I once stopped at a book store in Indianapolis on the way to see my daughter Becky. She ended up calling the police about her missing mother. It was so unlike me not to show up at the expected time, and my delayed time of arrival must have been hours. I had no cell phone and it was thoughtless of me not to ask the use of a phone at the store. When I arrived at her house, I popped open the trunk to show her the books I’d purchased for Christmas presents. She was less excited about the books than she was to see me, safely there.
Shopping in a Sears & Roebuck, I had my pre-school son Tommy beside me. All of a sudden he was not there. I searched among the racks of women’s clothes, and he did not answer when I called for him. How long he’d been missing, I could only guess. Before too long I heard on the loud speaker: “We have found a little boy who is missing his mother. Come to the home appliance department.” As I neared the area, I saw Tommy perched on top a washing machine as he licked on a lollypop. The salesman asked me for my son’s name. I said, “Tommy.” He answered, “That’s not what he told us.” “Okay,” I said, “what did he say?” His reply: “Hambone.” Smiling at Tommy and the salesman, I explained that name was given to him by his uncle who chose nicknames for each of our four children. They believed me, so I got to take Tommy home, but without purchasing anything.
It’s a terrible thing to be lost. Years ago I drove around Lexington, Kentucky, looking for the school where my son John would be performing with his college Tumbling Team before a high school assembly. I tried this street and that, driving around in circles, but I could not locate the school. Finally I stopped for directions at a service station. John probably didn’t notice I arrived late for the event, but it’s a wonderful thing to find what was there all along. This missing mom found her way.
One more: this time with Bill as he drove in Nashville, Tennessee. I listened on my cell phone to our son Bill, Jr. giving directions as we tried to find his house or at least the area or a street nearby. After seeing the same streets again and again, we finally asked if he should meet us at the next service station. Arriving there we learned we were close to the turn-off and attempted it once more. As we saw Bill on the front step of his house, we felt relief and turned into the driveway. Being lost is no fun; being found is worth the effort to get there.