My wife forgave me….would you have?

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It has taken a while for me to get to the point of sharing this story.  I had written it over and over in my head before it ever hit the paper and then I updated it several times before I threw everything away and just decided to expose my heart.

I will always love my wife and her response to me on a day that I will always remember…BUT WOULD LOVE TO FORGET.

On one of those hot ATL days I was extremely tired on my way home from work and called my wife as I often do in an effort to make her life easier.  Sometimes I am sure it is my life that I make easier with this, ‘I am almost home call’, that allows me to stop off at the grocery store before I get home and she sends me back out.

On this day I was told the girls were really needing to get out of the house.  I mean they are homeschooled and my wife does not do outdoors….unless she is running 13.1 miles. (and she does that alone and it never takes her long)

So I told my youngest three I would take them to the park for the 1.5 hours before we needed to be at the dance studio to pick up my oldest.  So I arrived home and picked up my 7 yo, 5yo and 11 month old.  While we were off to the park, which would cause me to be outside in the heat playing, I came up with a genius thought.  Why don’t I call our friends in the next neighborhood over and stop by to visit their 3 girls and let the girls scream, tear up their house and I can get some A/C at the same time.  This will prevent my tired body from having to take more of this ATL heat.

“I love the thought.”

I called and they were home! “Yes!”

The truck could not come to a stop soon enough before my 7yo & 5yo were yelling and screaming and hugging their friends.  I could hear them all the way from around the corner.

I was just happy to get out of the heat and feel some A/C, which was a much better deal than the park.

After a wonderful 45 minute visit we got up to go pick up my oldest and our neighbor asked, “Where is the baby?”

My eyes bulged out of my head and I took off running for the truck.

I ran to the truck and was frozen right before I got to where I could see her.

I made it to her window, which was cracked, and could see her face.

I had never seen eyes like that before…

They told me.  “You forgot about me!” “I actually thought you were never coming back!” “WHY did you do this to me?”

I grabbed her and immediately looked at the temperature gauge in the truck and it read 87 degrees. I then remembered that for the first time in my life I started cracking the windows.  This was something I had only started a few days before and was glad I had.  Every window was cracked but I was praising God because she had soiled her diaper and had cried to the point where her tears had dried.  I felt horrible.  I just handed her to our friend and sat in the passenger seat of the truck and cried.  I really felt like I made it to her JUST IN TIME.

I could not sit for long and think about it because I needed to pick up the big girl from dance so after giving the baby some time inside we were all on the way.  The 7yo and 5yo always go inside the dance studio to pick up their BIG SISTER, but today I said, “Please do not go inside.”  I could not deal with everyone running out to discuss it after they told on me.  So we waited for BIG GIRL to come out and headed home.

When I arrived home all I could do was hand her to my wife and hug my wife in tears.  I was surprised she even wanted to touch me, but she did and it was the longest cry of my life.  I left home with all my daughters and almost, due to my carelessness, came home without one.  I am the person who always thought that anyone who could forget their child was JUST PLAIN CRAZY, but now I had done the unthinkable.

I will not share our exact conversation but just know that My wife forgave me…would you have?

ODC

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About offdachainandouttadabox

We are a married couple of 2 with 4 beautiful, smart children, who after 15 years of marriage have decided to join the blog world with a blog that will allow us to present what may be considered to many to be offdachainandouttadabox as it pertains to the areas of marriage, parenting, finances and health & wellness. The offdachain husband will also, against the wishes of his wife, (hence off the chain) post on other subjects from time to time.

41 responses »

  1. Wow. It takes a lot for someone to write about this. It’s not easy when we make mistakes and we all have. (some bigger, some smaller) It Is by the grace of God…. This sadly has happened to far too many parents. In most cases it’s not because of neglect or bad parenting, it’s about something called mis-remembering. The director of KidsandCars.org has spoken about it extensively. Parents are so sure, positive, that they have removed the child from the car. It’s usually in the case of a slight change to a routine. Mom usually drops the child off at day care. Dad usually waves bye. But for whatever reason, there’s a change in routine. Dad is 100% he bid the family farewell and pulled out the driveway as he does every day. He doesn’t remember the change to the routine that one day when he actually has the baby to drop off at day care. Kudos to you for writing about this. I hope others will take it too heart.

  2. You are so incredibly courageous for sharing this story. I thank God for you and your beautiful, brave wife because both of you share from the heart to be a blessing to others.

