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Mom Finds Her Son kneeling , then sees the sign above him and Starts To Cry

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Young Braden was accompanied by his mother one day to shop at major U.S food chain Walmart. They hadn’t been there long, however, before his mom was struck with panic when she realized Braden had disappeared. Losing a child, even if only momentarily, is every parent’s worst nightmare. Of course, it’s not an uncommon thing, especially in places where there are large crowds of people such as shopping malls and big food stores. For Braden’s mom, this was the case. She was in a hurry to get her shopping done quickly at Walmart, one of the world’s largest and busiest retail chains.

Braden’s mother’s name was Sophia, and she was a strong person who had managed to raise her son practically alone since she was widowed six years ago. Her husband was a soldier and died serving his country in the war. Her husband’s work and that of millions of American soldiers were something Sophia valued greatly, and she would always remember her husband with pride and love.

But that did not prevent her from feeling very sorry that her son had to grow up without a father. The tragic loss of her husband made her an overprotective mother. She was aware, but she was too afraid that her little boy might come to harm. She was always there to protect him, and if anything happened to him, the only one to blame would be her, no one else.

Braden grew up with a strong mentality and extraordinary moral and ethical values, the result of his mother’s disciplined upbringing. Sophia was an early childhood education teacher, so she loved children and loved education. That’s why she wanted her son to be an example for the rest of the children his age to follow.

“Honey, listen to me carefully. Your father was a brave and generous man. He was so generous that he died to protect an entire country without hesitation. We must honor his work. We must be an example for others to follow. We owe it to Dad.”

“I promise, Mom. I will make Dad proud of us wherever he is. I will not let you down,” Braden replied.

That was the usual promise they made to each other on the day they visited his father’s grave each year. Braden grew older and asked more questions, and his mother guided and taught him. The boy dreamed of becoming someone as good and brave as his father was, and that made his behavior always exemplary. Although he was still very small, there were things in his attitude and character that could not be helped.

Braden was a thin blonde boy, a common trait among the American population, that made it difficult to look for him if he got lost. He was a very smart and agile boy. At his school, he was the star of the basketball team and got good grades. But like all children, he was also mischievous and loved to explore every place he visited, even if his mother told him not to.

So that morning, while shopping at the supermarket with his mother, Braden did what you would expect from a child his age. He was 10 years old, surrounded by stimuli and new things. He ran away, something that caused terror in his mother, who, despite always having him under control, could not help but lose sight of him for a few seconds while she bought some drinks. It was only a few seconds, but to his mother, it seemed like an eternity, and she felt guilty for having stopped looking at her son.

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“Braden, honey, where are you?” Braden’s mother shouted up and down the aisles of the supermarket.

After several minutes, she decided to go to the help desk to report her son missing.

“Ma’am, calm down. He can’t have gone very far. Tell me his name and give me a detailed physical description.”

“Don’t tell me to calm down! It’s my son who’s lost in this huge place. He’s a very good boy. He’s never run away before. Something must have happened to him not to have come back,” Sophia replied, panicked.

“I’m just trying to do my job, ma’am. There are so many people like you every day that I have to take care of. I have to be impartial and try to calm them down. There’s nothing to be gained by making us more nervous. He’s a child. There are a million things in here that can get his attention and keep him entertained,” the employee explained.

“You are right. Forgive my manners. It’s just that I’m scared to death,” Sophia admitted.

“I understand you, but now we have to focus on looking for and finding the child,” the employee said, trying to reassure her.

After giving her details and hearing her son being searched for over the public address system throughout the supermarket, Sophia began to get very nervous and think the worst. All sorts of negative thoughts began to run through her head, among them the hundreds of news stories each year announcing the disappearance of some child who was never able to return home.

“My child is not going to disappear. It’s impossible for that to happen. Braden is smart. I have raised him well, and he will know how to get back to my side,” she kept saying to herself as she ran around the supermarket, looking in all directions.

After half an hour of relentless searching, Sophia’s heart was beating again. Her beloved Braden was not missing. He hadn’t even left the premises. But he was in the place you would have least imagined a child his age would be. Braden was kneeling in front of a large wall with his hands clasped and his eyes closed. He was praying.

It was on the top floor of the building, an area where there were few stores and where there was no children’s play area either. But Braden must have stayed there for some reason. Sophia knew her son, and something must have caught his attention to behave like that. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have stayed there so long.

Knowing that she would be looking for him very worried, her first instinct was to tell him off for leaving her side. Yet when she saw him knelt down praying in front of a signboard, she stopped to wonder just why she was surprised and so asked him what he was doing.

After drawing closer to the board and taking a look, however, she got a better understanding of her son’s actions. The board read, “Every Second Counts.” Beside those words were pictures of children who were missing. Little Braden had left his mother’s side, seen the board, and was praying to God that those children would return to their families.

