Marvin Mercer did what so many parents or caregivers have done over the years. He left 8-month old Raylee Mercer in a hot parked car, as he proceeded to go to work. His intent was to drop her off at daycare, but apparently, he forgot. It saddens me that this is still happening after learning of previous incidents like this one. When I hear of stories like this, an alarm immediately goes off in my mind and cautions me to be extra careful when caring for my own kids or someone else’s. I’m quite sure Mercer never thought he could do something like this and is deeply distraught behind the whole ordeal. But how many times do we hear of stories like this and pass comments and judgment? It’s not until it happens to one of us that it becomes a mistake or accident. I do believe it was definitely an accident because he did not let the windows down. However, we don’t forget to dress cool on hot summer days. We don’t forget to put on underwear. Even if we did, it wouldn’t be long before we realized it. We don’t forget our cell phones. Speaking of cell phones, how many of you have turned the car completely around, once you’d realized you left your cell phone at home or somewhere else? I know I have many of times. My cell phone has become a part of my identity and daily wardrobe. It wouldn’t dare take me two hours to realize that I left home without my cell phone.
As forgettable as I can be, some things I just can’t seem to forget, especially a child. In my opinion, forgetting a child is like a woman forgetting she is pregnant. At conception, a woman becomes pregnant with a baby, and the man becomes pregnant with a promise to love, provide, and protect. Marvin loved and provided for Raylee, but in this instance, he failed to protect her.
We have to learn to prioritize our days and turn off autopilot when it is time to shift gears. Whenever a child is in your possession, whether it is yours or someone else’s, you must train yourself to change priorities immediately. We don’t forget to go to work because we need that paycheck. We don’t forget to eat because of hunger. We don’t forget how to drive, tell time, feed our pets and all other things we do daily, so how is that we can forget a human being? I believe Mercer is the good man people say he is. He just made a terrible, careless mistake that he has to live with for the rest of his life. Raylee may be in a better place, but Marvin’s life will never be the same. We’ve all made careless mistakes before, but the real question remains, “Did you learn from them?”
All of us are capable of doing what Marvin did. Let’s just hope and pray that we all garner a sense of awareness, after reading this story. May Raylee rest in peace, and may Marvin gain peace of mind again.
“Make sense of what you do, and make every cent count.”
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