Like the title asks: have you?
Read the following. I'm considering running this column I wrote in like, 15 minutes, in this week's edition of the paper.
Fear is a natural part of life.
Fear keeps us from doing the occasional stupid thing and generally halts most people’s desire to extend themselves beyond their limits.
But there’s also those fears that everyone has. Your worst fear. Spiders, snakes, heights, close in spaces, etc. The list is endless and as many individuals state, some of those fears are irrational and so far from the realm of happening, they’re not worth thinking about.
And I wonder, how many people have come face-to-face with their biggest fear?
One of the worst for me is something happening to a loved one, and my not being able to do a thing to help or prevent the mishap. In that same vein and a little more to the point, one of my worst fears is something untoward happening to my girlfriend.
She’s not by any means someone to trifle with. A very competent and strong woman, I rarely give a second thought to someone actually being able to harm her.
But that doesn’t stop the nightmare from coming every once in a while. I’ve always been a tad paranoid that someday, some unsavoury individual is going to kidnap her or harm her in some other way that I was unable to stop.
I experienced that nightmare Friday afternoon. Almost.
My significant other was very ill Friday morning and asked if she could stay at my place while I was at work. No problem for me, I enjoy taking care of her when she’s sick.
I found myself attending the morning session of provincial court in Abbotsford Friday morning and upon my return to the office around 12:30 p.m., I put a call in to my home.
No one answered. Not very unusual as she can sleep through the phone ringing especially when ill.
But three and a half hours later, I began to feel a bit worried. I went home and she wasn’t there. Her wallet and belongings were still right by the door where she’d dropped them on the way in, but her shoes and keys were gone and the door was locked when I arrived.
Thinking she’d perhaps walked home (a short 10 minute walk), I went to her basement suite.
No one there. I phoned her cell phone. No answer.
Now I started panicking. All those nightmares I’d had for years began flowing. She’s been taken. She’s being hurt. I can’t find her. I can’t help. I couldn’t think. The adrenaline was pounding through my body. I could barely breathe.
After speaking with a police officer friend of mine and following his suggestions, I started making phone calls to likely spots: hospital, etc.
The hospital said she had been in emergency, but was discharged.
No one knew where she was.
This went on for an hour and a half. The absolute worst 90 minutes of my life. Every horrible scenario I could imagine flew across the theatre of my mind.
But finally, she phoned.
She was in MSA hospital. Her stomach pain required surgery that night.
Immediately, my heart rate went back down to normal when I heard that it was a routine surgery. I was myself again. I could think. The adrenaline stopped running. I could breathe.
I have covered missing children stories before in other communities and could sense the sense of helplessness, frustration and outright frantic panic simmering just below the surface of parents’ faces.
Not to minimize my affections for my girlfriend, but I don’t know what would happen if I had a child and they went missing. It must feel a thousand times worse; a thousand times more intense. I don’t think I could function; I’d probably hyperventilate and pass out.
If this kind of intense emotion is what parenthood is all about, I think I’ll hold for a bit yet.