30 minutes ago

30 minutes ago
I should have heard the familiar squeak of the swing
Even though I’ve told him a hundred times
To come inside and put away his backpack first

26 minutes ago
I wondered if the bus was running late
So I phoned a neighbor whose driveway
Is where his bus stops every day at 3:00

20 minutes ago
My husband drove through the neighborhood
Looking for the bus
Which was running late

18 minutes ago
The bus that was running late
Came to a stop at my neighbor’s driveway
But it was short one passenger

15 minutes ago
My husband was driving to the school
While I was on the phone with them
Asking if they’d seen him

10 minutes ago
I’m still on hold
While the woman on the phone
Does an “All Call” announcement
As I pray that he’ll answer

8 minutes ago
I’m wondering if the last words I told him
Were “I love you and I’ll see you soon”
And I’m praying that he’s safe

5 minutes ago
The woman comes back on the phone
And tells me he’s at the school
And he’s telling his dad
That he told me he had band practice today

1 minute ago
I broke down in tears
Because I realized
How much I take for granted
And I took my first real breath
In 30 minutes

(This post was inspired by true events of Thursday afternoon.)

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28 Responses to “30 minutes ago”

  1. Michael March 3, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

    That would make me sick to my stomach.

  2. Glynn March 3, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    Oh, man, we have all been in that exact same place. You feel the annoyance, then the anger, then the concern, then the terror. Glad it all turned out okay.

  3. Amy Sorrells March 3, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    This flattened me. IN the best and most convicting of ways. So glad he’s safe. Mama blessings to you.

  4. Sandra Heska King March 3, 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    Oh my word, Kathy. I was right there with you trying not to panic.

    Gracee got “lost” the first day of kindergarten. She did not get dropped off while her mom and I waited at the end of the drive. The driver never saw her. Me trying to keep Abby calm and near hysteria myself. Finally another driver dropped her at the bus garage. She had to ride the wrong bus the whole route. It was almost 5:30.

    And then one day I went to pick her up at school, and she was gone. Not there. Nowhere. I could not reach Abby, and I did not know whether to call the police or leave or what. Finally, Abby called, and I broke down in tears. She had picked her up. I knew that. But I didn’t.

    I hate those feelings. I’m still in panic for you.

  5. Mari Taylor March 3, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    I’m so glad he is safe. I’ve had that scare a couple of times with my girls. It is the most scary feeling ever. Wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Sending hugs and peace your way.

  6. Cassandra Frear March 3, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    What Sandra said. Yeah, that. Most awful feeling in the world. And imagine what it must be like for parents who have to live with the nightmare.

    Our Heavenly Father loves us more than we love our own. That moment when you would have given yourself away to have him back. That moment — That’s how it is. All the time.


  7. Maureen March 3, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

    I almost could not but then had to keep reading because I knew if you were writing this it had to have turned out ok. My heart was in my throat, though. So thankful he’s safe.

  8. Shelley March 3, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    Oh my word…I would have been freaking out majorly had I been in your position. I’m sooooo glad he is/was OK and that nothing had happened to him!

  9. Candy March 3, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    You broke down about 30 minutes after I would have. Have been through this routine dozens of times, and felt the familiar lump in my chest as I read this. I just wish it got easier. They become adults, and the worrying doesn’t stop. My prayer every night is that I will give that worry up. Saying prayers of gratitude for his safety tonight. Been there, all of these lines on my face tell how many times.

  10. seekingpastor March 3, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    Wow–I felt my blood pressure rising just reading your words. Glad it turned out ok.

  11. HisFireFly March 3, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    Praying you take more deep breaths allowing relief to flood over you.

  12. Janet Oberholtzer March 4, 2011 at 7:55 am #

    Hate experiences like this … I’ve had a few with my 3 boys.
    Glad it all worked out okay.

  13. Helen March 4, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    I’m glad he is okay. How are you doing?

    • katdish March 4, 2011 at 9:38 am #

      I’m okay now, thanks. But that was a very long half a hour.

  14. A Simple Country Girl March 4, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    Land sakes, girl, I nearly puked reading that. I’ve never liked images of lonely swing sets…


  15. Jason March 4, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    This is probably the best thing I’ve seen written by you (so far.) This is brilliant. Powerful. Heart-string tugging.

  16. Jake March 4, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    Kathy, I’m sorry. Glad everything’s alright, but that’s scarier than I could ever imagine….good job expressing how you felt.

  17. Robin Arnold March 4, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    Been there, done that. Just wait until he grows up and moves across the ocean and the news reports a shooting spree or an earthquake. It doesn’t get easier to breathe. At all.

    Nicely written in a lovely scary sort of poetical writerly way.

  18. Wendy March 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    I’ve been there before, too. It’s the worst kind of panic that goes through you. So glad he’s safe and you’re still breathing!

  19. Missy@WonderFriend March 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    Aaagh. This post. It’s amazing and so moving. I was about 3/4 of the way through and realized I’d stopped breathing.

    Such a moving reminder to remain present, be grateful, and show love.

  20. Galit Breen March 4, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    This was gorgeous. And scary. But gorgeous nonetheless. You had me hanging on every word. Excellent work!

  21. Megan Willome March 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

    Oh, Kathy! Been there. And you wondering what your last words were. That’s why I hate to fight on the way to school.

  22. JennInAustin March 4, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    Truly, truly beautiful. Thank you for writing this and (even better!) sharing it with all of us. You captured parenthood perfectly.

  23. Jeanne Damoff March 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    Gut wrenching. It’s all so fragile, this life. Hard (but good) to be reminded. We’re not in control, but our beloveds are always in God’s sight, and He is.

    Thankful with you.
    Love, Jeanne

  24. Hazel Moon March 5, 2011 at 2:06 am #

    You had me holding my breath too, (nice to be able to breath now.) Glad he is OK!!

  25. Louise March 5, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    it’s where the grey hair comes from – -those long half hours that feel like a lifetime of terror.

    So glad he’s safe and your heart has returned to its regular patter.


  26. Larry Hehn March 5, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    There’s nothing quite like the feeling of one of your children going missing, even for a relatively short amount of time. We’ve had it happen more than once, and it’s horrible. So glad to hear that all is well.

  27. Heather Sunseri March 6, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    OH, wow, Kathy!! That took my breath away! I’m so glad he was okay, but I’m sorry anytime a mother has to experience that. Not a good feeling!! Beautifully written!

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