From: Kristi Minneman
Received: Dec. 3
I am not certain of my intent with this letter; maybe it’s to express my feelings or to possibly educate at least one person who might not know the magnitude of love a child injects into this cruel world we live in.
The holidays are upon us, and it saddens me many children will not have a holly jolly Christmas. With the recent acts of violence against children, my heart no longer can endure it. I would love to be able to forget the recent death of a toddler boy who was killed because of possible child abuse, but I cannot seem to rid this news out of my head.
God has blessed my husband and me with a son, who is now 2, and my life has never been more complete. There is not a day that goes by that he does not bring a smile to my face and fill my heart with more love than I ever imagined possible. My job as a mother is to protect him, to educate him, to provide for him and to love him. As a selfish act on my behalf, my son has memorized a prayer that we recite every night before bed, and it goes like this:
“Thank you Jesus for this day and please bless me another so I can play.
Thank you for all the things you do, and help those that need you. I love you, Amen.”
I could not imagine the pain if my son was taken from me, especially from an act of violence. He brings so much happiness, not only to his father and me, but to everyone who is blessed to be in his presence.
And I feel that every child has that ability to make the world happy.
So why does one feel they have the right to take a child out of this world or to discourage that happiness through child abuse and/or neglect? I don’t understand how one could abuse a child, let alone abuse to the extent of death. I want people to understand that children are the only innocence this world has left to offer. Children grow up to be a reflection of what they learn, not who we want them to be.
So before one decides to engage in sexual activity, be prepared for the chance of a child being born into this world. Children know who their mother is from the womb, and they love their mother even when the love and support is not given in return. That is a testament to the vulnerability and beauty of our children’s love.
We can all try to pretend that child abuse doesn’t exist, but it does. Not only can it result in death, but it results in a lifetime of discouragement for that child’s future, whether it ranges from their lack of performance in school, personal relationships or abuse by them as adults.
I am far from mother of the year; however, I am a mother, like most, who wants nothing more but the best for her child. As parents, we have to be fully aware of who is in our children’s lives. Maybe I am too much of a mother hen, but there are not a handful of individuals I trust to watch my son.
Right now I am his voice. He cannot tell me what is going on when I am not there, and we all have to trust someone to care for our children when we cannot be present. I guess I am just simply asking those who are not ready to be a parent to take precautions, and those who are or want to be, to watch like a hawk.
Watch for signs in your children, from bruises to your child’s behavior. As mothers who appreciate our children, we have that instinct to know when something is not quite right, so follow your gut. And to those mothers who simply don’t care and to those who are abusers (sexual, physical, mental, neglect), shame on you for being such a cruel being.
If you feel you are entitled to abuse, why? Because the child cries, throws temper-tantrums, because you want to get back at someone? Remember, a child does nothing but love.
Child abuse takes away the greatest gift God has created. This world needs as much love as possible. I beg and plead for individuals to report any suspicion of abuse. It’s a matter of life and death. You do have the right to remain anonymous. Every child deserves to not only have a blissful Christmas, but a blissful life.
For more information on child abuse and what you can do to help, visit www.childwelfare.gov.