    I would have forgiven my husband, because we are all human and make mistakes (even HUGE mistakes) and I would never, ever bring it up to him again. I know he would be haunted by this memory for the rest of his life.

    • Thanks Resplendentlife! I do think about it every day and am thankful to God that we have her beautiful smile with us and I am very grateful to my wife for her forgiveness. Thanks for stopping by and we hope there are many that feel what we share on this site in 2012 and years to come.

      ODC

  3. Wow! I agree you were courageous to share this story. I thank God that you began cracking windows. Oh, I’m thanking God right now. That is definitely a phone call that I would not have ever wanted to receive. Thank you God, Thank you God!

  4. Thank you for sharing your story. You made me remember that my husband is only human, that we all make mistakes, we all have so much on our minds that it’s easy to forget something and someone so important to us. Thank you because you reminded me to forgive my husband’s past mistakes as he has already forgiven mine and moved on.

  5. I have learned that unless you walk in a person’s shoes that it is wise NOT to judge them. This story made me cry. I wish I had not read it because I can not get the picture of you running back to the car, and the baby in the car out of my head. Again I praise God for his FAITHFULNESS in caring for the baby that day. Thank You Jesus.

  6. ODC I’d love to say that I would forgive you but as a never married single parent I have never faced a situation where someone else so close to me was in control of my child’s existence. I am not sure I know what it feels like to hold someone else accountable for her well being. And it wasn’t until I read your post that I realized that. I couldn’t put myself in ODB’s position.

    My greatest fear when Kai was a baby was leaving her someplace. I was so sleep deprived and she was such a quiet baby it would have been easy to go through my daily motions and not hear a peek from her. I always had this recurring dream that I’d strap her in her car seat and go to the car and drive away only to realize I’d forgot to put the car seat in the car. So for about a year my reality was going through a check list every morning before I walked out of the door: diaper bag – check, diapers – check, change of clothes for daycare – check, keys – check, baby – check! And I’d do it again before I pulled out of the parking space. I had such a fear that my sleep deprivation would take over and I’d forget I even had a baby. So I say all of this to say – the Christian that I am would forgive you but not being able to actually view myself as the wife/mother tells me that my reality hasn’t yet equipped me with the circumstances to know what I’d actually do en route to that forgiveness. That would have been an interesting conversation/encounter when you got home (after I hugged the baby and all of the girls). Just my 2 honest cents….

  7. I forgot to say, thanks for sharing this story – it was very brave of you to do so. I know anyone who reads the post will crack the windows from now on – even those without a baby. I thank God for you and ODB, your experiences continue to blessed me and make me think about things that will prepare me for married life. Thanks!

  8. Thanks for sharing this story. Honestly, I do think I would forgive my husband if he ever did something like this because I know that he loves our children and mistakes happen. The saying out of sight, out of mind applies sometimes to our children. It’s easy sometimes in the mist of everything to forget you have a tiny passenger back there, especially if they’re super quiet or sleeping.

    Just the other week, we were heading to the peds office and my husband closed the door with the baby still sitting in the car seat on the living room floor. I knew it was an honest mistake and didn’t make a big deal of it. It was just a reminder for us to slow down and double check from then on out.

  9. Yes, I would totally forgive my husband!… The same way my husband forgave me when my almost 1 year old walked away from a neighbor’s house as he chased a basketball! So… while I’m visiting my friend inside the house, her husband and her daughter were outside with the baby. Somehow, the daughter goes inside, I walk outside, (see the husband), assume he is still with the baby and go back inside. Soon, we are ALL INSIDE……WHERE IS MY SON???? Next, I receive a call from my husband on my cell asking where the baby is (which I thought was a little weird). Another neighbor has seen him chasing the basketball down the street and decides to go get him and walk him home. It is the absolute worse feeling in the world on SO MANY LEVELS!!!! He could have been hit by a car, kidnapped, and the list could go on! Plus, he’s a baby, it’s not like he could have actually walked to HIS HOUSE! Just sad!!! Mike…that was just another opportunity to say THANK YOU JESUS as my mom says so often and Thank you Dawn for forgiving and showing compassion!

  10. Thanks for sharing!! A testimony like yours is always encouraging, because everyone misses the mark at some point everyday. Yet, many men and women are not always forgiving and more importantly, we do not always forgive ourselves. If we do not genuinely ask GOD to forgive us and cleanse us of a guilty conscience (1 John 1:9), then we are condemning ourselves on a daily basis. But GOD loves us more than that and has given us a way out of this self-inflicted mental abuse. I’m glad your wife forgave you and released you from the burden of guilt. May I ask, have you forgiven yourself?

