So this past weekend I thought my son was missing. He’s 20 and abroad for an internship that was a surprise find. He’s super smart and resourceful and mostly street smart but above all he’s human. Now we hear from him every day even if it’s just a text saying hello. Friday he said he wanted to call on Saturday which was fine. Negotiating the time difference can be challenging but we make it work. Saturday came and was nearly over and his girlfriend texted asking if we had heard from him yet. She is a little bit of a nervous person so we work with that when it happens. She said he wasn’t responding to any communication to her at all. No texts, Facebook messages, Snapchat, email …. nothing. We hadn’t but we figured we would. I reassured her that it was probably a dead phone and told her to relax and go do something to keep herself busy so she didn’t think about it. By 11pm I was a bit worried because it wasn’t like him not to send at least a quick note. I sent him a text before I went to bed for what would end up a restless poor sleeping night and laid my head down. In the morning….no John. No messages from John and he’s not even answering his father. Ok, in my head my son is now a missing person. I go about my morning trying not to panic but the plants in my yard know what was really going on as I sobbed and confessed my horrible fears to them as I watered them. By 11 am we were now compiling the numbers of all the people we need to call to find him if he doesn’t show up to work on Monday. The internship people, hospitals, the police and basically anyone breathing. My head was already on the plane and headed for the morgue to identify my son. There is NOTHING scarier to me than missing a child and not being able to do anything about it. No Bueno. The world is a very big place and helpless isn’t just a state of mind for me any longer. I start to lose my shit. I rode my stationary bike for 30 minutes but needed to keep moving so I don’t have a full on panic attack. I headed out for a walk in 95 hot humid degrees because running really wouldn’t have gone well and I walked 4 miles. Miles that kept me in motion working the problem. Miles that made me feel better and prevented the world from closing in around me. Miles that kept bad news away. All the while I realized that it’s probably what I told his girlfriend the night before and is some stupid thing that prevented him from calling us. When I get back home I begin looking for his location on my find my friend map and I see it’s not changed in hours. So maybe he dropped it and isn’t dead. Maybe it’s at some criminals house who relieved my son of his phone before throwing him off a bridge in another country that I can’t get to right now. All of a sudden I get a message “Hi Mom” from Johnny…. before I throw up from stress relief I ask him to tell me the name of our dog. We no longer have a dog but John would know that and I needed to just make sure that it was really him. Do you know how long it felt like for those bubbles to pop up … not long really but to me it was like an hour! His answer was “we don’t have a dog you loon”. Magic words!!! No John we don’t. I said back to him, just answer the question. My much needed confirmation came through with “OK, (name of dog)”. Best two words I have ever seen, almost as good as “it’s a boy” the day he was born. RELIEF. It turns out he lost his phone in a café and by the time he went to get it, the place was closed. A good Samaritan had turned it in and he went and got it on Sunday. It was all just nothing and he said he sent a Skype message to us but we never got it. All of that internal turmoil for nothing. I can’t imagine the horror for a mother and father who really do have missing child. My heart goes out to you all.
Anyway, I found Johnny because he wasn’t missing and because of my 4 mile walk I won the step challenge last week. Kind of a funny way to win a challenge but it happened. May it never happen again quite that way!