I would like to share the story of my friend. I have changed some details to protect her privacy, but she has given permission, in the hopes it may save someone the heartbreak she lives with.
In 1983, it was very common for people to leave their kids in the car whilst running errands, doing the shopping etc.
Enid had left her 8 year old boy Mark, her 6 year old daughter Jenny, and her 2 year old son George in the car.
She was just going to be a minute in the shops, so thought nothing of it.
At the check out, she bumped into a school friend she had not seen in years. They stood chatting for about 15 minutes, then Enid went back to the car.
Mark and Jenny were there, but not George.
Jenny told her the man who took him had told Mark and herself that Mum had asked him to take George to her in the shops.
Over the next three days, hundreds of emergency services, family, friends and volunteers hunted for George.
Eventually his battered and abused little body was found, dumped in a drain about 6 km from where he had been taken.
They never caught the man.
Enid and her husband split up less than a year later, as the stress of this broke down their marriage.
When he was 18, Mark apparently came to the conclusion he could have stopped the man, and that he could not live with himself. He took his own life 3 days before his 19th birthday.
Jenny married and had children of her own, one of whom she named for the little brother lost.
Every week, she and her Mum travel to the cemetery where both George and Mark are buried, and lay flowers on the graves.
Enid and I were speaking the other day about these dreadful parents who leave their kids in the car on hot days. She decided she wanted people to know there can be horrific consequences to leaving kids in cars full stop.
So next time you think it is ok to just pop into the shop, and you will only be a minute, stop and think of George, and take the extra few minutes to take the kids with you.
Please fell free to pass this on.
Posted by katelt, 19th February 2014