Last night I woke to my youngest son’s ringtone at nearly midnight.
I missed the call but when I looked, realized it was the third time he’d tried.
My heart skipped several beats as I dialed him back only to have it go directly to voicemail. I tried again and a second later, he answered.
(Because he never calls me late at night unless something is wrong!)
Julian was downstairs at the front door and needed me to let him in because he’d received some odd texts from his dad- a series of random letters and emojis scrolled across his screen.
He’d tried to call him. No answer.
Tried texting him back. No message except more of the same random letters and images.
So he drove over from his house just a few miles away, the whole time running a dozen scenarios through his head.
- “Is dad having a stroke? Mom is asleep upstairs and won’t know.”
- “Is someone in the house and dad’s only able to randomly swipe his thumb on the screen trying to ask for help?”
- “Why won’t mom answer her phone? Do they have her too?”
Five miles and ten minutes is a lifetime when all you can think of is another family member needing help- or worse.
As I was coming downstairs to let Julian inside, my husband woke up and asked me what was wrong. We got to the door at the same moment and let our big, burly bear of a son inside.
It took him a split second to realize that all was well and then it poured out–the fear, the panic, the intense self-control necessary not to simply break down the door and barge in, the pent up grief that lives inside each one of us since Dominic left and is always about to spill out and over when we think of another loss.
He melted into his dad’s arms.
This is how our hearts are wired since that morning nearly five years ago.
When the thing you never think will happen, happens, it becomes the first thing you think of when you can’t get in touch with someone.
Panic is always a breath away.