When my boys were little, we had a Motor-Home that we frequently took trips in. Even if we could only get away for a weekend, it was good family time to simply drive less than an hour to a camping ground. One time, we took a week to enjoy a longer vacation time together. Friends lived about twelve hours away so we went to visit with them. Once we had arrived in their city, we needed to stop at a local store and pick up some basic supplies.
My youngest son was less than one year old, the next just under three, the eldest less than five. I decided to stay in the Motor-Home because the baby was sleeping and I knew he might wake up now that we had stopped driving. The ‘just under three’ son wanted to go into the store. He was always the inquisitive one.
It wasn’t long before my then husband came running out to the camper looking quite frightened and frantic. He started yelling as he approached us: “I can’t find Roddy!!!”.
Dear Non-Grieving Mom, has that ever happened to you? Have you ever been in a store, at a park, in a crowded area filled with strangers and turned around to suddenly realize that your child has disappeared? Do you know the feeling of panic that ensues? Are you familiar with that terror? That ‘aloneness’? That horror? The utter confusion that envelops you? The trepidation that is felt in every fiber of your body? That momentary feeling that your heart simply forgot its next beat? The initial denial that is suddenly transformed into terrifying anguish?
I yelled at my husband to ‘watch the boys’ and ran as fast as I could into that store. I started yelling immediately as I went through those doors: “RODDY! RODDY! RODDY!”. I went from one end of the store to the other, and it was a large store like a Walmart. In-between yelling for my son, I would periodically implore a passer-by: “Have you seen a little boy…he has blonde hair…he’s little????”.
Please, Non-Grieving Mom, if possible…just for a moment…walk in my shoes if you can. If you can relate to this, then imagine it continuing on for hours, days, weeks, months, years…. Imagine being forever lost in this endless torment of crying out with every fiber of your being for your child that has disappeared. If you are able to relate to this for even a moment, you have for this moment, tried on my shoes.
Some kind elderly gentleman heard my pleas and located my inquisitive little boy that day. My son was checking out something that caught his eye which for the moment fascinated him. I use to call him my ‘space cadet’ because once something of interest grabbed his attention, 100% of his focus became absorbed in that object. His quest for knowledge was insatiable. All worked out well on that day, except for my anger toward my irresponsible mate.
My son, my space-cadet, is dead now. I still, after all these years, sometimes look for him in once familiar places. That ‘moment’ of terror I can still taste, and it is anything but pleasant. There are still days when my heart is in my throat and I cry out: “RODDY, RODDY, RODDY!!!”. I know where he is; I know I will see him again; I know we will find one another. But until that time comes, I will have those moments of tormenting panic.
That is the best I can do to attempt to help you understand what I live with, and who I now am.
(((HUGS))) Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at: Xulon Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and DeeperShopping. Additional international retailers: http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/biography/gifts-from-the-ashes,jude-gibbs-9781498496728 http://www.upliftvstore.com/product.asp?sku=9781498496728 Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/
Also, see a more complete list at: http://www.directtextbook.com/isbn/9781498496728?geis=y Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))