I should have listened but, I was tired and didn’t want to get up again. The cries in the night are not unusual for an active-minded child. Well, that’s what the psychologist told us. “Go back to sleep, honey!” my wife said to me at 2:02 a.m. Yeah, 2:02 will forever haunt me.
You see our six-year old daughter was a sleepwalker, night talker and screamer. Often, I would wake up to a small figure cuddling close to me in the wee hours of the morning. I’d typically throw an arm around the child and go back to sleep. On this night, however, she only screamed, and my wife and I decided to give it a few minutes before I got up to go comfort her. She always slept through her nightmares, and she never remembered them the next morning.
This one time… Oh God! This one time I let here scream more than usual, and even the abruptness of her stopping should have warned me something was different. It wasn’t until the next morning when I went to her room to wake her that reality hit me. My sweet daughter was gone, and I knew in an instant I would never see her again.
I was still crumpled on the floor crying when my wife came to check on us and see what the hold up was. Upon seeing what I saw – she too crumpled. After a time, we managed to get up and discuss where we had gone wrong.
The old stone-carved idol we had found on our vacation to the Grand Canyon lay where our daughter should have been lying in sweet slumber. The old figurine that once occupied its countenance had changed to that of a young girl. I guess the old Native American man wasn’t joking with us after all.