Monday, August 2, 2004

A Mother's Tale

A Mother's Tale
You might not understand this story unless you are a parent.

Last week my daughter, Debra traveled to San Diego for work. She called me the day before her trip and told she was flying to SD and then driving up to Los Angeles and then flying home. I wasn't sure about all the dates, she just called so I'd know she might not be online or available by phone. She didn't want me to worry. She knows I'm a worrier.

Friday, on the way home from work, I thought of something I wanted to tell Deb so I called her. I was surprised when a man answered the phone and said "how you'd like to wake up to that every day?" I thought I must have the wrong number but I had used the speed dial. I looked at the screen on the phone and it said "connected - Debra cell." I spoke into the phone, "hello.. hello?" I heard a response, "I can hardly hear you." So I hung up and tried again. The phone went immediately to Deb's voice mail. I redialed. Voicemail. Again. Voicemail.

At that point, I started to worry. And the crazy mother that lives in my head started coming up with possible scenarios. Perhaps Debra had lost her cell phone. But if she'd lost the phone, she'd probably call the phone company and have the phone disabled. Or she would have called me and told me the phone was missing. Unless she didn't know yet it was missing. Maybe that was it. But maybe it was worse than that. Maybe someone had abducted her on her trip from San Diego and now she was captive. I wasn't sure why her captor would answer the phone but obviously he had realized his mistake and had disabled the phone. After several attempts to call and only getting voicemail I left a message telling Debra that some man had answered her phone and I was worried so she should call me as soon as possible. Then there was nothing I could do but go home and wait. I realized I don't have her boyfriend's phone number but I did log on the computer hoping he was online. AIM indicated he'd been idle for 30 minutes. So I waited and worried and tried to decide just when I should phone the police and tell them my daughter had been abducted....

Finally after about a hour (20 hours in Mom time) Debra called. She'd been on a plane the entire time I'd been calling her. No one knows who the mystery man was. I had used speed dial to call and there were no other numbers in my phone log so I suppose the wires just got crossed. For now the hysterical mother that lives just below the surface of my normally rational being has gone back into hiding. But she'll be back. I'm sure of that. And if you're a parent you understand perfectly.

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