Friday, November 2, 2012

Lost and Found

Cali got lost yesterday.

It was getting dark and little Cali had followed me out back. I had a stack of frozen hamburger patties in my hand and the grill was already fired up and ready. When I couldn't separate the patties from each other, I ran into the kitchen to get a knife and was back outside in less than thirty seconds. After putting the patties on the grill I called for Cali so that we could go inside.

Where did she go?

I checked all of her favorite places in the yard and then shouted inside to see if she had snuck in when I wasn't looking. After a good check of all the corners in the house I ran back out and this time my heart nearly stopped in my chest because I remembered that earlier in the afternoon, the RV gate had been propped open so that my Dad's cub scouts could come into the yard.

No, please no.

My parents live on a corner and in my mind I could see cars whipping around the edge and not even noticing my toddling little baby. I screamed to the others inside to come and help and then I darted around in every direction trying to spot her.


I started repeating in my head the worst string of words that have ever crossed through my mind,

"She has brown hair and blue eyes and was wearing a black and white striped shirt. She has brown hair and blue eyes and was wearing a black and white striped shirt..."

I was willing the sun to hold off sinking any lower and praying frantic prayers. I saw my Dad coming back from around the corner empty handed and that is when the pulsing in my ears started whooshing so hard that I couldn't keep straight where I had looked and where I hadn't.

My Dad shouted, "get in your car."

So I grabbed my keys and ran for the garage, at this point I was breathing in choppy gasps and the oxygen around me was slipping away. I started to pull out and thought I saw out of the corner of my eye some movement to my right.

I pulled all the way out and at last could see a brown haired baby girl squatting in the gutter near the ally. I left my car in the middle of the street and ran for my life.

I scooped her up and buried my face in her shoulder. She was anxious to show me a piece of trash she had found in the street and made big round eyes and her classic "ooooo" sound, while holding up her treasure, as if to say, "look what I found!"  I just stood there in the middle of the road with her for a few long minutes.

"She is safe, she is safe, she is safe", I forced the words hard into my heart making sure to notice her familiar weight in my arms, her silky skin on my lips and her powdery smell filling my senses.

When the feeling started coming back into my shaking legs, I thanked Heaven and I thanked and I thanked and I thanked.

In those few minutes of horror nothing else mattered. I didn't care about the world around me. The new house disappeared, Scott's job evaporated, our cars and clothes and bank account became non existent, the dinner on the grill charred into black with out a second thought. I would have gladly traded every single comfort in my life for a good outcome. Everything became nothing.

I hated every second of the ordeal but when Cali was safely attached back to my hip I was thankful for the reminder that really--nothing else matters. Everything we work for is really just for them.

I can say with surety that separation is the worst feeling in all the world. Separation from each other or separation from God. As the sun came up this morning and I took a reassuring peek over the crib I was so thankful--over poweringly thankful--for a Savior who gave everything so that no separation is permanent. These can be mine forever. It was a true, "look what I found!" moment. I found deeper certainty and deeper testimony of everything I already knew. I have a loving Savior. He paid the price. He made the way back and the way to forever families possible. How I love Him for it. Today even a little bit more than yesterday.


Paul and Jenny Stoker said...

I think I would have died. I have had those same scary thoughts of what I will be telling the police when they start looking.

Katie said...

That is the WORST!! So grateful she is OK and all is well. Beautiful pictures!

mama bear said...

What an ordeal! Losing a child is the worst feeling ever. So glad it turned out happy. Love your summary at the end--we all have so much to be thankful for!

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