They’d been working very hard for weeks.

And much to our surprise, they wanted to participate.

They were excited about going to practice.

And learning the songs.

And motions.

To see Mary and Liam thrilled about such a small thing gave me hope.

Maybe the poison wasn’t taking hold.

Maybe God was going to keep them from turning.

It was April 16, 2011.

And tonight was the night.

Performance night.

GPS: God’s Plan of Salvation.

But in the back of my mind, I felt dread.

An uneasiness that wouldn’t fade.

Would she be there?

Would she cause a scene?

Did they tell her?

I wanted to know, but I didn’t want to ask.

I told myself that tonight nothing was going to ruin their night.

It was about them.

And I wanted them to soak up every second.

So, I remained silent.

And stayed the course.

Our perfect family course. 

The one I pretended existed when the five of us were together.

We arrived at church.

Jack stayed on the lookout while we enjoyed the performance.

They did incredible for as many practices as they’d missed because of our custody schedule!

The production came to a close.

And Jack left to get the car.

And that’s when it happened.

When she appeared.

Seemingly out of nowhere.

She rushed the front.

Grabbed Mary off the stage.

And locked her between her arms.

Then she began to spin.

And spin.

And spin.

And as she was spinning, she repeated into Mary’s ear-

I know you’re scared of them!  I’m here!  This will be over soon!  Mommy’s got you!

I know you’re scared of them!  I’m here!  This will be over soon!  Mommy’s got you!

I know you’re scared of them!  I’m here!  This will be over soon!  Mommy’s got you!

Over and over and over again.

And just as quickly as she’d appeared, she was gone.

Photo: Saturday April 16, 2011. Liam in tan on the left. Mary in blue on the right.

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