Thursday, March 27, 2014

How could the Village have failed Relisha??

Unfortunately this is not about gardening.  This is about Relisha Rudd.  First, Relisha I do not know you, but you are in my heart and definitely in my prayers.  I apologize for the Village failing you.  Although news reports say that it may be too late, I as Mother and Grandmother am heartbroken......but am keeping hope alive and fiercely praying..

I grew up in DC, Riggs Park to be exact and I can tell you the Riggs Park area was an awesome Village.  If my siblings and I acted up as we walked home from school, my Mom (who was a homemaker) was at the corner with a switch and her arms crossed....because someone from the VILLAGE had called her and told her what we were doing.  The VILLAGE kept a watchful eye on the children.  My Mother knew what we were up to before we knew she knew.

A a young Mother raising my daughters in Stafford County, Virginia and a Homemaker as well, if my daughters did something and I was not home the VILLAGE made sure I knew.  My neighbor Jan or my neighbor Teresa ALWAYS shared what they even thought was out of order....we watched out for each other AND OUR CHILDREN, as a VILLAGE would do.

As a resident of District Heights, my current VILLAGE keeps an eye out for me and I do the same for them.

WHERE WAS THE VILLAGE FOR RELISHA???  I am just appalled that when there are cameras everywhere, how a grown man (an employee of the shelter) could take a child - even with a Mother's permission - away from a shelter REPEATEDLY and no one say a word.  WHERE WAS THE VILLAGE???  I am appalled that other children were given gifts (according to the media) from this same man and no one said a word, except that he was nice and was her God-Father....hmmm? WHERE WERE THE CAMERA'S?  There are cameras when you go into a store to try on clothing...but not when our children are in a position - not of their own accord  - where their safety is an issue.  WHERE WAS THE VILLAGE?  THE VILLAGE FAILED RELISHA.

Where was the family who let a Mother go into a shelter with not one, but FOUR children???  No one, NO ONE, not one family member could have perhaps taken the children so that Relisha's mother could have the drive, the opportunity to get back on her feet and raise her children???  Someone could video tape Relisha dancing in the shelter, could you have not taken her in to see what "Medical" condition kept her out of school so much???  WHERE WAS RELISHA'S FATHER? Who was Relisha's emergency contact on the emergency forms at school???  I am for my grandsons... What school system allows a child to be missing from school for over 20 days THIS YEAR and not call the authorities IMMEDIATELY???   WHY DID THE VILLAGE FAIL RELISHA? How could a Mother relinquish her child to a virtual stranger and no one else in the shelter notice???  Women I KNOW SOMEONE KNEW......WHERE WAS THE VILLAGE VOICE....particularly when she has not been seen since March 1???  THE VILLAGE FAILED RELISHA...

Why did the Amber alert NOT get issued to the neighboring states/jurisdictions????  Is it because she was in the shelter???  Not attention worthy????  In Maryland about a month ago, a young girl was missing and her Mom found dead in her home in Baltimore.....there were Amber alerts EVERYWHERE??  I saw one on my way home from a sign on the beltway.  The child was found QUICKLY due to this Amber Alert.....DC seriously have some explaining to do to the VILLAGE.  Ms. Lanier, you - CHIEF OF know Chief of Security for the VILLAGE.....did not have AUTHORITY to request that the surrounding jurisdictions put this out immediately???.....even after Virginia asked????  If I lived in DC and had children, I would consider moving to a jurisdiction where the Chief of Police had some  authority for matters, minimally involving children.  Ms. Lanier, you are a Mother, would you not have turned up the volume and made sure the world knew your child - your daughter -was missing with a grown man????

Last weekend there was barely anything mentioned, no Amber Alerts, just a mention on the news.  I waited and a Mother of two young women, a grandmother of two young boys.  I am saddened as the news evolved today that the Predator was seen purchasing black contractor bags, seen in a local park that is known for it's beauty in the summertime, where they assume that Relisha  will be "recovered".  I weep for this innocent young girl, who had a future, but due to circumstances out of her control, the VILLAGE did not keep watch and she is missing......

To the young Mothers out there in the VILLAGE- be careful who you allow around your children.  YOU CANNOT BE TOO CAUTIOUS, ASK TOO MANY QUESTIONS OR NOT HAVE ANYWHERE TO TURN.  No one is perfect and we have all made mistakes or poor decisions.  Children are a gift, they are ours only for a few years and then they grow and go. Children are to be cherished and I still believe that there is a VILLAGE out here in the world.  If you cannot afford your children, handle your children, provide for your children, turn to an Elder for help.  If you cannot turn to your natural family, go to the police station, a hospital, a Church.  There are agencies as well who can assist or point you in the right direction.  Sometimes you might have to be separated from your child or children for awhile - but perhaps conscious separation will make you try harder to recover from your displacement or inability to take care of yourself.  It is okay.  There was a time when people sent their children down south for the summer, for a year or for an undetermined period of time.  FAMILY TOOK CARE OF FAMILY.  Sacrifices were made....FOR THE CHILDREN.  



As a Mother, a Grandmother, I weep for you Relisha....and I am keeping you in prayer and hope alive.

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