Our family had a stomach-churning experience while on vacation. This is quoted almost verbatim from my journal. As a family we were ready to go to Grice Bay and Schooner Cove for a couple of hours. We were all in the car except Phil who opened the sliding door and said he couldn’t find the case for his glasses and Clark had called him a name (actually he had said that Phil went to gooney school ) and with that he slammed the door and took off down the long driveway. We continued to look at the map and firm up our plans on where we were going. We drove out to the street in front of the house—no Phil. We started to drive around looking for him. Clark was now feeling very remorseful. We drove out a mile in both directions, walked on the beach and around the house, and then after 1 ½ hours we decided to call the police since we were in a new place with lots of trees and vegetation. We called and gave them a very good description of him and what he was wearing (his uniform consists of shorts, a polo shirt and a baseball cap). Within a very short time two police cars arrived at the house. We explained a little more about his personality and then we all got in cars to look. Now it had been two hours. My stomach was upset and the world looked bleak. It was raining and I wished that I could make the trees and bushes disappear so I could see where my son was. I imagined the worse—that someone had harmed him or that he had become so disoriented because of the unfamiliarity and the dense vegetation. We headed down a street and saw one of the police cars by a public access entrance to the beach and then the cell phone rang. “We’ve found him.” I listened for the unspoken, the tone of her voice. She told us her partner, the one on the beach, was looking at a group of people when Phil walked up behind him. The policeman turned, saw him and asked if he was Phil. They had just gotten in the police car when we arrived. I could feel the fear and worry drain out of me, replaced by feelings of joy and peace. “Where have you been?” “I don’t know.” He never does. We thanked the police as did Phil. It was so wonderful to be back together as a family to do the simple, ordinary things of life--to eat dinner, to watch one episode of “Monk” and one of “Murder, She Wrote” (there was no TV at the house so we took our laptop and some DVDs we had checked out from the library before we left Seattle), to hear Phil laughing and noisy. So many prayers, both silent and vocal, had been said during the two hours that he was missing. Even a concerned stranger said she would pray. We were so grateful at the end of the day that all turned out well. I know that is not always the case.
The next day when we left to go to Schooner Cove we asked Phil where he’d gone and he actually showed us by pointing. He even showed us a rock he sat on and the path he took through brush to get to the beach. It was a couple of miles from the house. He was headed the right direction when he ran into the policeman and would have eventually made it home on his own. I am so grateful this experience had a happy ending.