    Also, recently my dad was playing with my six-year-old and accidentally forgot about my 18 month-old, who pressed the button for the elevator, got on it, pressed the number one and went looking for his grandma (who works on the 1st floor). Upon hearing what had happened, I wasn’t alarmed at all. My dad felt bad about it. But I told him it was okay, and I let him know that I still trust him with his grandchildren. I could cover my dad’s mistake and his guilty conscience with forgiveness, because my trust is grounded in GOD and HIS promises. I pray for my children daily. I also enable GOD’s angels to protect them by decreeing the WORD of GOD on their behalf (see Psalm 91; Isaiah 49:25; Isaiah 54:17). So, it was no shock to me that my son made it safely to his destination, with no harm done to him. People are not perfect, but GOD is perfect. So, for all parents who may have fears about their children’s safety, please remember, GOD loves your children more than you do because they are HIS children, which HE created. Let GOD protect them by your prayers and confessions of faith and know your New Covenant rights to protection from hurt, harm, danger and death for you and your children (see John 17:15; Luke 10:19). Be BLESSED, in JESUS’ Name. Amen.

  11. I would forgive my husband. How could you not? It wasn’t malicious harm and I’m sure you’ll be grieving this for the rest of your life, even though your daughter is ok in the end. Any one of us could easily make that same mistake. I’m so glad your baby is all right.

  12. I agree completely with Corliss….thanks for sharing I know that was really hard but so glad you did…. I would forgive my husband….don’t have one anymore but i would if he were here. Sometimes we are just in a routine and when it changes some things happen. My kids are older now 6,10,11 so they all jump out the car. lol

  13. Yes i would have, because you did make it too her and you already felt bad i wouldn’t make you feel any worse. See you were already punished by your own heart and i would just be glad to hold her in my arms again. I’d be mad but would forgive you!

  14. I would’ve forgiven you after I’d thoroughly whipped your ass. But seriously, I’ve “misplaced” my kids a few times, too. Once in the house, once in the car, once in a bookstore. Funny thing, when I TELL them to get lost, they stick by my side even closer!

  15. Thank you for sharing your story! Yes, I would definitely forgive my husband just as I had to forgive myself. I was a single mother, sleep deprived and my biggest fear was leaving Chris somewhere. Sure enough, I drove off and left him in the house one day as I headed to the library. I was headed back home 20 minutes later, but I remember the sinking feeling that came over me when I realized what I had done. I cried my eyes out and beat myself up about it for many weeks, but thank God for forgiveness! Praise God for looking after baby girl!

  16. That was a day that I will never forget. When ODC walked in the door, he handed me the baby and just started crying. I had no idea what happened (until of course the girls came running in to tell me). To be very honest, I couldn’t understand how it happened. I kept remembering how ODC came back because the carseat was in the other car, and I told him not to worry about taking her because he would have to transfer the seat. He said it wasn’t too much trouble, so I was like, “okay”. I felt guilty for wanting a break. Normally, my children are well over 1 before I actually feel like I need a timeout. But over the years, with additional children, and being home alone with all of them, full-time, my threshold has become a bit lower. ODC was VERY upset for the next few days. I knew he felt terrible, and I had no choice but to forgive him, but honestly, it was a minute before I felt comfortable being separated from her. When we told G1, who was 9 at the time, she said she would have reminded him, and because she is just like a “little mama” I have to believe that she would have 🙂

    I have heard the horror stories of how similar situations have ended and I am thankful that God protected the baby and for the Holy Spirit for prompting ODC to start cracking the windows. My heart goes out to families who have to find the strength to forgive a family member or spouse in the midst of a tragic loss. -ODB

  17. Thank you for sharing your heart…we “lost” our 3 year old at church…went looking for her and few teenage girls had her hand in the parking lot. She was caught up eating a cookie and wandered away while we were trying to get out the door of a packed lobby area. Thankful that the girls held her hand until we could be reconnected. She was unfazed, but it shook me. Now I have to work on my fears and believe that God will protect her.

  18. Like Corliss, this one made me cry too. Not only because I love your family and would be heartbroken if anytthing happened to one of you, but because its a wonderful demonstration of God’s grace and the kind of grace we should extend to our spouses.

  19. That was …. wow! And it is a blessing your wife forgave you. I would have too. Your daughters life was saved and that is the blessing. You learned a valuable lesson. And God is good.

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