Friday, June 22, 2007

The Most Precious of Gifts

Straight
Moving or extending in only one direction. Show us straight in your space today.


My idea for today's prompt started out well enough, but when you take a photo at 3 in the morning under flourescent lighting with no flash...this is pretty much the mess you end up with. I thought I would re-do it when the sun came up and beautiful light shone through the house, but I think I'll leave it as it is. I know it's not the best so please, no one needs to comment on the silly thing. We had a night last night that I pray we will never have to go through ever again...or any other parents/loved ones for that matter.
I had just gotten off the computer where I had been chatting with a friend online when my cell phone rang. I picked it up and the connection was quite bad but this is what I heard Betina say, "Ruth, I really hate to tell you bad news...I'm really sorry but we can't find Jeff." Jeff is my oldest son. He just turned 21 on June 1. "What do you mean you can't find him? Where are you?" "We came out to the lake to swim and jump off the cliffs, and we've been looking for him for over 3 hours." "What? well, where did you see him last?" "In the water." At this point the room beagan to spin and I felt every drop of blood drain from my head. My knees became weak and I walked towards the living room where Scott was sitting...not knowing if I could make it or not. I began screaming in the phone, "Did you call the Park Rangers? Did you dial 911?" "We didn't have cell service out there, we had to drive a few miles down the road to call you." It was at this point that I knew I couldn't listen any longer. I handed the phone over to Scott who was screaming that they needed to call someone....911....ANYBODY!!! I just paced back and forth in the kicthen muttering,"Oh my God, Oh my God." Living here and working in a hospital had taught me one thing....this happens far too often here in the summer and you know the outcome is never good." Ever. We were waiting for someone to call us back. In the meantime, Scott, our 17 year old son, Kris and I drove over to Jeff's house where we talked to his roommate and some friends hoping that they knew more news, or his whereabouts. Since we weren't sure exactly where they were one of Jeff's friends called hospitals, jails, any place who might have him. The waiting was horrible. The thoughts that invaded our minds were hideous. We coudln't even speak. I paced in the house, I paced outside the house...I went into Jeff's room and sat on his bed and completely lost control of my emotions. I talked to my dad. My dad passed away a little less than 2 years ago and he was the most phenominal grandfather on the planet. He and Jeff were so close, and truthfully, Jeff hasn't been quite the same since my dad died. I talked to my dad...."You're supposed to be watching out for him....please, watch out for him." As news returned to us that the Park Rangers had sent out 2 boats to look for Jeff, Scott and I knew what that meant. We knew our son was gone. But I couldn't think about it....it was just too much. We decided to come home. In the meantime, our daughter, Sara who lives hundreds of miles from us called. I saw her name come up on my phone and I told Scott there was no way I could talk to her and hide my emotions and I didn't want to tell her until we knew something for sure. Scott did a wonderful job hiding his fear and lied by telling her I was taking a shower. We had been home around 20 minutes when the phone rang again. It's odd....waiting for phone calls that can totally change your world one way or another. It was one of Jeff's roommates. She had been told through another person that Jeff had been found. Found? is he alive? did they find him washed up somewhere? "He's ok...that's all I was told." Oh how I wanted to belive this...oh God please let this be true. What if she's lying to me...what if they really don't know? Scott got on the phone and called someone...not sure who but they put him through to the dispatcher at the Park Ranger Station. I heard him say Jeff's name....and then...."Oh, thank God. Thank you so much." He looked at me and said, "They found him, and he's ok....he's ok." I was afraid to believe him. I wasn't going to feel better until I talked to my baby myself. Another 30 minutes passed and no word. We had been told they were at Lake Mojave which is not only pretty far from here, but in the boonies where there isn't any cell service. Finally my phone rang. It was my son...my heart. I lost control of my legs and fell to the floor. I was really talking to my son. "Jeff...Jeff...are you ok?" "Yes, mom, I'm fine. I just got separated from my friends. Don't cry, mama, I'm ok." "Jeff....come home. Just come home." Search and Rescue found him sitting on top of the cliffs...waiting. He had lost a shoe and his foot was pretty messed up, but he was waiting for help. He said he knew he would be ok for the night but was worried that without water and the temperatures reaching well over 120 during the day, he would die of dehydration if no one came for him.
He pulled up in our driveway and I don't think I ever made it outside and through the gate so quickly in my life. I held onto him like never before. I didn't want to let go. I had my precious son home and he was safe. We weren't having to go to the morgue to identify his body...I was holding on to that skinny, tall, love of my life. I cried and cried and thanked my dad for being his guardian angel.
We have our precious gift. I cannot tell you how grateful I am. I've barely been able to sleep...everytime I close my eyes the whole terrible scene goes through my mind again. I wanted him to stay with us last night. I wanted to take him on my lap and rock him as I did when he was a baby. I didn't want to let him out of my sight. He promised me he would come over this morning when he wakes up and maybe he'll humor me by letting me hold him and drink in all that he is for awhile. I think I deserve that much.

