Mother’s amazing love ends in bitter-sweet tragedy, and a community’s love brings the family hope.


Sometimes it’s hard to know at what point
we become adults. I can remember thinking, when I was a child,
that every birthday I would wake up and feel different, feel a bit older. It was always somewhat surprising and disappointing
that every birthday I would wake up and feel exactly the same as I had the day before! I got to thinking that maybe something special
happens when you turn 18, in UK law that’s when you’re legally an adult. Maybe in the USA kids think the same thing,
when I hit 21 I’ll know all the secrets that adults know! Seriously, I always thought there was this
mysterious magical point at which everything changed and I became a grown-up! There’s a bit of a pop-culture word I see
buzzing around the internet sometimes, maybe you’ve seen it ‘adulting’! It’s usually used by young people, maybe 18-25,
who find themselves doing things theye would never have considered as a child, somebody
might post a picture of themselves online doing their car insurance with the caption
‘look, I’m adulting!’ Because the point is becoming an adult doesn’t
happen in one sudden jump, it’s gradual, it creeps in, much like the aches and pains do! But, there is one big, epic, and very specific
exception to this rule isn’t there? That’s when we become parents. It’s not just our circumstance that change,
or just our responsibilities, but something really does change suddenly and dramatically
inside us as for the first time in our lives we find out what it really, really means to
be unselfish. It can be an astonishing, revealing experience,
which occurs over quite a brief period, when we realise that there is somebody we love
so much, somebody we would do anything for, somebody in our lives who is more important
to us than even our own selves. And that’s talking as a man! I can’t imagine how it feels as a mother,
to have had that person, that new part of you grow inside you and then become it’s own,
unique individual person yet still profoundly connected at birth. Utterly dependent on you, loving you and accepting
you completely as mother. I feel sorry for people who don’t wonder at
the deep mystery and miracle of birth and motherhood. I know not all mothers feel this instant bond
and love, sometimes it takes time, but it comes. I think most parents would say they would
die for their children, but of course we hope very much that we are never in a position
where we have to make that choice. Sadly, in a tragic turn of events, one young
mother was faced with exactly that terrible decision, to save herself or to save her baby
daughter. And she chose her daughter. In January 2017 Shelby Carter and her boyfriend
were living in Wyoming Illinois, they had their whole lives ahead of them and had recently
welcomed a baby girl into their lives, making them a wonderful new family. It’s almost too difficult to write this, but
stories like this should be heard, and mothers like Shelby Carter should be remembered. Tragedy struck one day when their house caught
fire. The flames spread quickly, leaving Shelby
Carter and her newborn baby daughter Keana trapped upstairs with no way out. As a father myself I can’t imagine a worse
or more terrifying scenario, the sheer panic, the horror of knowing what was coming. But this amazing mother did something incredible,
something worth remembering her for, which, in her last moments, showed her true colours. With flames quickly engulfing the house, Shelby
managed to compose herself enough to put the life of her darling daughter first. Thinking quickly, in all the panic and smoke
Shelby managed to think of a way to get her baby to safety. A car seat! Designed especially to keep infants safe in
road traffic accidents, it would be perfect to protect her little girl from a fall. She strapped her daughter in, held her out
of the second floor window and dropped her to the ground. Sadly in the following moments Shelby Carter
lost her life. It’s hard to look on the bright side of a
tragedy like this but we should be thankful for the small mercy that she was overcome
and died of Carbon Monoxide poisoning before she had to suffer the agony of the flames. Wyoming-Speer Fire Protection District Chief
Ed Foglesonger said to the Wasshington post that the way things had ended up was nothing
short of a miracle. When they reached the scene they quickly doused
the flames, and discovered the heartbreaking truth of what had happened on the second floor
that day. But they also quickly discovered baby Keana. Dropped from a second story window in such
desperate circumstances it’s easy to imagine that the tiny tot would have been badly injured,
but no, she was absolutely fine. In her dying testimony to a mother’s love,
Shelby Carter had saved the one most precious to her. Wyoming Illinois is a small town of just 1,400
residents, and news of the awful fire hurt the community badly. The whole town felt the grief, and the sorrow
for that little girl who will grow up without a mother. But she is also a little girl who will grow
up know how dearly she was loved, and just how precious she is. The whole town pulled together and started
a crowd-funding campaign to help the family get back on their feet after their awful experience. It must be so terribly hard to lose somebody
in the prime of their life, with so much to look forward to, and then think about bills
and insurance and food shopping at a time when all you want to do is lie down and grieve. Thankfully, the campaign raised over $40,000
to help out in their very difficult time. If you have a faith, lift up some prayers
for the family Shelby has left behind, and share this inspiring story of a mother’s love
for her daughter, a mother who deserves to be remembered.

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