With so much of the current news retracing the unimaginable horror of Madeleine McCann’s family over the past six years, there is a shadow back, hanging over us all.
The split second in which a decision is made, a door left unlocked and that predator, that evil bogeyman or woman…creeping in to tear apart everything you hold dear. Leaving everything and everyone you treasure, changed, marked or gone, forever.
I’m thinking of this now, and writing about it because last night I lost my own daughter, just for a few minutes, but long enough to know, to feel almost sure that she was gone.
I looked in every room, twice. In the garden, in the cupboards. Had she fallen, was she trapped, where was she? Where was she? Running over and over in my mind. She is only three years old. Where had she gone?
I ran in the street screaming her name, her elder brother, terrified, kept saying
“Call the police mummy”, “Call the police”.
Because in his fairy tale world they would of course magically appear and find her. And make everything better.
But my logic, I’m sure like Kate McCann’s that night, kept saying…she must be here. This is where she was only a few moments ago. This is where she will be.
My last desperate attempt at searching the house turned up trumps. One missed cupboard opened and there, behind the clothes, amongst the shoe pile she sat. Hiding. Quiet as a mouse.
I’ve never been so angry, terrified and glad in one moment as I was then. It was that extraordinary, totally overwhelming second when they are back in your arms.
What I wouldn’t give for Kate and Gerry McCann to have that moment.
Because, there but for the grace of God, go us all.