Sophia could not believe her eyes. Her son, only 10 years old, had been left there all alone, praying. He was motionless, kneeling with his eyes closed. She had never seen him in that state. She didn’t have to ask him why he was doing it. She had brought him up for just that. His heart was as pure as his father’s, and she’d not been able to overlook that mural that reminded her of all the children who had disappeared.

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They were young children, many the same age as Braden, who had been missing for years and mourned by their families. Next to the photographs were bouquets of flowers, notes from family and friends, and from any stranger who felt the need to stand and honor the memory of those little missing children, just as Braden had done.

“Braden, my love, open your eyes. It’s Mommy,” Sophia Little boy opened his eyes quickly and looked at his mother, very sadly.

“Mom, you’re here. Forgive me. I didn’t want to run away. I went to look at a store with basketball clothes, and then I didn’t know how to get back. But I didn’t see you, and I kept walking until I got here,” her son explained apologetically, his eyes filled with tears.

“It’s okay, honey. That’s it. Now I know you’re okay. That’s all I care about. Did you see it, Mom? You knew about this,” he said, pointing to the wall.

“Unfortunately, yes, we all do. But you kids don’t have to know these things. It’s too sad. But we can help,” Sophia replied, her voice filled with a mix of emotions.

“I got lost today too. It was only for a few minutes, but my carelessness could have been more serious. The world is full of dangers, you always tell me. Oh, these children were not so lucky, and someone has to fight for them,” Braden said, his voice filled with determination.

Sophia was impressed and moved by her son’s mature words. He didn’t look 10 years old; he looked like a grown man, and that filled her with pride. She couldn’t help a tear escaping her eye when she heard her son speak that way.

“But you’re too little, my love. It’s not your duty. Let the adults do their job looking for these children,” Sophia responded, trying to protect him.

“We children can also do things for other children. Sitting here, praying for their souls and their families, is just the beginning,” Braden insisted.

As they spoke, Sophia realized that there were many people around her, looking at her son and listening to his words. Everyone who had been helping her find him a few minutes earlier in the supermarket was now standing there, looking at them. There were also people taking pictures, but she didn’t care about any of that. She could only look at her son and listen to him.

“Let me help, Mom. I want to be a son worthy of his parents. I want to make you proud, make Daddy proud and look down on me from Heaven. We’ll do whatever you want, honey. What do you want? How could we all help these children?” Sophia asked, her voice filled with admiration and love.

The answer to that question was given to her in time. Just as she suspected, someone had taken pictures of her son praying in front of the wall. The image of Braden kneeling before the board has since been shared over a hundred and fifteen thousand times on Facebook. The incredibly touching image and the accompanying story quickly went viral on the internet.

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A Facebook page dedicated to Aubry Jace Carroll, a teenager missing since 2016, saw Braden’s story and decided to publish a post in tribute to him. “I don’t know who this little guy is, but I want to thank you for praying for these kids. One of those kids up there is my cousin Aubry Carroll. This has certainly touched my heart. If I knew where or who this child was, I would love to thank him personally,” the post read.

This was just one of the thousands of messages little Braden’s photo received in the weeks following the day at the grocery store. The comments of thanks kept pouring in for Braden and his mother. They were overwhelmed by so much gratitude and wanted to return so much love and dedication.

Whether or not you believe in God really doesn’t matter. This was a child in Walmart who was thinking about others and doing the only thing he could to help. The world would be a better place if everyone followed his example.

“Good job, Mom. Foundation is everything. You’re doing something right. God bless his heart. Love that his faith is so much a part of his awareness,” one comment read.

Sophia decided to help her son fulfill his desire to help missing children and their families. She used her contacts in the education sector, and together, they created an annual charity basketball tournament that would raise funds to search for the missing children and support their families. The tournament became so famous on social media that tickets sold out for every game. Many people ran out of seats to watch these kids play and help the cause.

Social media continued to work its magic, and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia contacted the organization to offer them their facilities and broadcast the tournament nationally. Braden played every game as if the prize was his for the taking. He played his heart out and seemed immensely happy, playing the sport he loved so much and helping such an important cause. His mother couldn’t have been prouder of him.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, roughly 800,000 children are reported missing each year in the U.S. A frightening figure. However, since Braden’s photo appeared on social media that day, that number began to drop, and some children were even found thanks to citizen support and the funds raised by charity basketball tournaments.

Braden kept his word to be worthy of his father and remained determined to follow his example and never stop serving his community and country. That was only the beginning of his journey, but now the whole world knows his story and that of thousands of children who go missing every year with no answers.

“I am proud of you, my son. I would be your father’s pride. I’m sure he’s looking at you now and smiling to see us here together. I promised you, Mom, to be a son worthy of your respect, and that is what I will do until the end,” Braden affirmed.

The touching and surprising story spread far and wide, touching the hearts of many. It served as a reminder that even in the face of adversity, a single act of kindness and compassion can make a difference in the lives of others.

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Birminghamgist Staff is a News Reporter, making waves in the UK with insightful and Engaging reporting.

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