Time is a funny thing. When we are bored out of our mind each minute acts as a century. When we are enjoying the moment, time ticks away faster than we take a second breath; the hours feel like milliseconds. When tragedy strikes time knows no rules. It’s as if the clock keeps ticking away with fear of unknowing but it also stands still with angst and despair. I never thought in a million years I would be part of a search party and yet here I am searching for a woman who I call Grandmother!
After 3 days of our beloved mother and grandmother missing we organize our best efforts to locate her. The day is new, the sun is shining, the conditions are almost perfect; today is the day we will find her. We each get assigned a territory to search in. So many volunteers show up we have 2-4 people searching in 1 of the 50 zones! We are sure to find her with this amount of coverage!
We are off and ready to weave through every street in our zones. After an hour of searching there is no sign but we have a whole day yet and the sun is still beaming; today is the day we will find my grandmother. We enter into hour 2 and down a narrow road.
“What’s that to the right?” My fiancé exclaimed looking to the right side of the vehicle.
“It looks my grandmother’s car!” I replied, looking out the right side window.
We drive up a strangers gravel driveway to see if the spotted green vehicle is hers. It was noted the wheels did not look the same but we still hold on to hope. We approach the car and discover it is not a 1998 Ford Contour. We back out of the driveway and continue the search.
The day begins to pass by and every 10 foot of coverage gets less and less promising. After 4 hours of searching we are notified that we have air help! Hope is coming back. With airplanes looking down to help us search we are sure to find her today. After clearing our zones I contact my uncle and offer to do more. We are assigned another zone and head out. With air support and our volunteers we are sure to find her today.
Eight hours, 4 zones and 3 bathroom breaks later still no sign of my grandmother. It’s time to be with family. We drive down route 20 to my mother’s house as we begin to recap our day. When I enter my mother’s house I am greeted with a large endless loving hug.
Sadly, we did not bring her home that day. Five days since she was last seen and still no news. As each minute ticks the hope of her being alive fades, time continues to tick on. I don’t wish this on anyone. In most situations an elderly family member gets ill and it is only a matter of time before they are called home. I didn’t even get to say goodbye. A week ago we were all together as a family for Easter and now we are together praying and trying to embrace what is to come. It’s not fair. Not knowing where she is, how she is doing or if she is even alive. She has a deep fear of being lost and alone. We want her home.
It feels like each minute that passes is another moment lost with my grandmother. In that same minute I am filled with agony and patiently wait for my phone to light up in hopes it is news. Sadly, it is just another email update. I wish that time was more fair. But that is the funny thing about time, it knows no rules.
May 7, 2018 at 1:37 a video of a 1998 Ford Contour being pulled out of a pond at Owens Community College is posted on social media. A sorority sister shared the post with me privately on Facebook Messenger. In total utter shock the pit of my stomach says this is my grandmother. My mother confirmed this video footage shared on social media, before the family was notified of the identity of the woman, is in fact my grandmother. The search was over and the mourning could finally begin its process.
I share this story because I want anyone out there who has or is currently going through a missing loved one that you are not alone in your agony. Abruptly losing a loved one is not only devastating but questions everything you have done leading up to that. I would spend hours revisiting all my interactions with my grandmother which only lead to criticism like “I should have called her more,” “I should have visited more often,” “I should have made time.” TIME is the most precious thing! It is the only thing we spend that we can never earn more of or get back.
Use your time wisely! Doing what it takes to make your dreams come true is something social influencers preach about but they forget to share what living a balanced lifestyle is like. Your dreams are not worth the expense of time with those you love. Sure you could spend 2 hours working on a new video but why not just work on it for 1 ½ hours and call home for 30 minutes? Your life is only as fulfilling as you make it. No amount of money, success or power will fill you like the love and support you get from friends and family. You never know when the next moment will be so enjoy it while it’s here.
Time has no empathy. It is our only equalizer and the most just currency. It’s not man made, it is not corrupt and holds no favoritism. How will you spend your time today?