Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Have You Seen My Dad?

It began innocently enough. I sent my dad a text on Monday, followed it up with a phone call - then I didn't hear back. Hmm. That's odd.

I tried again a few hours later - right to voicemail. I knew he wasn't blocking me - that is step 3 technology... "Oh-well, phone must be dead," I thought. No biggie.

Tuesday brought his birthday, and the idea to stop by after a kid thing I needed to attend with Tween. So it was after 3 phone call attempts, I found myself driving to my father's house and attempting to keep the mood light while worry niggled at the back of my mind. "No return call in 2 days? That's not normal.... You've been here before...." I called Sis to let her know what was going on with our dad and get some feedback. She had received no word either. Drive faster, think happy thoughts.

Now, don't get me wrong - the man is in great health. But things can happen when you live alone.

Staving off these negative thoughts, I told Tween we could show Grandpa her newly acquired trophies if he was home. I reminded her that it was his birthday and he might be out since we had celebrated it on Saturday. That's when I noted she had picked-up on my conversation and worry. Reassuring her, we pulled up to the house.

Dark, one car missing. Huh - he must be out. Okay.

I knocked anyway. I let myself in - yes daughters can do that at their parent's house. I called out numerous times - and kept my sister on the phone. Having been the one to find my mother-in-law after she departed made the situation all too plausible, so excuse my redundant precautions. No one home.

I left a note, a big note, telling him to call me or Sis when he returned. Sis called hospitals just to be safe, and we agreed not to worry until 24 more hours passed.

Jump to my lunch today... No word. 24 hours is a long time... By now my Sis had even heard from our ex-step-mother to inquire if things were okay. Attempts at  phone calls continued to prove fruitless. I sent a message to an uncle to see if maybe my dad had gone on a golf trip and lost his phone - not improbable. My Sis wondered when we should call authorities.

What do you do when your parent is missing - but you aren't sure because after all he's a grown man and could have just taken a trip? Or you could be crossing paths? I told Sis we should likely to go by the house and talk to the neighbors before we did anything else.

Okay. We had a plan... Then my father called and left me a voicemail. He told me not to pay the ransom - he escaped... Ha Ha. (did I mention he likes to laugh?) Happily his phone is just broken (or, more likely, he pushed a button that he shouldn't have) and he can make but not receive calls.... Then he told me to call him.... Guess I'm dropping by Dad's again today.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Wrong Number

You wake and wonder why your eyes are open, then the sound of the ringer (or in this case the voice from Portal 2 calling "Hello! Could you pick me up, please?" etc) and you realize it's the phone. Your stomach drops as you consider possible scenarios and worry about your college student as you hop out of bed and race toward the sound. Wondering only briefly why we race headlong toward negativity, as what could possibly be positive at 4:30am? On a Saturday!

Reaching the desk, I see the number is local, but not one of my husband's contacts, nor is it one I know. I don't answer. But the dogs are up, and the cat - so I let them out. In the minute it takes to let all the animals out, the phone buzzes with 2 new messages. Hmm - could it be a friend of Oldest's texting to indicate a problem? Lots of dire scenarios flit through my head forcing me to investigate further. As I lift the impromptu alarm clock, it buzzes yet again.

So I did what anybody would do - I opened the messages. Hush now, you know you wanted me to look before I let the dogs out! There it was - the negativity that wakes people in the wee hours of morning... Somewhere in Sunnyville someone's heart was broken. 

Three texts decried the receiver as a no-good friend and a man-stealer to boot. Of course, these were delivered in misspelled drunken text, but not lacking feeling for all of that. They were too good not to share and I was awake anyway - chasing the escaped kitten around the backyard is not conducive to holding on to sleep, so I woke the Mr. Misery loves company - right?

After reading them, he responded in typical Mr fashion - letting her know it was the wrong number but that she needed to dump that guy... He's nothing if not chivalrous. She sent 3 more texts, apologizing and pronouncing her misery, which he accepted and began to respond to respectively before deciding he didn't need to counsel the world before dawn even glimmered on the horizon.

I feel for her, truly I do - 9 years is a long time to waste on a loser who cheats with your friend - but interrupted sleep for a stranger's drama is not a fun way to start my weekend.