Thursday, February 18, 2010

Split Second Spin

There was a traffic jam on the way home and so I missed her call. The littler girls took off my coat and told me overlapping stories about their vacation day.

"Rosy's over ----'s house." Mr. Amazing Already Made Dinner Man said.

An hour later the phone rang. It was -----'s mother calling to see if ----- was at our house.

At first, I was amused. "You'd think they'd be smarter!" I laughed. And then I was cool. "I'll call Rosy, she always answers my calls."

She didn't answer. I looked out the window. Still early, but dark.

I called again. She didn't answer.

And in that split second nothing mattered but her. Finding her. Out in the snow with her friend, innocent of the cruel people out to do them harm. In a split second I was imagining unspeakable things and I felt in my heart that she was truly lost. It was so fast, there wasn't any room for reason.

And then the phone rang and it was her beautiful blooming voice. I was very nice. She was apologetic. She'd tried to call. I was in traffic. "Sure you can eat dinner there. Love you too."

I hung up the phone and I cried. Relieved and starkly aware that in the very second my world righted itself, someone else's nightmare may have begun. That's the way life works. But I sidestepped the loss once again. Luck. Pure luck.

Phew. To say the least.

XO
S

20 comments:

  1. Encapsulated the potential of loss masterfully. I shivered.

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  2. Worst feeling ever. So glad she was okay. =)

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  3. Sigh. It's always good to be grateful for what one has, for what one might have lost, for almost losing, etc. There's nothing scarier than that moment and I'm glad it was just a moment!

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  4. Yes, the seconds that matter... are the ones you never forget and yet we let so many pass by thinking they don't matter. My daughter once walked out our front door and into the woods when she was non-verbal... scariest moments of my life... to this day... even though we found her about two minutes later. Terrifying. Moments can matter so much.

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  5. I remember one Christmas morning, searching the area with the family and police for my youngest daughter, she was 18. I looked at the beach and realised I was looking for a cream coat, no longer my girl.I sobbed when the call came that she was OK. She had failed to return from a Christmas eve party, fortunately for us she had passed out through too much drink at a friend's flat. A moment in our lives we will never forget and a strong lesson learned by our girl. Christmas day didn't matter for us, nothing did, then I got the best gift given back for safer keeping.
    Your post touched a nerve, I am so glad things turned out well for you.

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  6. I'm so glad she was all right too. Boy, did you say it perfectly. I was filled with fear for her too and I was just reading!

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  7. Suzanne, I've been there many times! And thankfully had the same ending as you, but, like you, I'm conscious that not everybody has.
    And yet we can't wrap them in cotton wool.

    You captured the heartstoppingness of it so beautifully.

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  8. Phew, indeed! I had one of those moments when my not quite one year old disappeared when I went to the bathroom in my own home. Was nowhere to be seen, did not answer my calls. Went outside, ran around the exterior, called and called. Went back inside, trembling in terror. Saw a cabinet door cracked. And there she sat, hiding from mommy. Many more of thoe moments in the years to come, and even now with the two grandsons. A shame our minds automatically go into panic mode.

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  9. I was hoping this was just a yarn. It caused a white searing fear, for a moment, a little still lingers.

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  10. It is a dreadful feeling. Well written post.

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  11. Hate that feeling.
    Looking forward to hearing your good news!

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  12. Oh, the curse of the overactive imagination. Several times a day I have little daymare images of all the things that could go wrong with my children, the ways they could hurt themselves. Split Second Spin is about right.

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  13. Makes my heart pound...ah, motherhood.

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  14. Every parents nightmare. My two boys, 6 & 9, played hooky once to go sledding in the first snowfall of winter. Enter several police cars setting up a command base in front of my house. Long story and it all worked out, but those were the most terrifying hours of my life. You're so right, the world can spin in a second.

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  15. How scary for you, Suzanne. So glad she's okay. There were three days I didn't know where my son was--the beginnings of a custody battle I write about in my memoir. Believe me, I know exactly how you felt.
    Karen

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  16. That must have been so scary for you. Good for her for calling as soon as she could :) It's often slipped my mind to call my mom and I'm sure I've given her a fair share of freak-outs. She always sounds so relieved when I call her.

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  17. Scary how life can turn in a split second. One phone call and your life is turned upside down. I am delighted to hear your world righted itself and all are safe. Thank God for small mercies!

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  18. I truly know how you felt and don't wish the moments of not knowing on any mother. The randomness of joy and sorrow in our lives, beautifully captured.

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  19. ...one of the hardest parts of being a mom.

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