Sometimes something completely unrelated to your life will just punch you in the stomach, knocking all the wind out of you, and bringing old bruises to the surface.
(Um, and if you couldn't tell by that first line, lemme tell you now: if you're looking for sparkly kittens and sunshine, click yourself elsewhere. Or look at yesterday's post - shoes!)
So here's what the disappearance of Emily Hershenson - who I do not even know - did to me.
It dredged up all those feelings of my dad disappearing on us.
And I know she was found, and I presume she's OK. And her story is completely different from mine.
But triggers are triggers, and here's how this one went.
If you've ever been in the position of having someone you love walk out the door, without indicating that they will never come back, and then had them not return, or anyway, not of their own volition, and ultimately, not ever, you know what I mean.
I don't expect you to know what I mean. I don't even expect you to know what to say. Most people don't. And it's OK.
I'm pretty sure that even with immense amounts of therapy, that flame of panic lives somewhere deep inside you forever. And it only takes a small, familiar spark to set it alight.
I suppose these are the splinters and shards. I forget about them until I'm reminded with a sharp jab to an internal organ.
When Emily's friend emailed and asked for help spreading the word about her disappearance, I just couldn't stop thinking about her. And every time I thought about her and her husband, and her baby - the same age as my Jordan! - I would start to cry.
I can still feel the desperation of supplication, of begging God, of the ridiculousness of bartering with a higher power. I will do anything. Just please, please let this person I love be OK.
I know the feeling of calling the police - more than once, and apologizing for calling repeatedly, and yes, of course, you know they'll call you as soon as they hear anything, but you were just hoping...
I know the drill of calling the credit card companies, the cell phone company, looking desperately for clues on location.
Of calling the hospitals, one after another after another...
Of driving around because you can't bear to just sit around not feeling like you're being proactive...
Of calling and calling and wondering where else you could call, and finally, with a tremendous pit in your stomach, wondering if it's time to look up the number for the morgue.