When My Son Went Missing

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Photo: My front yard, 8:30 a.m., January 30, 2013

At 7:45 a.m., I woke up and realized my boys were abnormally quiet, so I went to check on them.

My eight-year-old son was fast asleep, but my five-year-old was not in his bed.

I climbed the ladder to the loft in their room and looked for him there.  I did not find him.

I checked the girls’ room. I did not find him.

I checked all over the middle floor. I did not find him.

I checked everywhere I could see in the basement.  I did not find him.

I was still half asleep, barely standing upright, stumbling around the house, searching in every room, closet, and cupboard, lifting up blankets, looking behind and beneath furniture, gently calling my son’s name so as to not awaken my other kids, but panic was starting to set in and I raised my voice a little.

I felt a mixture of anger and fear, but strangely I was mostly calm.

That might have been shock.

After combing the entire house twice, I called the neighbours.  He had wandered over to their place a couple times before in the summer, but the snow this time of year is well over his boots so I doubted he’d go through the field.  Still, I left them a message just in case.

I tried to reach my husband at the mill where he works, but it is a noisy environment and he doesn’t keep the cell phone on him.

I called the mill’s office and they tried to reach a foreman, but nobody answered.

While I continued to re-search my house, I called 911.

Within minutes, a police officer was at my door.

Soon, another officer showed up.

Then a third, and a fourth, and I’m not sure if there were more in that blur of blue uniforms.

There were two RCMP cruisers and an RCMP pickup truck parked in my yard.  A third cruiser was out on the street in front of my property.

One officer informed me that a police dog was being brought down from a town an hour away.

Cops were all over my house, my yard, and my quiet semi-rural street, searching for my son.

I called my husband’s work again, letting them know it’s urgent and that our son was missing.

A few minutes later, my husband phoned me.

“I can’t find J anywhere,” I told him.  “When did you last see him?”

“He came into the kitchen around 5:00 this morning,” he said.  “I told him to go back to bed, and he headed up the stairs, but I didn’t follow him, as I was leaving.”

We exchanged words of horror, shock, fear, and prayer.

“Well, I guess I’ll just finish the shift,” he said, but I could hear the worry in his voice.

“Yeah, there’s no point coming home.  There’s probably nothing you can do, either,” I told him. “But as soon as he shows up, if he shows up, I will call you.”

My eight-year-old son and my three-year-old daughter were now awake and involved in the hunt for their brother.

“Check the deep freeze,” I told my son.  “I haven’t looked there yet.”

My 18-year-old daughter heard us and also joined the search.

Tromping through the snow in my yard, I called and called for my son.

I alternated between uttering whispered cuss-words through my teeth and softly begging God to please keep my little boy safe, and that we may find him.

I went back inside and up to the middle floor, where I suddenly heard the cheerful voice of my three-year-old daughter shouting in the basement, “I found him!”

Not sure if she was just playing around, I ran to her, my heart racing, and demanded, “WHERE?  Where is J?  Show me!  SHOW ME!”

She led me to a closet, where I’d checked a few times already.

She had to have been kidding.

She reached into the bottom of the closet and pulled back a pile of egg-carton bed foam.

She sang out, “He’s right here, Mama!”

And yes, there he was, peering out with a mischievous grin.

It was 8:30 a.m.  I had been hunting for him for 45 minutes.

I was relieved, but I was also angry.

“J!  You must NEVER hide on Mama again.  DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?”

“I was just playing hide-and-seek,” he said, trying to act innocent.

My boy didn’t seem to have any idea how serious this was.

“You stay right there,” I told him as I ran outside to talk to the cops.

“We found him,” I said.  “But you guys can take him, I’m so mad at him.”

They wanted to see where he’d been.  One officer said he had looked in there with his flashlight and did not see him.

All the cops looked sternly down at my son.  There were no smiles on their faces.  Two of them gave him a short but serious talk.

My son stood there with his arms crossed, trying to look tough, putting on a fake scowl.

I thanked the police and they went on their way.

I was about to call my husband to let him know all was well, but he called me first.

