Dear Diary – It’s Week 40, the same number of weeks as the average gestation period for humans. Even though I might feel like it, I am not a sleep-deprived new Mom. I’m slowly recovering from the Death Flu of last week. In addition to regaining some energy (and sadly, appetite that wants dessert), I’ve been left with a burning chest. I feel like I’ve just run a marathon and I’m simply sitting on the couch. I was very fortunate to speak to my Dr. and I’m on an inhaler. This happened last time I tried this new medication and I’m going to go out on a limb and say, this one is NOT for me!
Last Thursday, I crawled from my bed…to the couch, where I consumed gingerale, crackers, and the entire mini series “Angel of Darkness”.
Since then, I’ve banished the “darkness” and have tackled multiple piles of crap and corners of crud. I’m reclaiming the house after all the in-house shuffling during covid to accomodate work, school, and whatever it is that I do! With some shuffling in the office, I made room for the desk that was in the middle of the bedroom. Now all my sewing is in one room, and my bedroom is once again a bedroom. Plus I have a trunk full of crap to donate. Just in time for a new furnace (hopefully tomorrow – he has yet to confirm but we agreed to his suggeste date, so he might just show up. And, hopefully, I will be dressed). Also just in time for Thanksgiving. Eldest Son might be bringing his girlfriend for a night and I couldn’t let her see the house in the shape it was in. Between covid, illnesses and sewing my brains out, the house is clean, but not tidy.
But it’s well on the way!
You never get a second chance to make a first impression.Will Rogers
Dear Diary – Do you ever get the feeling that something isn’t right? Intuition? Premonition? Sixth Sense? Nonesense. Whatever you call it, I starting feeling it Friday morning.
Normally, I drive Youngest Son to school, but I was still nursing a headache and had told him the night before he was on his own. I planned to get up in time to say “bye”, but he left 15 minutes early. I only know this because I heard the door slam on his way out. I raced to the window but by the time I got there, he was already out of sight. I went back to bed and thought nothing of it.
Until lunchtime, right around the time he’d be leaving the school.
And then he didn’t come home.
I dismissed the feeling and tried to reason why he’d be so late. But he isn’t a doddler and the time for his online co-op placement was fast approaching. Was the timetable impacted by an assembly? Was co-op in-class today? Had he been kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery?
The school confirmed no assembly. I left a voicemail for his co-op teacher puttered aimlessly the rest of the afternoon.
The teacher called after school. It was business as usual, so where was Youngest Son? The teacher contacted his placement supervisor and called me back. The Supervisor had received a message from Youngest Son saying he would be late because he had “taken the wrong bus and was a long way from home”.
My heart sunk. He could be anywhere in the city…in any direction. I had no way of finding out!
I had received a text from an unknown person, which I had to tap to open so I completely ignored it. I opened it now. While I couldn’t read the full message, I saw a couple street names, my home and cell number and phrases like “bus left”, “Hudson” and “their son is there”.
I grabbed my keys, slapping a “Call me!” note on the front door, and headed to the nearby Mall with a Hudson’s Bay store.
Inside I was racing to that store. Outside, I was crawling because it was Friday afternoon in the city. I prayed between heated sighs and low growls. I sounded like Marg Simpson. I knew it; I didn’t care! DIdn’t these stupid people know I needed to get my child?
I frantically hobbled around the store several times, then the Mall. I don’t know if there were even any good sales on! I even had a salesclerk try paging him several times. The first time, she asked him to come to the Estee Lauder counter. I rolled my eyes. I don’t know too many teenage boys who know what Estee Lauder is?
But after nearly an hour, no Youngest Son. With a knot in my stomach the size of a basketball, I called Hubby to come home, and crawled my way there too. I hit every red light. When I got stopped by a freight train, just blocks from home, I actually screamed. Not a high-pitched scream like I’d been frightened by a spider, but something ferocious and feral. The intensity of it scared me, but I once again felt more in control of the terror clawing on the periphery.
My heart sunk when I saw my note still on the door. One more tour of the neighbourhood, then I called the police.
I had just started to reheat a cup of tea in the microwave (since tea is stereotypically consumed by those in distress), when the police officers arrived. The microwave continued to
snark chirp throughout the first phase of questioning.
It wasn’t until the officer opened the weird message fully, that I realized it was from Youngest Son on his computer, and I knew exactly where he was. I had gone to the wrong mall! It had crossed my mind, but in my haste, I had stupidly dismissed it and wasted so much time!
The officers asked for a recent photo so they could share it with mall security and police in the area. Youngest Son has resisted having his photo taken for years. Any “recent” photos would have a hand, a burger, something over his face.
Hubby arrived home and we found a photo. We texted a few folks who we had informed so they could be praying. Our pastor and long-time friend called to say he was on his way…to the mall.
And we waited. I rocked in the rocking chair, squeaking a 4/4 rock beat, irritating everyone in the room.
After about 40 minutes, the phone rang and I heard the sweetest words: “I’ve got him!”
He had been lost for 5 1/2 hours. When the officer stepped outside to tell his partner, I burst into tears.
This has always been one of my greatest fears…that my child would find himself frightened, alone, and hurt, at the mercy of a stranger. If God should choose to take him home, I want to be there. I want to hold him and comfort him, and usher him into the arms of Jesus. It’s an irrational fear, maybe even a selfish one. But whoever said fear was rational?
It’s an instinctive part of being a parent, to want to safeguard our children against the monsters that really do exist and to stand in the gap to protect them. With everything we’ve got…
It’s a fear that shifts even when they’ve grown and are on their own, but it will never really go away.
Like the story of the prodigal son, we feasted to celebrate his return. Instead of the fatted calf, we had pizza, chips and chocolate (O Henry!) Youngest Son has had to patiently endure several discussions, and lots of hugs and kisses. He made up his co-op time on Saturday. We will be getting him a cell phone and this time, he promises to keep it charged and take it with him!!
I read Psalm 121 to Youngest Son almost every day when he was on the way. It reminded me that God would watch over him always, from the moment he was conceived to the day he takes his last breath.
We are so thankful for a caring friend, who literally hopped in his truck to bring him home. We’re thankful for all the people who, hearing what was going on, prayed with us. We are thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who watched over him.
We have so much for which to be thankful every day.
The Lord will keep you from all harm- He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.Ps. 121:7-8