We Called off the Divorce!
On July 4, 2008, Brody and I announced to our children that we were getting divorced, a decision we made after years of fighting and disrespect. The children began to cry hysterically. Our oldest daughter, Ryllie, who was turning five years old that week, cried so hard she started hyperventilating. I was broken-hearted. All I could do was sob uncontrollably. Seeing the children's reaction, Brody decided to take the children to the 4th of July parade in the neighboring town and pack up and leave that night after they'd gone to sleep.
At the parade, we watched the clowns, fire trucks, and many other festive things go by. Brody sat on one side of the children and I on the other. We observed that everyone around us were happy and carefree, but we didn't talk much. The end of the parade finally came and I wondered how it would feel when he actually left. How would I ever learn to carry on without him? I grabbed the three children's coats and one by one began getting them ready to leave. When I went to get the second child ready, Brody asked, "Where's Ryllie?"
I said, "She's right here and I pointed behind me without looking. He replied, "No she's not!" I swung around to look for her and she was gone! Just like that! Our first-born daughter was gone!
Ryllie had been wearing a red shirt with a flag on it. I scanned the crowd of people bustling by but couldn't see her. Brody took off running and yelling her name. I turned and asked the couple sitting next to us if they could watch the other children. Not even waiting for their answer or knowing who they were, I ran to the platform where the parade announcer was still standing with a microphone and told him we had lost our daughter!
"She's wearing a red shirt and has glasses," I screamed. I took off running and I could hear him announcing it over the loud speaker. I didn't get too far away from the other children. Keeping them in the back of my mind, I stood in the nearest intersection and desperately cried out loud, "JESUS! Please bring her back to me! Bring her back to me, PLEASE."
A police officer came up to ask routine questions. As I answered, I realized fully that she was gone. She was really gone. Every minute that went by, I grew more hysterical.
Strangers asked what she was wearing. They wanted to help look for her. I told everyone she had on a red shirt and wore glasses. I continued to cry out to Jesus to bring her back.
We found out later that after the parade had ended that Ryllie had put on her pink pull-over jacket. When she looked around she could no longer see us. She only noticed the crowd flooding by and thought we were somewhere in the mass of people. She took off running and crying, "Momma! Daddy!" She'd run as fast as she could from street to street and screaming for us when two teenage girls saw her and asked her if she was lost.
Fortunately, earlier that week in pre-school, she learned and memorized her daddy's cell phone number. She told the girls, like a P.O.W. might recite their name and serial number, "My name is Ryllie Broker. My dad is Brody Broker. His number is ***-****." Then she would start all over again repeating those three lines. One of the teenage girls put Ryllie in their car and the other one stood on the sidewalk waiting for someone to come and claim the little girl they'd just found.
She finally saw Brody frantically running and calling out Ryllie's name. She went up to him and said "Are you Brody Broker?" "Yes!" he replied.
"We have your daughter in our car," she said. After being reunited with Ryllie they told him what Ryllie kept saying over and over. He took Ryllie in his arms and came back to find me. As I stood in the intersection crying and praying with all my might, I looked down the road and saw Brody rounding the corner with Ryllie in his arms. My knees buckled and I was overwhelmed with a feeling I can't fully describe. When he handed me my precious daughter I fell to the ground and held her sobbing. I thanked the Lord Jesus and I kept stopping our embrace only to look at her face again.
We walked back to the other children who were crying and scared. We all hugged and cried together. We finally made our way back to our car and I noticed Ryllie wasn't saying anything. She actually didn't talk for the next few hours. She just sat in her car seat and stared at us.
Brody and I kept looking at each other. I suppose we were analyzing each other's emotions. We drove around not knowing where we were going or what we were doing. When we finally started talking to each other, we immediately decided to call off the divorce. We talked over the events of that day as we aimlessly drove and realized that compared to losing and finding our daughter our selfish bickering, fighting, and needing to be right was nothing. It was worthless. It was downright stupid. We wound up driving and talking for hours. We stayed in that town and watched the fireworks and held each other closely. Ryllie eventually started talking again, and the children had such a joy and lightness in their hearts.
From that day on, Brody and I decided to quit trying to fix each other. We went to the Lord separately and grew in our personal relationship with Jesus. In doing so, we grew closer than we'd ever been to each other. Four months later, Brody and I officially renewed our marriage vows in a beautiful ceremony in front of our friends and family. We traded my original wedding rings and purchased an amazing new set with a vibrant green sapphire as the center stone. The green represents new beginnings.
Thankfully, we decided to have more children as well. Brody went in that same month and got a vasectomy reversal. Two months later I was pregnant with our daughter, Gracie, and so far, we have been blessed with three reversal babies. Glory to God! Life wouldn't be the same without our three reversal babies. Our last two babies were born at home after four previous c-sections (including one vertical cut). The Lord has been so amazing. We both give God the glory. He is our Strength and it is only because of His goodness that we are able to tell this story.
Sequim, Washington, USA