I called and left a message with the neighbours, and then I called the Child & Youth Mental Health clinician to leave a message for her to call me.

Then I called my son’s Behavior Consultant (he has a diagnosis in the autism spectrum, high functioning, with symptoms of ADHD, so we have government funding to cover her costs).

The BC told me she would contact a colleague of hers who might have some other ideas, but that until we hear back from her, I should have my son sit in a chair right beside my desk while I work so he cannot be out of my sight.

If he has to go to the bathroom, I would have to go with him.

He can eat his meals right beside me, and he will be watched with the video monitor when in his room for a nap.

His Behavior Interventionist, who works with him two hours a day, three days a week, came over, and he was allowed to work with her, but when he was done, he was in the chair.

Any time my son tried to talk, I said in an even voice, “No talking.  You are sitting there because what you did this morning was very bad, and you must never hide from Mama again.”

As I write this, he is having a nap, but when he gets up, he will return to the chair until bedtime.  Our only discussion will involve reminding him how important it is that he stay in bed, except for toileting, until he is told by his dad or me to get up.

Before the cops had left, I had taken a picture of the three police vehicles in my yard.  I posted it on my facebook wall, and then went to make breakfast.

My 15-year-old daughter saw the picture and called from her dad’s house nearby, asking what’s up.

When I told her about J having to sit in “the trouble chair”, she said, “That should be ‘a thing’.  We should call it ‘The Trouble Chair’.”

She also suggested that we decorate the chair by drawing teeth on it, and that we should paint it black, or red, to make it look scary.

I said, ‘Yeah, and we can write words on it, like, “HA HA.”

She said, “And draw arrows on it, like they’re pointing at whoever is sitting in it.”

She also added, “We can put Velcro on it, and make a pair of Velcro pants for the person to wear when they sit in it.”

I said, “Yes!  So it makes it harder for them to get up.  I like it!”

We had some fun with it, but realistically, for now, The Trouble Chair just has a name.

I hope we won’t have to use The Trouble Chair very often, preferably never again, but knowing my kids, I’m not sure that’s likely.

j and me apr 2012c_edited-2a (2)

J and me, spring 2012

(This post also appears on my other Holy Sheepdip blog at Blogger).

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To Dream, You Don’t Need To Be Asleep…

Aw, dang.  It didn’t come through with the poem formatting with which it was originally posted, and I don’t see an option for editing it.

So, you’ll have to click on the link if you want to see it in its poetic shape.

Words Of Birds

To dream, you don’t need to be asleep.
To dream, one doesn’t have to be weak.
To dream, all you need is a will of fire
To dream, all you need is a motive.
To dream, all you need is the action to follow it through.
We all stumble on our path, there is no haste required.
All you need is a dream…

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Farther Along

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Listening to this song, I think of my friend who has also been my family doctor for many years. He is the most compassionate and wise person I have ever met.

He was my friend before he was my doctor.

He is still my friend before my doctor.

When I was in the process of leaving the ex, my friend was there for me when everyone else in the church fellowship turned against me.  Even my friend’s wife, who I had thought was my friend, turned on me.

He prayed for me.  He heard my cries.  He wished me happiness.  He told me he loved me.  Oh, not in an inappropriate way – just the love of a brother in Christ, as it ought to be.

As he stitched up my face a few months ago, my doctor friend asked me if I’d like to study the book of Job with him sometime. We never did get around to it, both of us having such busy lives, but maybe we will someday.

If you ever read this, my dear friend and brother in Christ, this song is for you, because I know you like it.

Farther Along

Tempted and tried, we’re oft made to wonder
Why it should be thus all day long
While there are others living about us
Never molested though in the wrong

When death has come and taken our loved ones
It leaves our home so lonely and drear
Then do we wonder why others prosper
Living so wicked year after year

Farther along we’ll know all about it
Farther along we’ll understand why
Cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine
We’ll understand it all, by and by

Faithful ’til death, said our loving Master
A few more days to labor and wait
Toils of the road will then seem as nothing
As we sweep through the beautiful gates

Grace Greater Than All Our Sin

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I love how hymns pop into my mind at random.

