Where is Victoria Stafford?
Nobody seems to know. I live near the small city of Woodstock, Ontario where a little 8 year old girl went missing April 8. The only clue(that the public is aware of) is a video showing the little girl happily walking along with a lady in a white jacket, someone she seemingly knows, and disappearing off the camera screen and out of her parent's lives without a trace.
Today I went to Woodstock to do some shopping. I took my children with me and while I don't live my life in fear there is something that makes you stand up and take notice when your three year old disappears from sight suddenly in a store covered in the posters of a missing child. Your heart skips a beat, your thoughts go to that unthinkable "what if?" and you pick her up and carry her, holding her close, unable to be angry in the gratitude you feel that she's with you when another mother cannot hold her baby close.
I saw the question asked today "What kind of world do we live in where someone will hurt an innocent child? This question is certainly understandable given the current events. It's hard to get past that, at best someone unthinking and desperate, and at worse, an evil person, took this child. Yet there is another facet to the story.
There have been literally thousands of people join one or both of two Face book groups. There was a candlelight vigil for Victoria that brought out the city residences and many others from the surrounding area in a show of support for this family.
The outpouring of empathy for the parents and the child is a sign that the human race is made up of many more kind, compassionate and serving members than evil. The two Face book pages inundated with good comments and hope for a safe return. Yes there is the occasional misguided person who speculates negatively against those in the most pain in this sad situation but they are nowhere near as numerous as those who share in the pain and suffering of the McDonald and Stafford families. If we are to find the spark of light in this dark situation it is indeed that..
Please take a moment, if you haven't already and view the video of her walking away with the unidentified woman and the pictures posted of sweet "Tori". Someone, somewhere, knows where she is and I hope they find a seed of compassion for her and her parents and return her safely to her home.
Meanwhile, my heart aches for this family, living just down the highway in a city I know so well. Keep the faith, she will come home to you soon and your hearts will be whole again.
Blonde hair, blue eyes
the smile of dreams
of sunlight's beams
A City's child
loved and kissed
may angels guide