Mom: Lost and Found

What a crazy time it was… A few nights ago, I was at home on my day off doing pretty much nothing after I’ve cleaned the entire house. Then my friend comes over and we were killing time watching movies and playing on the PS3. By the time it was 6 PM, I started getting something ready for dinner because I knew my mom would be coming home soon. The easiest thing to make: Baked Salmon. So that was done. I was expecting her to come home with my dad but she didn’t. So I thought, ‘Okay, I guess she gets home today at 9 PM instead of  6 PM.’

Now, to clarify her schedule, my mom usually gets home at 2 PM or 6 PM or 9 PM. My dad usually picks her up because by the time he’s back from work, he would’ve had enough time to rest and eat before going to pick her up.

I wasn’t caring much until it was actually 9 PM and my dad was still at home. So I asked him, ‘Aren’t you picking up mom?’ And he said no, she never said to pick her up today  (that means she’ll go home by bus, usually). But then my sister, who was sick and was mostly in bed, happened to come downstairs to eat. Then after hearing me questioning my dad, she piped in, ‘Oh, yeah, she said she’ll be home by 1-2 PM today to make me some soup.’ And I was just confused; it was 9:15 PM already and still nothing. So my dad gets this idea to call After Hours and I had to ask my friend to ask her aunt who works at the same place for the phone number. Then they tell me that my mom was supposed to be done work at 1PM. So I told the guy on the phone my problem and that she hasn’t contacted the house and SHE HAD NO CELLPHONE with her. So he said he’ll try paging her to call our home phone, but in my mind, I just knew she didn’t have her pager on her. She rarely ever brings it because she usually borrows my sister’s phone when she works.

I should also add, that there was a blizzard outside. Looking out the window was scary enough, imagining someone was out there in that cold was worse yet.

So after that phone call was done, it was past 9:30 PM and we were all thinking up possible scenarios about why she hasn’t phoned home when her work was done in the afternoon. Here’s what we collectively came up with:

a.) Her bus broke down. –> Me: But it wouldn’t take the bus company 8+ hours to replace it with another bus. So we scrapped that.

b.) Maybe she was somewhere safe? like the groceries? or casino? –> Me: But why won’t she phone? She usually wants someone to haul her groceries for her. (So this scenario was a little iffy)–> Casino? My dad actually went there (because it was less than a minute from our house) to check it out.

c.) Something happened that she couldn’t get to a phone. –> So far the worst one yet. Kidnapped? Fainted and out cold in the snow? Hospital? (My dad and I called all the hospitals in the city and checked in their emergency center if there was a patient named Jane Doe (obviously not going to put my mom’s name on here).

So after getting nowhere, I decided to call all her friends and unfortunately I also had to bug her clients for the day. When my mom forgets the phone, she calls home using the client’s phone and it stays in our caller ID. We randomly called the three phone numbers and got nowhere. Then I texted my cousins if they’ve seen her today and no dice. One of my cousins said to get her paged in the casino to check. I got this message right as my dad comes home from the casino. I told him he should go back and get her paged, and he said, I looked around and she was nowhere.

After getting no comforting response from all those phone calls, we were starting to panic a bit. So my friend, then my sister said we should go drive around to look for her. This was now 10:45 PM. My brother, me, my sister and my friend all hopped into the car and we drove by Superstore and went down the main street really slow, checking all the bus stops. Then we went to the houses of her clients and knocked and knocked and knocked but nobody would open the door at frikkin’ 11:15 PM. so we called their phones again and my brother said, ‘We are not leaving until they pick up their phones.’ But we got nowhere even after talking to them, just confirmed from one place that she left around 1PM.

My cousins were texting me to unpdate them if we find her, then my brother said to get our dad to phone the police. My dad called me and said that they would dispatch someone to check out where she was at last, which was where we were parked. I started praying silently that she was somewhere safe. We checked and rechecked around the block coz at this point, my brother and I were thinking the worst: he was thinking she fainted and was somewhere on the piles and piles of snow everywhere, and I was thinking she got kidnapped or mugged when she left her client’s place. We were so quiet in the car, you can feel the tension. My friend didn’t know what to say but she gave me a pat and said, ‘She’s okay; she’s smart.’ Which is true, but the fact that my mom didn’t call was very uncharacteristic of her, so of course I was worried. I was trying not to cry at this point.

Then after our last loop around the block, my dad phones at about 12:40 PM to say that my mom phoned. He sounded very mad when I asked him where she was. Guess where? Casino. My dad angrily tells me that the police had come to the house to ask about her right after she called and so he let them know that she was alright. Later on when I asked my dad what they said after hearing that she was in the casino, he told me they said, ‘Oh, she must have won lots of money by now.’

And so we drive to the casino closest to our house because my mom had called to get picked up. The moment I learned she was okay, I was very thankful and the stress started to ebb away. When she got into the car, I was scolding her. When we got to the house, she kept saying sorry and hugging everybody. She said she forgot and when I asked her, she said she first went to the mall and left by 5 PM but forgot to call that she was at the casino (I was thinking the same thing in my mind but I couldn’t be sure, but what she said was good because that was a possibility but I thought it was unlikely, nonetheless). I told her she owed us McDonalds the next day for letting us worry like that. When she learned what we did trying to look for her, she laughed like a maniac and said, ‘Now I know how much you guys love me.’

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