I recently went on a Mission trip with 11 'normal' people,
meaning folks with 'regular' jobs
in the church,
business and education.
We drove down BIA 5,
the 'scenic' route on the reservation,
along the tranquil Little White River;
so beautiful that the locals routinely take down
signs designating the highway
so 'wasichu' can't find it.
We stopped at a bend in the river,
a favorite spot of ours to take pictures.
And, while looking down the steep incline,
which has no visible pathway down,
one of the group noticed a lone,
stroller on the riverbank.
While the others talked about how sad it is that a mom,
while admiring the river,
lost her stroller,
I grabbed my telephoto lens,
fearful there was a dead baby inside;
convinced that an empty stroller,
innocently rolling down the hill,
would have flipped over several times
and not ended perfectly upright shortly before the rivers edge.
After reassuring myself that it was indeed empty,
my mind immediately turned to other scenarios.
Two of the most prominent were
a) a baby was tossed into the river to drown
by a mom suffering from post partum depression
b) a baby died (maybe, but probably not, from natural causes) ;
her ashes were cast into the river
and the stroller left as a makeshift memorial.
ALL my scenarios involved some form of tragedy and trauma.
I made the mistake of saying just one of my scenarios out loud
Trust me when I say
not 1 of my scenarios had occurred to anyone else
in the group.
My 'norm' -
even more than 1 yr after leaving the ER -
is still NOT normal.
ps. I still think something nefarious and tragic happened.
We just don't have enough information to confirm what it was.
Also a true story.