no punishment necessary as jail time or probation that will be any worse than the private hell people go through. Any additional punitive action is heartless and unmerciful.

Forgiving themselves will be a process that will take a while. The guilt, self-loathing, and agony issues that will accompany forgetting that their child is in the back will haunt one forever. The second guessing and second glances when opportunities for trust are necessary in future regarding child caring or anything else will never go away. Being branded as the one that “forgot” will be ongoing.

Some stains are unrecoverable on their own and a person’s spiritual beliefs will assist in the healing process. Stating “you are only human” does little to remove the sting of loss in a situation as being responsible for your child’s own death. One needs to be grounded in something substantial to help navigate through this type of crisis.

Fortunately grace and mercy makes up much of the Christian experience. Grace is receiving something you do not deserve while mercy is not getting what you do deserve. The nature of being Christ like will help recovery and healing. Forgiveness when one does not deserve it is another critical intangible to those that inadvertently do the unthinkable.

The question of “does God or anyone still love me?” becomes a reality for the affirmative of those that believe what they have done is unforgivable, thus makes one no longer worthy of being loved.

The unconditional love of God through mercy, grace, and forgiveness removes our blights as far as the east is from the west and deposited into the sea of forgetfulness with God, never to be brought up again. Admitting sins, faults or mistakes makes God faithful and true to forgive us of any sin and cleanse one of all unrighteousness according to 1 John 1:9.

While the world may not let you forget, it is as a healing ointment to know God will forget if one follows what is outlined in 1 John 1:9.

God is bound by His word.

As a public service announcement...leaving one of your shoes next to the car seat will prompt you to not forget your child, especially when it is a hot day, a break in routine, or just stressed with a lot to do. Those are the warning signs that "forgetting" is a bigger possibility.

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