The words of the title were the words I was saying to God as I desperately pleaded for Kalisha's safe return. I realize she is going to be 30 years old and wants to live on her own, but if she were living in an apartment and disappeared for a while, I wouldn't be aware of it and therefore; ignorance is bliss.
Several years ago, Kalisha found herself in a horrible situation (there is a chapter in the book about that time so I won't expound on it here) and I did not know where she was for many days. It is a horrible feeling. If you have ever been in Wal-Mart or some other big store and suddenly realized you didn't know where your toddler or young child was, you can identify with the feeling.
Kalisha is very good about letting me know where, when, how long, etc. and she also always has her phone with her, so if I don't see her when I think she should be home, I call and she explains. I am perfectly okay with that. I don't expect to know what she is doing every SECOND of the day. She needs some freedom and I don't want to be that controlling.
This is what happened last Friday. Kalisha went to cooking class with her staff person as she does every Friday. While they were at the grocery with the other girls, she wanted to buy a $2 Disney bag. (She is the Bag Queen) The rule of cooking class is this: You are not allowed to purchase any items that are not intended for the lunch that is being prepared that day. She knows the rules, but argued with her staff about this danged bag. They couldn't talk her out of it even though she knew what the consequences would be when she got home. That 'thinking in the present, not the future' always bites her in the behind.
By the time she got home, she was ready to return the bag. Unfortunately, that didn't erase the consequences. She handed over her phone and computer for 24 hours with very little complaint.
She asked if she could walk to the Kroger store just 4 blocks from our house and return the bag and pick up her prescription. She had purchased the bag at a Kroger much further away, but I assured her she could return it at any Kroger with the receipt. I also gave her a check of mine to deposit at the bank right next to Kroger. This trip should have taken no longer than 30 minutes, even if she dawdled a bit.
After 90 minutes, I was getting anxious. It was getting dark and I couldn't call her because I took her phone, remember? I wasn't in full panic mode yet but getting there.
I called Kroger pharmacy and was told she had not picked up the prescription yet. Then I called my bank (they all know Kalisha) and was told she had not made the deposit, either. Okay, now I was in a panic. It is amazing how dependent we are on cell phones. I was having all kinds of scenarios going through my head; none of them were good.
I knew she wouldn't willingly get in a car with someone she didn't know, but she does know some weird people too and might be talked into getting in with them. I was dialing the police (I am her legal guardian and they have to try to find her regardless of her age) when the phone rang. It was a bank employee. She said the sweetest words I have heard in a long time, "Kalisha just walked in our front door."
She handed Kalisha the phone. I asked very calmly, "Where have you been?"
She said, "Well, I decided to return the bag to the store where I bought it and so I had to change busses twice. I couldn't call you; I don't have my phone."
She walked in the front door 10 minutes later with my deposit slip and her prescriptions. "I'm sorry you were worried, Mom. I didn't think it would take that long."
I'm still thanking God daily that she returned safely and there is an addendum to the consequences agreement: If you lose your phone and computer, you also lose your bus pass.
My hair is nearly all gray now, so I don't know what stress causes after graying; maybe it all falls out. Oh, yippee.