Saturday, April 24, 2010

Something's Missing

A missing mom and a chance encounter. A week ago today a Dayton area mother went missing just a few miles from our home. Eventually speculation swirled through the local & national media. At the time I had my chance encounter at the commissary it was looking like a Who Done it? and the evidence was pointing to foul play.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the girls and I made a trip to the commissary on base to gather our groceries at a time and on a day we do not normally go. Both little ladies were exceptionally friendly that day, saying hello to every single patron who crossed their path. Passing children were treated to an additional dose of kindness when the girls would inquire, "What's your name?"

That's how me met our chance encounter. A very pregnant mother with her three daughters, the oldest two were 10 & 7. We exchanged pleasantries, and then the oldest went on to ask me if I'd heard that Tiffany Tehan was missing, "My mom knows her and she goes to our church. We're helping to pass out fliers. I hope they find her." I can still see her face standing in the soup aisle as she was engulfed with concern. I commended them on their efforts and praised them for being good citizens, hoping to encourage them and to show my daughters the importance of doing unselfish acts for others.

Tiffany was found later that week in Florida. She left her life behind in Xenia, Ohio to start anew with another man. My heart goes out to Tiffany's one-year-old daughter, to her husband, to her parents, and to her network of loved ones who were drowning in concern. I cannot imagine the ache her disappearance has brought them, and the pain moving on will continue to bring. I feel for the internal struggle Tiffany must have been going through that would even make her think about such an exit from the life she lived That is where it ends for me. She left, and from then on her actions were purely selfish.

And then I think about those two girls in the commissary. Clearly, they are aware of her disappearance and they are old enough to discern why. What do you tell them? There was a younger sister in that shopping cart and another child on the way. Will they fear that their mother will follow in Tiffany's footsteps? How do you even begin to address the situation? I don't know. And I probably never will know how that family deals with this. No doubt Tiffany Tehan never thought about the lengths her actions would reach.

I've learned a lot from this story.... the importance of a mother to her family, obviously. But I've also learned a lesson about just how teaching your children to be good citizens can bring up a host of discussions they might not be ready for.

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{About Me}

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Fairborn, Ohio, United States
I'm a teacher by trade, writer at heart & mom in every sense of my being. I never considered writing as a profession, but after I got married and began moving around the country, I began sharing my adventures, misadventures & updates through a sort of e-mail newsletter. I found a true passion in unconventional story-telling that has followed me into motherhood.