Another phone call this time when Gracie was in school, but it still had me bothered. This time it was a woman on the other end, but she to claimed to know where Heather was, and claimed that she was still alive. I wanted to believe my sister was alive, but I kept feeling that I was being yanked around, and these callers were beginning to scare me.
“You need to quit going to the authorities, I know where you live, I know where your niece goes to school. And if you don’t watch your step you are going to regret it.”
I knew that I should not be fearing, that instead I should give the police work to the police, but this was my sister here, and it had been over three years since she had disappeared on us, leaving Gracie crying in her crib, now Gracie was almost four in preschool and growing up daily. Heather was missing out on so much of Gracie’s life, so many of Gracie’s milestones were being missed, the little girl she had fought so hard for did not even know her Mother, and that hurt, if Heather were alive as these phone calls had indicated I was sure that she was missing Gracie, wondering how Gracie was doing.
“Who are you, and what do you want?”
“Never mind who I am all you need to know is we know who your sister is, and where she is and if you want to see her alive, you are going to cooperate otherwise, we might just go after Gracie next.”
Lord why are they doing this, why are they threatening Gracie now? She’s only a child what can they want from her?
“Please don’t hurt Gracie.”
“If Gracie gets hurt its on you, you just can’t leave things alone.”
“Heather’s my sister, how can I just forget about it?”
“It would be better if you did.”
I felt myself shaking, feeling more nervous than I had in a long time. They knew where Gracie went to school, where we lived, we were not really safe, I really had no idea what to do. If we moved I had a feeling they would be able to find us then too, and I did not really want to uproot Gracie. She loved her preschool and she loved her friends in the neighborhood, how could I do that to Gracie, but how could I keep her in a dangerous situation? I felt like I was stuck in a catch twenty two.
I was afraid to go to the police with this information, with this tape, because of what the women on the phone had said, but I needed Heather back, or at least to know where she was at, and if she were still alive, Gracie deserved a chance to know her Mother, if she weren’t we needed to give her a proper burial. I wanted to believe she was though, I felt it in my gut that Heather was alive, but I did not think she was gone voluntarily, she was being prevented from coming back home by somebody, and I had a feeling it was all tied to Heaven’s Healers.
“Heather is safe for now, but it is up to you whether or not she remains safe. Cooperate with us and you will all be fine.”
“What do you want?”
“We want Gracie, we can mold the child into a good servant of the Lord.”
“Don’t give me that, you would not be doing this if you were a good servant of the Lord.”
“We will get Gracie one way or another.”
“Not on my life.”
“If that’s what it takes.”
Lord protect Gracie when I can’t. Keep these maniacs away from her, and help the police to catch these mad men.
A couple short hours later, as I drove to pick Gracie up at preschool I could not shake the feeling I was being followed. The phone call from earlier had me on edge, and I was frightened that someone was going to take Gracie away. I was not going to let Gracie get trapped into what her Mother had been trapped into.
I prayed to the school and back that I would get Gracie and I home safely, that nothing would happen, that those idiots who called would not follow me. I wondered now if they had been following me a lot without me realizing, and if they did have Heather somewhere, where was she. I wanted to talk to my sister, I wanted proof that she was still alive. I certainly was not going to take their words for it, whoever they were, they would not even give me a first name.
“Aunt Mini why do you look sad?” Gracie asked when I picked her up from preschool.
“I am okay.” I said not wanting to tell her about the phone call, she was to young to worry about stuff like that.
“Okay Aunt Mini.” Gracie said, settling into her booster seat. She had been so excited, when she outgrew the baby seat, and got a “big girl booster seat” as she called it.
“How was school?” I asked, as she finished getting herself buckled in.
“Good, we had lots of fun.”
“I am glad you did sweetie.”
“I missed you though Aunt Mini.”
“I missed you too. What do you say we go to Burger King and get a kids meal for you before we go home.”
“Really Aunt Mini? You said they can be bad for you.”
“If you have them all the time sweetie, but once in a while is okay.”
“Thank you Aunt Mini, I’m hungry. Can I get Chocolate Milk too.”
I wanted to treat Gracie for being such a good girl, and the truth was I was nervous about going home. I was scared at what may lay await for us there. I had not stopped and talked to the officers yet, because the truth of the matter was that I was scared of what I might find when I got home, or who I might find there.
I was going to do my best to protect Gracie, to keep these people away from her, but I was still frightened, even as we ate at Burger King I would not let her go into the play room because I was afraid someone would try to snatch her there, and I would lose her forever. I was not Gracie’s Mother, but I may as well have been because her Mother had been gone so long and the courts had granted me legal custody, long ago. My little niece was not going anywhere unless it was with me or her Mother, and I would be cautious if her Mother came back for her, because if she was involved in Heaven’s Healers, who knew what kind of abuse Gracie would endure. I would not go for that, Gracie deserved to be safe, to be happy, not to be fed a bunch of lies. She knew the truth about Jesus and that was more important than any lies anyone could try to feed her.
“Gracie I will make you a deal we will go to the toy store and pick you out a new doll, because you didn’t get to play in the playground, and because you were helping me do chores around the house, I think you can start getting an allowance.”
“What’s an allowance?”
“It’s money you earn for doing chores, money you can use to buy toys with or other fun stuff.”
“You are becoming a big girl, showing that you can help out around the house.”
“Thank you Aunt Mini.”
“You’re welcome Honey.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Lord help me keep this precious child safe.