Longest 12 Minutes

>> Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It seems that every mother has a story similar to my longest 12 minutes. I hate even writing about it as it still puts a pit in my stomach just remembering the day. I was on another blog reading about the time when this woman's son was missing in a department store and how she felt when he was not with her. Thank God she could tell her audience of how she felt when she found him. I have heard many stories before it happened to me. The most scary was in a theme park and I was going to tell you the account but it is too scary as the child was actually taken. I will save you heart ache and let you know the child was found. Then again I guess you should know as you could be aware of the perpetrator's sneaky tactics.... The theme park security took the couple to a station with hundreds of monitors and said you have 12 minutes to find your child or they will be gone forever. They frantically searched as looking for a pin in a hay stack. Until the mother uncertainly pointed to a child she thought was hers but was unsure. It almost looked like a boy. The security at the gate in which they were about to leave stopped the gentleman described with the child who looked like a boy. He was arrested when the parents arrived, noticing he had taken their little girl to the bathroom, cut her hair, dyed it black and put boy clothes on her.

(If you are to distraught after reading this, it may be too much for you to continue reading another account). It was a hot July afternoon and a my family and I took a trip to a beach in New York. My sons went with my husband to get ice cream. I was so happy to have time alone. They had been gone for a short while until I became uncomfortably afraid. I heard someone scream "Honey". I jumped up and did not see my husband or anyone calling for me. I kept looking because I knew what I heard. Then my husband came into view and my older son running towards me. He said my younger son (who was three and a half, at the time) was missing. My stomach fell to the ground. I scanned the beach and was overwhelmed with the all the people on the beach. I remembered the story of the theme park and started praying to find my son. My husband went to the police station and my oldest said they had gotten ice cream and when they went to throw away their sticks he was gone. Panic took over and I was hyperventilating, praying and crying. I scanned the parking lot and the board walk. Nothing. I thought of all the missing children and I swear at that moment I prayed for them also. I thought of never bringing him home to his bed and the last thing I said and the fact that he does not know a contact telephone number or address and that his mother's name is "Mommy" without a last name. I almost dropped dead and died right on the board walk. Then before I dropped, I saw through the crowd, my husband like a prince walking and tightly holding my baby close to his chest. I ran through the crowd with my other son and my husband whispered in my youngest son's ears. He turned around and I saw his gorgeous smile. He jumped down and ran towards me. There was no one else there but me and him and when he reached my arms a feeling of energy and completion engulfed my insides and I hugged him crying and falling to my feet for I literally had no strength to stand. I could not talk and he kissed me several times in my face and I couldn't speak. People watched us as I scooted from the floor to the steps and held my son for what seemed to be an hour. We all sat on the steps and I managed to get out "where did you find him" and my husband said two men where bringing him to the security office. I told my son how scared I was that I had lost him and he said he went to throw away the ice cream stick in the garbage when he turned around he didn't see his brother or father so he went looking for them. He said the two men or I call angels, asked him if he was lost.

I didn't get to ever thank those two angels, but my husband did. And they made sure that my youngest confirmed that he was his father. When he came home that night I was still in shock that he made it to his bed. I think I slept with him for half the night. I made sure my information was always attached, written or pinned to him. I went over rules that they both follow if ever there is an emergency. My older son became his brother's keeper as he was not that way before the incident. My husband and I pray more deliberately about their safety, lives and future. They began praying for others especially missing children, children in poverty and children without parents. We are much closer since the incident. Today my youngest is 6 years old, loves Math and has a habit of saying "Mom I'm right over here, okay?"( because he knows I'll go crazy looking for him). If I call him he comes right away and never misses a beat. "Here I am". When I look back at that day I know there was divine intervention as my husband says he never called me on the beach. It was easier to get my attention out of all those people on the beach, when he saw me looking up from 50-75 feet away. Also I had calculated the time from when he was missing from our family; 12 minutes exactly, from the time my husband left to find him, to when the two angels returned him. It was also 12 minutes where I literally died on the inside and was resurrected when holding him. This year he said "Remember when I was missing?" I said , "Yeah, lets' not talk about it". I grew gray hair within those 12 minutes. I developed a mental disorder within those twelve minutes. He has said, "I am so happy you found me". Today I am a better person. Just from his last statement, I am motivated to being an advocate for children. This is my goal in life. All because of 12 long minutes.


Losing Brownies May 19, 2011 at 11:49 AM  

I'm so scared of this situation. I've very scared of huge crowded places and losing my child. If at all possible I wear him in a carrier, but know that very soon he will be too big to do that with.

Raw Wife May 20, 2011 at 4:01 PM  

Yep, pretty close to balling just reading this even knowing you found him. So unbelievably painful.

Glad I found your blog. I love that you're so real with it.

The Adviser May 22, 2011 at 5:29 PM  

Thank you both for stopping by and commenting. Very encouraging.

Lucy May 25, 2011 at 12:36 AM  

I'll be honest...I didn't read it all because I can't take it...but I'd like to thank you for raising awareness on this issue.

Unknown May 26, 2011 at 4:49 PM  

This makes me want to try to think of it. I lost my middle son for 20 minutes. He had gone to see the cows and Sir found him walking in the middle of the country lane.