We have all been there, that highly emotional young age where running away seems to be the answer to all tantrums that are not satisfied by our parents giving in. Most kids make it around the block and back, realizing that dinner will be ready soon, and they are quite hungry. We often do not realize at the moment what the consequences are of being entirely alone… especially when you are young and vulnerable.
Our story today is of a 5-year-old little boy, named Josh. He snuck out of the house every day, without his step-father knowing. But, all he really wished was that he could just run away. Sneaking out of the house is something you would expect a teenager to do, but Josh was only five years old!
Why should he even have an inkling of this concept, when most kids his age are running around their gardens, being watched over by a parent or guardian to keep them safe and smiling. In little josh’s case, he was often locked away in his bedroom, left by himself to occupy his time all alone. It must’ve been a very lonely life, because, if you think about it, kids his age do not have as much of a sense of time, because they have not lived long enough to have the comparison. The hours must drone on and one merges into the other without many realizations.
Josh Missed His Mum
When Josh was a mere 2-years old, his mother had remarried. He was not sure what had come of his real father, but he now had Paul, a father figure, and for a while everything was great. One year later, when Josh was only 3-years-old, his mother had passed away in a tragic car accident. The shock was not realized at the time, but as he grew older, he missed her more and more. Paul had been a decent step-father when his mother was alive, but since her death, he had gradually grown more and more bitter each year passing.
Josh often wondered what had come of his own biological father. He wondered how he had come to be in this world without him. Josh was still very young, but he had the sense to realize that these thoughts were not helping him. So, he occupied his time as best he could with the few toys he had.
Josh had a few favorite toys that his mother had bought for him, so they were far too young for him. His step-father had not bought a new toy for him since she had died, so he had to make do with what he had. He became very imaginative. But still, whenever the commercials came on TV, advertising some new toy that was to be the new fad at school, Josh could not help but wish he could have something new that was meant for his age. His step-dad would shout at him and say that he was lucky enough to have any toys because there are many kids to this day who have nothing, not even a roof over their head. Josh would sigh, and go back to his room. He wasn’t allowed to watch TV anyway.
Occasionally, Paul would invite some friends over. Josh was too young to remember all of his mother’s friends, so these were all strangers to him. He dreaded days like this because Paul was even more strict with him. He would usher him into his room and would actually lock him in! If he made any noise, Paul would come up and speak to him in an aggressive tone, but not loud enough for the guests to hear down the hall. Quiet was the theme of Josh’s life, any loud noise, even if he dropped something accidentally, and he would get into trouble. After the guests left, Paul would come up and yell at him further, and often he would slap him across the face.
Josh was sick of being cooped up in his room all day, so, one day he worked out how to open the window wide by himself (he was still very little) and climb out. Any five-year-old would most likely go to the local candy shop, or the park to play on the swings. Not this boy, Josh would find his way to the graveyard that his mother was buried in. In the short amount of time that he had been in school, he learned a little about reading, but he was no expert. Regardless, he had memorized exactly what his mother’s name looked like, so he could easily find her grave. The little boy even picked some flowers for her.
Josh made this trip to her grave a daily routine. Paul would put him in his room and he would sneak out. He noticed that there were flowers on a few of the graves, and so he would pick some from his neighbor’s garden on his way. He would sit there talking to his mom like he did not, or could not, speak to anyone. Paul was not interested in his stories, so he would get them all out to his mother’s tombstone.
Boy Meets Stranger
One day, Josh had snuck out his bedroom window and he was approaching his mother’s grave with a few flowers in hand. When he got closer, he realized that there was already a bunch of flowers there – someone had visited his mother! It could not have been Paul, because he was at home with his friends. Who could it be? He looked around trying to see if anyone was still there. Soon, his eyes fell onto the shape of a woman walking towards him slowly. He stood very still, not daring to blink, because this woman looked identical to his mother!
As she got closer, she smiled and said hello to him, she even knew his name. Josh asked how the woman knew him and his mother. The older lady’s smile deepened, but there was a sadness in her eyes. She told him that she was his mother’s mother, so Josh is her grandson. Josh could not believe his ears. Paul had told him that he did not have any family left. He had even said that no one else in the world wanted to care for him. But, here is a woman claiming to be his grandma!
She explained to him that his mother had died in a car crash. Josh already knew this, but what he didn’t know was that he was in the car with her. She saved his life at the expense of her own. She was a true hero and had loved him very much. Josh could not help but let tears fall down his cheeks. According to his grandmother, he actually had a lot of family, but Paul had refused to let them see him.
Change of Scenery is on Order
She asked him where Paul was, and Josh bowed his head. He was sure to get into trouble now. He admitted that he had snuck out to visit his mom’s grave. She nodded her head. Josh suddenly felt desperate, he fell to his knees and begged her to let him come live with her. She looked wary and asked him how Paul treated him at home. Josh came clean with everything, being locked in his room for hours on end, no TV, no toys, nothing. After taking a deep breath, he explained that Paul would slap him occasionally too.
As soon as she heard this, his grandmother seemed to puff up. She grabbed him by the shoulders and pulled him into a tight embrace. Then, she assured him that he will come to live with her, it just might take some time. She took him to his long-lost uncle’s house. Josh was ecstatic to meet his mother’s brother. From there they contacted his uncle’s friend who happened to be a police officer. And, together they went over to Paul’s house and confronted him.
He was reluctant at first, but Josh’s grandmother had told him they would open a criminal case against him for the abuse of a minor. So, he agreed to let him go. Having the officer there in uniform definitely helped convince him. He took his grandmother up the stairs to pack his things. Well, not that there was much to pack, and they hopped back into the car to granny’s house. What a turn of events that day had been for Josh. He had gone from being a lonely boy, forced to sneak out his room in order to visit his mother’s grave to one who and a whole family who would love him for the rest of his life.