Before I had to work so much, when I cooked every day, I would sometimes have a hymnal open on the kitchen counter, learning the words, feeling peace (as long as the abusive ex wasn’t home).

Other times, I’d go to my digital piano, play a part and sing the harmony to it.

As a side effect, my kids memorized the words to those hymns by hearing me.

In retrospect, I learned some hymns from hearing my own mother sing, even though they didn’t take on meaning until I became a Christian at age 20.

I don’t know these people who are singing this hymn, but they bring back sweet memories of crackin’ out the guitars and harmonizing with my sisters and brothers in Christ.

Grace That Is Greater Than All Our Sin

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.

Refrain

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

Refrain

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.

Refrain

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Refrain

The Deep – (Out Of The Grey)

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Makes me think of the deep emotions felt by us who are highly sensitive people.

The Deep (by Out Of The Grey)

I am a wave upon the sea
The wind catches me and throws me
To a rocky beach
Dashing me to pieces
I am scattered on the sand
Then gathered back again

I am a wave upon the sea
Clinging to the surface
Above the waters of the deep
Where the voice of quiet
Calls out to me
From the ocean floor
But I keep rushing for the shore

I can hear the deep
Calling out to me
It’s a siren song of peace
And I long to be
Swallowed up
And swept into the deep

I am a wave upon the sea
Someday soon
The tide will take me
Deeper underneath
Where the wind cannot break me
I’ll be sinking in the flood
Completely taken by His love

Oh I can hear the deep
Calling out to me
It’s a siren song of peace
And I long to be
Swallowed up
And swept into the deep

And to the people
Who are stranded on the land
I’m reaching out my hand

Can you hear the deep
Calling you to sea
It’s a siren song of peace
And don’t you long to be
Swallowed up
And swept into the deep
Come follow me
Be swallowed by the deep

Remembering a happier me

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For several weeks, due to various circumstances, I had been in a deep, dark depression, which started to lift a few days ago.

I am not sure what caused it to lift.

It could have been because of the prayers of friends.

It could have been because of the remedy given to me by my homeopath on January 18 starting to work.

It could be the various supplements from my naturopath, which I started on January 11, to get me on the road to healing from adrenal burnout, kicking in.

It could have been because of answers to unspoken questions in my tormented heart finally being answered from within the confines of silence.

It could be a combination of all of the above, or it could be something I haven’t even guessed.

Up until a few days ago, I didn’t care if I lived.

Now, however, I feel like I want to get better.

I am not sure how far this seed of hope will grow, but for now, I am grateful it is growing.

This video is from May or June of 2011.  I hope I can someday be that happy on a regular basis.

That’s Where I Live

I can never find this song online, and I have never met anyone else who even knows who “Out Of The Grey” are, but here are the lyrics for one of my favorite songs by them.

That’s Where I Live (by Out Of The Grey)

On a street where the traffic never quite dies
There’s a house where joy hovers but never quite flies
A little room where peace has been locked away
Behind a window so dirty there’s no light of day
And that’s no way
And that’s no place to live

Closets too full of nothing to keep
Navigation turns tricky as the clutter grows deep
But to wander outside is to wander alone
Just can’t shake the feeling that nowhere is feeling like home

And that’s no way
That’s no way to live

And in my world of doubt
Where I can’t settle down
You’re all I know
So that’s where I go
That’s where I live

Will I settle for the shambles and live on these crumbs
Or trust that You’ll finish what You’ve begun
Cause in the midst of this mess I’ve foolishly made
You’re still building a home and I’m coming to stay

And that’s where I’ll live

I’m on my third copy of the CD (after having one copy kept from me by the ex, who didn’t even like this CD to my knowledge, and having had another copy stolen when two cases of my CDs got ripped off from my vehicle).

Before the CDs, I had it on cassette.

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Photo:  Christine Denté and Scott Denté, the wife and husband contemporary Christian music duo “Out Of The Grey”.

I’ve sometimes wondered if Scott’s dad’s name is Al.  😉