Annas Story Essays

Anna’s Story: Neglect of The Innocent

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Anna’s Story: Neglect of The Innocent

{Anna turned three years old on November 1st, 2002. We still have gotten no word from Nicole, but my mother seems to think that she is no longer in the state of Tennessee. - S.M, December 2002}

Fun, wild, and party loving…this all comes to mind when I think of my aunt Nicole. I can’t remember her ever being very responsible, but yet she was my favorite out of my mothers three other sisters. Three years ago, this party girl had a beautiful baby who she named Anna Michelle. Nicole has not seen Anna since she was ten days old. The reason for this is that my baby cousin Anna has been living with my family and I. This is Anna’s story:

Anna came into this word like most of the rest of us. She developed inside her mother Nicole’s stomach for nine months, and was successfully delivered on November 1st, 1999 in the Johnson City Medical Center at 4:23am. She was a healthy baby, weighing in at six pounds and 5 ounces, with no defects or sicknesses, and delivery time was a mere five to six hours. Nicole and Anna were doing wonderful, and were allowed to go home that next evening around 8:00.

You would think that after nine months of baby planning, Nicole would have everything that a baby would need, like diapers, food, and clothes. But like I said before, Nicole was a true party girl, always living life on the edge and taking the fast road in life, and defiantly never planning for anything, and apparently did nothing of this sort. Nine days later, baby Anna and mommy Nicole were at our front door. Anna had on an old looking nightgown and a dirty bib, and to tell you the truth, her mother Nicole was not looking much better. The diaper bag that Nicole was grasping looker fairly new, but we couldn’t help but notice that it was barley filled. She had only two jars of baby food, and maybe one or two diapers for Anna.

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Anna         Neglect         Go Home         Medical Center         Living Life         Stomach         Months         Clothes         Mommy         Michelle        

She had not brought a change of clothes, extra bibs, or a blanket to sleep with – just two jars of food and a couple of diapers.

“Just a few hours, right Nicole?” my mother asked. “Yes, just until six or so, whenever I get off of work.” Nicole replied. And as quickly as she came, she was gone.

We were going to care for baby Anna. It seemed a little strange to us that Nicole would trust anyone with her ten-day-old baby, but we took Anna with a smile, and let Nicole go to work with few questions. The day passed, and then the whole week, and we had not heard from Nicole. Anna Michelle is still living with us today.

Anna needed diapers, more food, clothes, somewhere to sleep, and a call or visit from her mom. She got everything but a call or visit from mommy. Thankfully my parents both have good jobs, and these new expenses didn’t seem to bother anyone. My mom went out and bought a crib, changing table, toys, clothes, food, and diapers. It had been almost ten years since she was able to go shopping for a baby, and I think that it is safe to say that she went a little hog-wild, buying everything and anything that was remotely cute.

But even through all this preparing, we cold not help but wonder where Nicole was, and how she could leave her most precious package behind. It was hard to try and not attach ourselves to Anna despite my mother’s warnings that “Nicole might come back for Anna, and leave us with nothing but a memory.” We fell in love with the baby the day she arrived, and still continue to love her and consider her part of our family.

For the first few days of Anna’s stay with us, she was fussy, and she cried all the time. My mother was re-visiting the life she knew nine years ago when she had had my younger sister Lydia. But now, it was not one of her own children, but her sister’s two-week-old screaming child. Though Anna was only a few days old, it was like she knew her mother was not there, and strangers were caring for her. Even in my mothers frustration, she remained strong, caring for her other three children and for Anna with the gentlest of hands. My mother never gave up, and her bright smile never dulled.

We have a five-bedroom house on Milligan Highway, in Johnson City, Tennessee, and there are just enough rooms to fit us all. My older sister, my parents, and I all have our own rooms, my little sister Lydia and Anna share a room, and the spare room that is left serves the purpose of a playroom for the two little ones. Everyone gets along just fine with the exception of the occasional fight or whining that you hear from Lydia when Anna steals a toy or doll from her.

We have mixed feelings about Nicole coming back for Anna though. It would be wonderful if she grew up and took responsibility for Anna Michelle one day, but on the other hand, we don’t want to lose her, and right now would rather Nicole to remain in hiding. It sounds selfish I know, but you have to try and understand that when you live with someone for almost three years, you become attached, and they become part of you, as stupid as it seems. To this day we have only heard from Nicole once. My mom answered the phone and stayed on it for a total of maybe one minute.

“How’s Anna Michelle?” Nicole asked, “Doing wonderfully,” my mother answered.

She said Nicole hung up after that, and we have not heard from her since. We now believe that Nicole was only doing what she thought was best for her baby. My mother has always said that her sister Nicole has “problems”, but never goes into detail or elaborates on what those problems might be. She says, “It reminds me of times that I don’t care to remember.” I suspect that Nicole got wrapped up in drugs or alcohol, but truthfully, I would rather suspect, and not really know. After all, we have and continue to provide for Anna, and have given her a better life with us than Nicole could have given her.

Anna will be three this coming November, and we still call her our baby Anna. She is truly a blessing, and we will continue to love and care for her as long as she needs us to

Nicole is out there somewhere, Anna has no idea where she is, but Nicole knows where Anna is, and that she is being well taken care of.

At 15 Anna Wood went to a party and took an ecstasy tablet. Three days later she was dead. A life destroyed. A family devastated. She was just fifteen. She was leaving school to start the job of her dreams. She was beautiful, she had a loving family and countless friends. Yet on 21 October 1995, Anna Wood took an ecstasy tablet at a dance party and died three days later. AAt 15 Anna Wood went to a party and took an ecstasy tablet. Three days later she was dead. A life destroyed. A family devastated. She was just fifteen. She was leaving school to start the job of her dreams. She was beautiful, she had a loving family and countless friends. Yet on 21 October 1995, Anna Wood took an ecstasy tablet at a dance party and died three days later. A life destroyed, a family devastated, a community in shock. Bronwyn Donaghy interviewed friends, family members and numerous professionals in order to write the story of the circumstances surrounding Anna's death and of her family's decision to try and turn tragedy into a positive force for good. It is a story of our times, a story with powerful resonances for Anna's generation and their parents, for counsellors, doctors and teachers, for anyone who values the sanctity of life. 'As a teenager I have taken all kinds of drugs, not really knowing what they were and why I did it. then I found this book. I vowed never to take drugs again but it's just a shame it took the life of a beautiful, talented girl to make me realise how dangerous it was.' BC, aged 17, New South Wales 'I have never tried illicit drugs and although I was curious to do so ... the information provided in this book has scared me away from that forever.' LO, aged 16, Western Australia 'I've had Mum and Dad give me lectures about not taking drugs and stuff but it didn't really affect me until I read Anna's Story and realised what they do to ordinary people just like me.' AE, aged 15, Queensland...more

Paperback, 254 pages

Published December 31st 1996 by Angus & Robertson Publishers (first published June 1st 1996)

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