04 May 2017

When is enough enough?

About fifteen years ago, when Kay was about ten years old, we took a camping trip to France. We used to go camping a lot in those days, as we had our lovely dog Snoopy then and putting him in kennels while we went away was out of the question, as he was terrible at being left. It was no great hardship. We loved camping and could still explore abroad, as we got him fixed up with his own pet passport. We did trips to France frequently and found a good vet in Calais who would do all the necessary checks and paperwork to get us safely back through Dover again. We went to Germany, Denmark and Ireland too and have many memorable photos of us all crouched inside the tent in pouring rain! Seriously, we had some truly fantastic times.

On this particular trip fifteen years ago, when Kay was ten, we had been returning to the UK from a trip to the Loire. After a long motorway drive, we pulled over to a very small parking area on the side of the motorway somewhere in France for a bit of leg-stretching. It was shielded from the motorway by trees, so it was only when we had parked in one of the twenty or so parking bays that we noticed the very small bungalow building was derelict and the "cafe" was most definitely closed and looked as if it had been for some some years. There was only one other car there apart from ours, but nobody in evidence, so goodness knows where they had gone.  No problem for us, though, as we virtually had the kitchen sink and kettle in the back of the car, so we set about boiling some water on a small camping stove on the ground at the back of the car. Kay had got out with the dog on a lead and stood near us.  Engrossed in finding the jar of coffee and the teabags among the huge heap of luggage, dog bed,  tent and camping paraphernalia, I suddenly turned round to find Kay and the dog were not by the car. They weren't in the car. They weren't in front of the car. They weren't even in view. I called her name. There was silence. Greg and I called and called. Nothing but silence.

Sheer panic set in. My heart was beating two thousand to the minute and it seemed as if it would burst through my throat. Where was she and why wasn't she replying? Before Madeleine McCann there had always been threats of child abduction, the most famous one at the time being the James Bulger case. Did the owners of that other car have something to do with it? I felt sick with fear. We were flailing around searching bushes, trees and about to go towards the derelict building, when Kay and the dog emerged from behind the building. I cannot tell you how relieved I was at that sight and when we ran towards her half-angry, half-relieved demanding to know where she had been, she looked totally surprised at our concern, saying she had just decided to take the dog for a walk to stretch his legs. It was all of about ten minutes, but it seemed like ten years.


Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of the day Madeleine McCann went missing. I cannot begin to imagine what Kate and Gerry McCann went through and are still going through. How do you cope with something like that for ten minutes let alone ten years? I admire their tenacity, but they must be putting their life on hold until she is found. At what point do you give up and think enough is enough? 

Image result for madeleine mccann now and then
Madeleine in 2007 and how she might look now

5 comments:

hyperCRYPTICal said...

I can understand your panic re Kay. One of my sons, when quite young (despite our vigilance) 'disappeared' several times on days out. Upon his return, he too was quite surprised at our concern as he had been 'just looking around.'
As of Madeleine's parents, I really can't imagine how they survive each day and I do wonder - but don't know, that if in their position, when would I give up...?
Anna :o]

Linda deV said...

All I hope is that they figured out a way to move forward with their pain but forward. Im not sure how but I hate the idea that someone took little Madeleine and then stole their complete future from them at the same time.

Flowerpot said...

I suppose you never want to give up hope, do you? And yet at the same time you have to move forward. Incredibly difficult.

Maggie May said...

I think we all know the panic that sets in when we think we've lost a child even though it might be only for minutes. How people cope with this loss for years or ever, I don't know.
To be never found...... dead or alive is the most awful torment imaginable.
That other missing child, Ben, who disappeared in Corsica(?) and whose parents were sure he'd been abducted as a toddler, was later proved to have been run over by a truck driver and died the day he disappeared. All that hope and expectancy must have blighted his parents lives.
However, hope is better than totally giving up, I think.
Maggie x

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I doubt that you can ever rest - not until you know for sure what happened. For the McCanns there is always the added shame that they left their kids alone in the apartment while they went off for a drink in the complex's club. I recall one time in MFI, our four year old son disappeared as we were looking round. I rushed here there and everywhere searching for him, fearing abduction. Three minutes later I found him inside one of the wardrobes. He thought he'd have an impromptu game of hide and seek! It was such a relief to find him.