The Golden Rule Still Matters

AshleyEvery person is someone’s child. Your son. My daughter.

Do unto my children as I would do unto yours.

Today my 26-year-old daughter begins the next chapter of her life. A new city. A new job. I know she is ready.

For 17 years, I was her anchor as she healed from years of sexual abuse. Now I will no longer be available every day.  

For the last eight, I was also her legal guardian. Now she will make her own decisions, while relying on the kindness of others.

No doubt, good people exist. When my daughter was in a very dark place two  years ago, I was reminded of that fact.

After three days of being stuck in the past, her trauma resurfaced. That’s what PTSD will do – a decade later. With triggers everywhere, she felt overwhelmed. She couldn’t take anymore.

Overly emotional.

Without the ability to think rationally.

Ashley Pose #3She had to escape. So, she put the key to her apartment under the doormat and left – planning to leave town for good.

By the time I arrived after reading an unsettling text message, she was gone. For the next five minutes, she responded to my texts – then suddenly stopped.  She did the same to several family friends.


After sending a dozen uplifting messages, I went to bed with a heavy heart  – tossing and turning for hours. Yet I clung to hope – believing someone would sense her need for help. Her vulnerability.

Her fate was now out of my hands.

For nearly four hours, my daughter aimlessly rode the city bus. With the final stop of the day minutes away, the driver overheard her talking to the only other remaining passenger. After he departed, a heartfelt conversation began.

The driver asked my daughter about her unhappiness. Rather than judge, she showed compassion. She then took a risk and offered another point of view – reminding my daughter about her family.

Was running away the right thing to do?

Wouldn’t her problems follow close behind?

Ashley and me2Upon parking the bus for the night, the driver went one step further. She brought my daughter to me in her personal car.

And by doing so, she saved a young woman from making a poor decision. One that could follow her for a lifetime.

At 4am, I awoke to a loud knock at the door. My daughter was standing on the porch – feeling shame once again. Within moments of coming inside, she cried uncontrollably in my arms. But after an hour of her talking and me listening, the burden of the past days was mostly lifted.

I was lucky. Someone – a total stranger – stepped in when I wasn’t able.

She knew. The young woman on her bus was someone’s child.

An old friend was deeply touched and shared his sentiments.

Ashley2.5“This story is a shining example of many things, notably the good in people – and moreover – your love. Whatever challenges we encounter – there is someone who will give us light in the darkness.” DCP


Craig Peterson publishes EACH Child every Tuesday. To subscribe, open this link and “Like” the page. EACH Child is Special: Working Smarter Not Harder to Raise Every ONE

To follow Craig’s progress in writing a book about raising his six children with special needs, click here: Adopting Faith: A Father’s Unconditional Love

To follow Andrew’s inspiring story, “Like” his special Facebook page. Andrew Peterson Goes for the Gold

One thought on “The Golden Rule Still Matters

  1. Wow. Huge steps coming today. She is not only somebody’s child..yours, but I know that you know, she is God’s child too. Many blessings for both of you today, and the days to come.

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