Marie and I were high school sweethearts. I worked part time in a local supermarket while in school and they offered me a full time position when I graduated. Marie got a job at a local bank. We continued to date and three years later we got married.
After our first son was born we bought a small house in this Tulsa suburb. Two years later we had a second son. Both boys were healthy active kids. The boys were good students and Billy was the jock and was on the football and track teams. Jimmy was more into band and soccer.
We were living the good life, football on Friday night and church on Sunday and Wednesday. I was now an Assistant Manager at the store and Marie worked part-time at the bank. We were saving money, so our boys could attend college when they finished high school. We were content and figured we had our life pretty well planned.
And then came Rosie! This was not planned, but we adjusted those plans and looked forward to the birth of our next child. We had a beautiful baby girl. When I saw her for the first time, I said “she looks like a little pink rosebud.” We named her Rose Marie. She was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.
She was my Rosie. She grew to be a beautiful young girl. Our sons both married wonderful women and still lived in the area. They were well on their way to establishing their own families.
Rosie was a good student as she entered High School. She did fine her freshman and sophomore years. She was a cheerleader and had a good group of friends. During her junior year we noticed that her grades were slipping and she decided not to be part of the cheerleading team. When we talked with her she said everything was just fine and that cheerleading took too much time. Marie and I were concerned and felt she was not being honest with us.
One of Rosie’s best friends approached us in church and said she was concerned about Rosie also. She told us that Rosie was hanging out with a different group and that this group was into in drugs and were outcasts in school.
When we confronted Rosie and asked what was going on with her poor grades and that she was no longer the bright happy girl we always knew, she said her former friends were snooty and only interested in how they looked and being popular. She said that her new friends accepted her just as she was and didn’t judge her on how she looked.
Next, calls came from the school saying Rose was skipping classes and was not in school on days that we saw her get on the bus. Then she started failing courses and was put on academic probation.
When we tried to talk to her about this she would just stomp out of the room and lock herself in her room. Marie and I were broken hearted and did everything we could to help her. Her brothers tried to talk with her and she would tell them to mind their own business. She refused to meet with the Youth Pastor from our church.
Then the worst thing happened, she disappeared! She just didn’t come home one day. The school said she hadn’t been attending classes for over a week. Her so-called friends said they didn’t know where she was. We called the police and they put her on their Missing Persons list. The police grilled Rosie’s friends and one person admitted that Rose had gone on the road with a Rock Band and that she was living with the group leader.
At least we knew she was alive, but I woke up each day thinking “Where is my Rosie?” Marie was on depression meds and slept most of the day. I went through each work day like a robot, just doing what I had to do to keep my job.
Then last week the call I had prayed would come for several years came and I could not believe it. I picked up the phone and this little voice on the other end said “Daddy this is Rosie and I want to come home.” I was crying so hard that I could hardly talk and told Marie to pick up the other phone. Rosie said “You probably hate me for what I did to you, but I have changed. I am clean from drugs and go to church.” I told her that we loved her and never hated her and we wanted to bring her home. She said the guy she ran off with cheated on her and finally left her also.
She lives in some little shack in rural Texas and we are headed down there in the morning. The last thing she said was “Daddy, you better bring a car seat because you have a grandchild too. She’s a little girl and her name is Marie.” Well, my wife Marie hasn’t stopped crying and smiling since the call. She won’t need to take her depression meds with her tomorrow.
Our Rosie is coming home!