I am a mother who was told for ten years that I would never have children. I am a Criminal Justice, major maintaining a very high GPA who has never been in trouble with the law and who works with the police on cold cases in my area. I used to read stories about people who left their kids in the car and they died from heat and I would shake my head and demand the death penalty. When my daughter was finally born, she was very sick. She was diagnosed with several serious health problems that no one looking at her would ever know that she had. She was required to sleep on a breathing monitor and I was told that there was a very good possibility that she would not make it. I used to sit at her crib side all day and all night willing her to keep breathing with my mind and praying constantly. I rarely got more than 3 hours of sleep per day, as her father took off, unable to deal with her illnesses. When she was three weeks old I had to go pick up a prescription for her and went into the pharmacy where I waited for nearly 40 minutes for them to fill it. I was absolutely devastated when I returned to my car and found that I had not only completely forgotten that she was with me, but had left her in a completely unlocked car with all of the windows down while I was in the pharmacy. She was not at risk of dying from the heat, however, she could have been kidnapped. When I realized what I had done I had somewhat of a nervous breakdown in the parking lot and lot it. My knees buckled to the point where I could not walk, nor drive home and had to call someone for help. It was not until then that anyone recognized that I had physically been pushed too far by the lack of sleep and that in my efforts to keep my daughter alive, I could have killed her. After that, people started coming to help me in shifts, so that I could sleep while others sat with her to make sure she was okay and after that I was better able to care for her. When I think back to that day, like right now, I shake and my heart starts beating faster, as though I had just walked out to that car 2 seconds ago and realized what I had done. I learned a very valuable lesson that day about never knowing another person's situation and not jumping to conclusions without all of the facts. I hope that you are never in a similar situation someday, but fate, karma and life do have a way of teaching you things when you least expect it.
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