"It's been one week since Mom went missing."This sentence drew me in. I would be frantic if my own mother had been missing a whole day, much less a week. As a matter of fact, we WERE frantic when Mother "went missing" in the mid-1990s. I was many hours from home when my sister decided Mom, who lived with me, didn't really have Alzheimer's and was "just being ornery." She had kept mother for over a month while I was fulfilling my residency requirements that summer at the Drew Theological School in Madison, New Jersey. I would be arriving home on Sunday evening, after stopping along the way to visit my seminary friend Nancy in Pennsylvania.
On Saturday evening, however, I found out that Mother was home alone. I made several phone calls, trying to take care of her long distance. On Sunday morning, she didn't answer the phone. I didn't visit Nancy's church and hear her preach, but instead, set out for home, "flying low" on the Interstate, worrying about Mom. When I crossed from Pennsylvania into West Virginia, I pulled off the Interstate to grab lunch and to call home. That was before I had a cell phone, but there would have been huge gaps in coverage between cities, anyway. I was frantic about Mother and angry at my sister for not taking care of her for one more day. Where was she now? What had happened?
When I called home, my brother answered, saying Mother was missing. It didn't occur to me until I was back on the road and speeding south again to wonder how my brother had gotten into my house if Mother wasn't there to let him in. I learned later that he, also unable to reach Mother by phone, had driven across town ready to break into my house, if necessary. Instead, he found the front door unlocked. It turned out that he was one of about six people who had offered to take Mother to church with them, but she had gone with the ones who offered to take her to breakfast, since they showed up first, naturally. She had apparently forgotten about all the others.
One of my daughters had left her husband at home to tend to their children and was rushing to my house to help in the search, when it occurred to her that perhaps grandmother was at the church on Signal Mountain, where I was the pastor, even though it was not close to the house. My daughter called home and her husband found the phone number, diverting my daughter to that church where — yes! — Mother was found. Mom's plaintive question: "The police are looking for me? What have I done?"
People from several churches had joined in the search for Mom. My brother had gone door to door in my neighborhood, asking if anyone had seen her. She was not missing for a full day, but long enough for me to relate to the family in this book, searching for their Mom in Seoul, South Korea.
When I clicked the last button on Thursday evening to schedule this Book Beginnings to post itself at 5:20 a.m. on 5/20/11, I checked my email and discovered a missing mom on my neighborhood listserv:
My mom went missing this past Monday, 5/16/11 has not been seen or heard of since. A photo and description of her is attached. She was driving a silver Honda Accord. Please pass this on to anyone and everyone that you may, and help me spread the word.I can't figure out how to link to the PDF photo or insert it here, but this is the information on the flyer:
Thank you.Matt Williams
68 Years old 5’4”
Please contact East Ridge Police Department with
Last seen in 2002 Silver Honda Accord 4door EX
Tennessee license #NR4RR the vehicle has a large
antenna mounted on rear bumper===========================================================
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