Theodore means, "God's gift." The story coming through the radio waves that morning almost three years ago grabbed my heart, burrowing a steely resolve to never forget. I knew that day, before all the details emerged, like how I knew Shain, the mother, this story would live with me. I couldn't only hear it and go on to the next. Teddy's attack first and then his death became a gift of a voice needed. Only in the sense, it awoken an alarm that cannot be silenced. I knew I needed to shout to people to look around at the children. So many are being abused and we cannot ignore it. I don't know why Teddy's story did that when others did not, only that Teddy's did.
This past fall, I haven't been able to post every week. Demands of a new job made me feel I was running out of words to tell the same theme every week. Teddy died at the hands of a monster, while his mother allowed this dastardly deed. I urge all to pray for teachers, school nurses, bus drivers, volunteers and so many other people to have sharp eyes and ears to notice abuse. Like a disco ball revolving around, every ray of light shines a new way to look at how we can be aware. This is no dance, though. Children are suffering every day.
I also taught how we as adults can prepare our children against abuse. Passwords, if someone tries to lure children away. Code words to save face, if children are at a place and don't feel safe, for parents to come and retrieve them. I told about an article about a camp for abused children and had hoped to explore that more.
I pledge in this new year to come back at this important topic with renewed vigor. We need to get involved with our legislature, no matter where we live. Teddy's Law is championed in Ohio. Find out what you can about child abuse laws in your state. I will post the hot line with every article. I have mine on speed dial. Suspect something? Report it.
Child help 1-800-932-0313