Reading my father’s account of what happened was incredibly bizarre. I have held onto, yet never read his account for almost 15 years. What the hell.
Still as a statue, with a slow, hard heartbeat and a deeply flushed face, I read:
On school nights, we studied and played. (Melissa is an honor student) or we would go for a hike or to a movie or the library. We were involved, as much as possible, in school activities, carnivals, plays, educational events, Brownies, and roller skating. On the weekends we went to museums, on nature hikes, to the zoo, swimming and camping….
We had just finished dinner. Melissa had made chocolate pudding for dessert when she got home after school. It was her first attempt and they were eager to try the pudding. They ate their dessert, which was excellent according to Melissa, while I cleared the table and put the left-overs away.
We were playing catch. I was lying on my back in the middle of the living room. Melissa was on the stairs to my right and Catherine was to my left by the kitchen. They would throw the balls to me and I’d catch them and throw them back. They started throwing the balls together making them difficult to catch. They would chase the deflected balls and if they got close enough to me I’d grab one of them, tickle them. They were laughing and running around trying to get the balls and throw them at me. We were having a great time. Then one of the balls strayed and broke a porcelain pink flamingo.
We decided it was time for a break and Melissa turned on a show about baby animals. I went into the kitchen to get my pudding. I noticed a police cruiser parked across the street and then another one went by and turned the corner. I went into the bedroom on the side of the house to find out what was going on and I saw another police cruiser.
He would never eat that pudding and I would not see my father for another 12 years. My sister and I watched as the police handcuffed my father, led him out to the patrol car, and drove away. Our noses left marks on the living room windows as our breath frosted the cold glass.
The next day my mother and grandfather would come to get us. We were frightened- these people were strangers to us.
Alongside my father’s notes, there are several letters from himself and friends pleading for information from the court and social workers. The tone is desperate and anxious. Yet, he gave up the search after that year- feeling defeated and overwhelmed. He was always a man with a good heart and it breaks mine that he could not find it within himself to keep trying to find us.
I can’t believe that no one even knows where these children are and what kind of care they are receiving… These children are victims and have no say in their life. Please help them.