Friday, April 19, 2013

No fear like this fear

As all the events unfold around us this week, the only thing that even allows my mind to come close to understanding how people feel is the day our middle daughter got lost. Yes, responsible parenting continues...

As a little girl, her voice was like a song. That cute curly blonde hair and blue eyes, she charmed everyone. We were at the State Fair with my parents. She was holding grandpa's hand as we walked through the crowds. We moved with her two sisters across to the other side of the road and in an instant she was gone.

Now one thing to keep in mind is that she was a wanderer. She was so happy and so in the moment that keeping a hold of someone's hand wasn't foremost in her little happy mind. We knew that, but this moment made it real.

I can tell you every move everyone made from that moment on. It was like time slowed. I checked to see that the other girls were secure. Then I could not find a police officer fast enough. The one I did find probably still remembers me. I grabbed his arm. I began telling him every detail about her from the pink overalls and white shirt to her height and coloring. As he looked sternly at my spider-monkey 5'2" frame, he told me to let go of his arm. I said, "you aren't moving fast enough. Do I need to find a more competent officer?" Now that is how you charm someone into wanting to help you.

He was on his radio and in the next minute he said, "we have your daughter." I bet not 5 minutes had passed but it was a lifetime. In that time you remember everything you have ever done wrong and are sorry for it (okay that took a few moments considering the volume). You tell God that you will be better if only you receive this one thing.

I arrived at the State Police post and there she was. Sitting on the counter with the Assistant Attorney General just chatting away all happy. She was like, "Momma!" I thanked everyone profusely and away our reunited family went.

She hates this story and dreads when I tell it. It was 18 years ago, but as I think about it, it is as crisp in my mind as yesterday, maybe even this morning.

After that fun event, we put her on a little kiddie lead when we went places. I never let go of her again and as she gets ready to graduate the end of this month, I think I will be getting that lead out again so I can't let her go of her now...