Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Parent's Worse Nightmare

The day before Ava's blessing, I was busily working on finishing a wedding cake to be delivered later on in the day and Lorne and his father were working out in the yard to tidy up. Jasmine had been running around the house all morning playing and going in and out of the house. I figured since I was working on a cake, Lorne was keeping tabs on her. I had Ava in a bouncer next to me.
After a while, I began to notice that is was far too quiet and if you know Jasmine, that should not be the case if she is awake. I brushed it out of my mind for a bit and continued to work on the cake thinking I just didn't hear her because she was outside with Daddy & Grandfather.
Lorne walked in about 15 minutes later and so I casually asked him where Jasmine was - I thought perhaps he had put a movie on for her to keep her distracted. He said, I thought she was with you" and I looked up and said, "No, I thought she was with you." In that instant, a panic went through me unlike anything I have ever felt.
I put the piping bag down and started frantically running through the house calling out Jasmine's name and Lorne took off out the door calling Jasmine's name. I searched the whole house yelling at the top of my lungs, even checking the bathtubs, heaven forbid she had been playing in there and something had happened. There was no response, nothing, no Jasmine. Lorne did not get a response outside either and then I really got panicked. I started screaming that we needed to find her and then the worst thing popped into my mind, that someone had taken her out of our front yard.
Now, we live in a safe neighborhood but things can still happen and I don't like for Jasmine to be outside without someone watching her. There are too many sick people around. Lorne looked at me and quickly said, "Call the police." My mind started spinning with questions like - Do I call 911 or the police station? Will they come if I call? How do I explain how she is missing? Will they think we are horrible parents?
As these things went through my mind in a flash, Lorne changed his mind and said, "Call Marcia". Marcia had left about 45 minutes before and had gone to pick up something we needed for the cake we were working on. I called her cell as I was crying hysterically and asked her if she had seen Jasmine. I quickly explained that we couldn't find her. She said that the last time she had seen Jasmine, she was playing by Lorne's car, the Pilot.
Still on the phone with her, I rushed out to the car, opened the front passenger door and there in the back, in her car seat with a tear stained face, was my little angel. I cannot explain the joy I felt to find her and the sobbing increased. Jasmine was crying and saying, "I was calling for Daddy and he couldn't hear me - he couldn't hear me". Jasmine flew into my arms and I carried her back inside with my head buried in her shoulder and her hair.
She had gone into the car to play with some toys we keep in there for her and had shut her door behind her. Since we have the child safety locks on in the back, she found she couldn't get out and she panicked. It was a hot day and the car was stifling hot - had we not found her I fear what the outcome could have been.
We found Lorne and gave him the good news and he took her out and showed her how to climb into the front seat and open the door should this ever happen again.
As I reflected on what had happened, after I stopped shaking, I realized I had learned some important gospel lessons that day.
1. The love that we have for our children, so strong that we can't explain it, can't begin to compare to the love our Father in Heaven has for us.
2. The angst our Heavenly Father must feel when one of his children gets "lost" and off the beaten path must be completely agonizing for Him.
3. The lengths He goes to reach out to us and bring us back to be with Him is amazing to me. He does search for us, call out to us and sometimes we can't hear Him.
4. The immense joy He feels when we come back to Him.
5. Sometimes peopl are calling out to us to help them and we aren't listening or we can't hear them but our Father in Heaven always does.
6. How He does not want even 1 of us lost to Him - he wants each and every one of us back.

This experiance, while horrible, really strengthened my testimony and strengthened my love for my daughter and our family unit. Not that I didn't already love those things beyond measure.


John said...

This is certainly one of my biggest fears like most parents.
It is just a horrifying experience, even when it only lasts a short time.
You are right, there are too many wackos out there not to be constantly vigilant. Luckily most times it turns out ok but it only takes a second with your back turned...
At the same time, you don't want to coddle or stifle them.
Ah, its tough being a parent!

The Campbell's Soup said...

I forgot to mention in my post that when I realized what was going on, I started praying and praying hard and my prayers were answered with the inspiration to find Jasmine - that was something else I learned!

Lourie said...

The power of prayers and the faith in them is an amazing thing. I am so glad you found her.

katie. said...

wow. what a scare. i was reading through that story so carefully. i'm glad all is well. and your lessons learned were so right-on.