This and That

My Worst Fear

Posted on: December 9, 2011

He was gone.  He was gone in an instant. One minute he was right behind me as I was reviewing a possible Christmas gift option for a friend and the next minute (no, second) he was gone.

I walked to the next aisle assured I would find him playing with something he shouldn’t be, but he wasn’t there. My eyes darted both directions…he wasn’t there. I walked a little quicker to the next aisle…no.

I started calling his name and listening intently for his little voice or his laugh but I heard nothing, only the sounds of the other customers. That’s when it started to set in. The fear started to creep into my heart.

I was now darting from aisle to aisle, frankly turning my head this way and that. My voice was getting much louder as I cried out for his name. I stopped a store clerk to help me and he thankful ran over to the loud speaker and issued a “code Adam” -missing child. Another store clerk moved right in front of the door and was not allowing people in or out. I was now completely crying and could hear the cracking and trembling in my own voice as I screamed his name. Oh my gosh, I just lost my child, I thought. My baby was gone.

He didn’t respond or come running around the corner. He was gone. I don’t think I have ever felt that kind of panic,  pain, emptiness, and loss in my entire life. In fact there are no words to describe it. None.

An eternity had passed when finally I heard a call, “I got him!” ring through the store. I ran towards the voice and saw that beautiful store clerk holding my baby in his arms. In one minute my boy had walked to the complete opposite side of the store from where I was, to the far back corner, and was playing with some toys he had found. I couldn’t even speak as I grabbed my son and hugged him. I hugged the store clerk and just nodded at him as he consoled me, “Everything is alright now.” Red faced, tears rushing down my face I picked up my boy and walked us out of the store. A sweet lady ran up and handed me a cup of water as I left, again I just nodded a thank you because I literally couldn’t form words in my mouth.

When we got to the car I just held him and cried. That sweet little boy just cuddled right in and laid his head on my shoulder. He had no idea he was lost or why I was crying, but he knew to just hang on and let me get it all out. I had never know what my worst fear was until that day. For five maybe ten minutes my whole world came crashing down on me and I don’t think I will ever be the same.


4 Responses to "My Worst Fear"

Jami, This is an awful feeling. Dylan did the same thing in Target a few months ago. I have been where you were. My steps getting faster and my voice getting louder, head spinning looking in every direction possible. Just I realized he wasn’t there – that I had lost my child – a voice came over the speaker asking Michelle to come to the front of the store. A wave of relief came over me as I saw my son running toward me with tears running down his face. He knew he was lost and thankfully was old enough to know what to do. Still, the fear I felt will never leave my mind. So glad your story had a happy ending.

It was the scariest event of my life. Sorry it happened to you too!

Oh, Jami. That is the worst. I think every mom has been there. We lost our 3 year old at the mall, and I thought I was going to throw up from the fear. Good news: the reminder stayed with me, but the panic goes away.

It was awful. Words seriously any describe that feeling. Thanks for your support!

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