20 comments:

Lin said...

Thank God your son was okay. As I read down your post, my eyes misted so much I could barely read. So glad you're story had a happy ending. xx

ally said...

hugs to you hun, glad that he is ok. there was me thinking it gets easier when they get older.
i love the photo of the pasta, i love the colouring on it.

Sarah (AKA monroegirl) said...

Oh {hugs}, I hope you are beginning to feel better now, how terrible that you had to go through that ordeal last night. At least he is safe and sound. My eyes were misting too as I read your post.

The photo is greast, I didn't think of pasta!!

Terry said...

Love the pasta picture. I had tears coming down my cheeks, I am so glad your son is ok. Try to relax today & enjoy your family.

Aubrey Harns said...

Oh my gosh Ruth. I'm crying. I'm so happy he's ok. So sorry you had to go through that - him too, how scary. I'm so grateful for the blessing of your returned son. Hug him tight.
Aubrey
P.S. Great shot - 'specially with no light!

SuzyB said...

Oh Ruth, I read to the end with tears in my eyes, so pleased of a happy outcome ((((((hugs))))) xxx

Joy said...

Oh my goodness...I am almost in tears just reading this. I am so glad he is safe and back in your arms!

Buttercup said...

What a horrible thing to have to go through Ruth. I also cried as I read about last night. I am thanking God that it had a good outcome. I am sure you are feeling very grateful today. What a great mother you are. Loving and giving and able to let your kids know how much they mean to you. Your the best Ruth, and I love you so. xoxo

Jane said...

Oh Ruth, I am so glad Jeff is OK :o) And I think your photo is great, spaghetti, never thought of that!

Bobs said...

Love your pic, but I'm SOOOO relieved that your son is ok! Oh my word - we never stop worrying about them, do we? {{hugs}} for you, hun. xx

Moreen (aka Armenime) said...

Hope you are getting over the ordeal of last night, I can,t even begin to imagine how dreadful it was for you.
Thank God he is safe.
Great idea the spagetti.

Chris said...

Oh what a horrible scare... and a parents' worst nightmare. My heart goes out to you. I am so happy for you all that your son is alive and well and you can hug him to you hearts delight.

p.s. great photo and fab idea :)

Fiona (aka Erisindevon) said...

Oh! What an awful awful time you had :( So glad your son is safe and well.

Ann said...

Oh my what a traumatic time to have endured, so good to know it ended well, I was almost dreading reading on xx

Love your pasta shot, a great idea!

Marlou said...

ruthy!
im awful sorry you had to go through that, im sorry i didnt know about it earlier when we were on messenger.
just glad all is well. big hugs
kirsty x

Eleanor said...

Oh my dear what a terrible, dreadful thing to experience. My heart was breaking for you. A time you will never forget, which will be a ghastly part of family memories; but the joy you felt at Jeff's return will over-ride the desperate part and strengthen your already close family even more I am sure.
Bless you all.
E
xx

ettey said...

Thanks God he's ok!!! (((hugs))) to ya!

Asian Butterfly said...

Hugs to you Ruth. So sorry you had to go through that ordeal. Thank God he was found and unharmed. Your story brought tears to my eyes. Still a great pic. Big hugs to you again.

Rachael said...

Glad I'm not the only one with tears in my eyes. So glad he's ok. I think you can be forgiven for the photo (even though there is nothing to forgive).. I'm surprised you mangaged to take one at all!
x

Anonymous said...

Oh, Ruth - thank God he is OK! I can only imagine how you must have felt while waiting for news. Give him a big hug from me, too, please. (Sorry I didn't comment earlier - have been out of town for several days.)

Sue