TITLE: A Mother’s Heart
By Kathy Barnes
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Cody was a wonderful, bright boy. He had everything a child could want, two parents that loved him; one a doctor, and one a professor. They had money and the good life. He was happy, blessed, and well educated.
By the time he turned fifteen, his parents had divorced. His dad was gone started using, lost his license and end up in jail. Mom also had started using drugs. Things had gotten so bad he was looking into becoming a ward of the state. Just before he did, the bomb fell. Mom was pregnant. If he left now he was afraid, his sister would die. He wanted to know his sister, so he stuck it out. Cody started devising a plan to take care of his sister by himself.
Gabriela or Baby Girl as he called her was born too early. She was addicted to crack. He lied about his age and, somehow, sweet-talked the hospital into letting him take the baby home. Mom was still in rehab.
He called his best friend from school. Help! How do you change a diaper? His friends' sister came running. She knew that if he was desperate enough to ask her brother that question, he needed help. She taught Cody how to bath, diaper, and feed the baby first. Then, she called the principal of his school and a preacher friend. Together they helped him get a small apartment and a job.
He had a mothers' heart. Cody paced the floors many a night holding her and trying to comfort her as she recovered from addiction to the drugs. The teenager turned into a man over night, and learned how to change diapers, give medicine, fix IV’s and catheters. Every day he held his sister and told her she was loved. He would read to her until they both fell asleep from exhaustion.
A month after the baby was born, the courts tried to take her away. Cody claimed he was capable of being a good parent for the child. His apartment had a bed, a crib, a rocking chair, diapers, and food only for her.
When court officers went to see why the mother had not called to report Cody taking the baby. She said, “No, she here.” She went to the crib and picked up a doll by its foot. “See, she is fine.” That action told the judge the mother would never be a fit parent.
The judge asked Cody what he would do if they denied him custody of his sister. He answered, “I will steal her from where ever you put her. I am the best hacker around, so I can easily change our identity, erase everything about us from the computers and you will never find us.” Wisely, the Judge granted him custody.
Many people helped him. There was a bunch of kids at school that babysat while he worked. The principal’s wife worked at the front desk at school. She kept Gabby while he went to school. Friends gave him diapers that just happened to be the wrong size for their kid and the right size for Baby Girl. He didn't like taking money so his friends had to work at finding ways to give it to him. People would give him new computers, TV’s, stereos, and video games for his apartment. He would sell them to buy formula. He ate his meals at school and work. When his hunger got too much he would go to a friend’s home and clean out their kitchen of all food. She had told him any time he was hungry to come over she would feed him. This was not quite, what she had in mind. Giving him money for the grocery store would have been easier. Not once did he complain about the hard work, the long hours, or life being unfair. Most people never even knew the truth or hardships of his life.
Somehow, they both survived and grew strong. Gabby got off all her medicine becoming happy and well-adjusted child. Cody graduated valedictorian from one of the largest high schools in Texas. He gave his graduation speech with Baby Girl on his back in a backpack.
He turned down multiple scholarships until one school finally agreed to let Gabby go also. They set him up with an apartment just off campus, a job, and full scholarship. By the time, he finished Harvard medical school Gabby was old enough to sit in the front row and clap for Cody, the only mother she had ever known.
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