Where do I start? It's been so long since I've posted on here on a regular basis. For those of you who know me, this won't be anything new to you. I guess I'll start with an event which happened in March. A life changing event. This seems to be the most logical place to start.
On Sunday, March 15th, I went out to breakfast with a dear friend of mine. Because of work schedules and family commitments, we're only able to get together once every couple of months. We can spend hours catching up on our lives ~ normal everyday boring stuff and life changing moments.
The big discussion of the morning was some lower than life scum on the internet and his unwanted attention. I had actually gotten advice from a couple of my customers (one FBI agent and one Forensic Specialist with the Sheriff Department) and they told me, after looking online at what he had posted about me, to go to the Sheriff Department and file a report with the economic fraud division. Apparently using photos or a blog someone has written without permission and misconstruing them is considered a digital crime. Hard to deal with, but a crime nonetheless. My two customers informed me the Sheriff Department would start a trace, call the RCMP and then begin the paperwork for a restraining order. Possibly even an order which would keep him from entering this country, if the allegations of him being a child molester were true. They also informed me I would have to make the deputy hear my story.
Okay, so being prepared for making someone "hear my story," I took all the print-outs of all the hate garbage he's put on the internet, personal information I had gathered and his photo into the Sheriff Department. I wish I could say it went well. The deputy had already made up his mind from the start and kept interrupting my story and wouldn't even look at the info. He wouldn't even take a report and I left upset at the treatment I received. I understand no threat of death was made against me, but I felt I still deserved to be heard and treated with respect.
The two customers I had asked for advice were irritated at the outcome and told me the next step to take. I decided to wait until I calmed down before acting further on it. So now we jump forward a week to March 15th. You know, the life changing event?
I left breakfast with my friend and called my brother to see if he would like me to bring him home lunch. Like I said, our breakfasts last hours because there is so much to catch up on. It was at this point I found out my Mom was missing.
It seems she was more confused than normal and decided she was going to walk to church at 7:30 a.m. She lives in a retirement/assisted living community and we had never had a problem with them before. It isn't a secure facility by any means, but the gentleman working that morning, in his infinite wisdom, left her walk out on her own.
He left her walk out even though he knew she went to church at their facility. He left her walk out after signing her out himself because she was too confused to sign herself out after he reminded her to do so. And then to top it all off, he waited two hours to call someone in the family.
By the time I arrived, she had already been gone for 3 1/2 hours. My family hadn't called me because they thought I was at work and didn't want to stress me out. When I arrived on the scene, I met up with my sister and her family. Everyone else in the family was out searching still.
My sister was close to hysterics. She kept telling me what they had done so far and asking me what to do now. How am I supposed to know what to do in this situation? I mean, okay, I love watching Without A Trace, Law and Order and Criminal Minds, but I'm an assistant manager in a bagel shop. I do not organize search parties in my free time. It was surreal.
I remember standing outside the facility and looking for the TV cameras. This doesn't happen to us. It only happens to other people on TV.
My sister is continuing to talk away ~ only she's talking faster now and her voice is taking on a higher pitch and she gasps every once in awhile. I'm trying to listen to what she's saying but its hard to focus. I'm still in complete shock here. But still she wants me to tell her what to do.
Meanwhile, Dad pops into my mind and that promise we all made on his deathbed. Somehow having Mom go missing does not fall under the category of taking care of her. Yep, Dad would be really pissed and disappointed with us right about now. And still my sister is asking, "What am I supposed to be doing now? You need to give me something to do!"
And then it just hits me.
You know how when your mind is being pulled in different directions? There's all this static and it's hard to concentrate. It's like there was all this noise and then it suddenly quieted down and I knew exactly what the next step should be.
"I'm going to call Tom!" I blurted out flipping open my cell phone.
"Well, what is he going to do?!?!" my sister exclaimed angrily.
I remember looking at her with confusion. Tom is my Forensic Specialist customer I mentioned above. If anyone knew what we should be doing, Tom would be a good bet. But she wouldn't know about my customer Tom. She was thinking about our brother who lives out of state Tom. So I told her about my Tom and she immediately cheered up.
Calling Tom provided to be the best thing I could have done. He calmed me down and helped me focus on the tasks at hand. This was no easy feat with my sister still talking to me in the background.
Within seconds he had located us on a map on the computer and started naming parks, churches and schools in the direct vicinity. He explained that four hours was more than enough time to walk into a surrounding city and how we should call the Anaheim Police to make sure she was entered in the National Registry. This would, in turn, send an alert to the surrounding cities to be on the lookout for her. I explained this to my sister and she quickly called the Anaheim Police Department.
Next, Tom suggested I head back to my house and visit the Sheriff Department. (I quickly flashed back to the previous week.) While talking with Tom, he was able to get information we hadn't even thought of mentioning before. For instance, my Mom still had my address on her California ID. She never wanted it changed and if someone looked at it, they would not find anyone at home. Also, since she had dementia, her short term memory is pretty much non-extistant. She wouldn't remember her Anaheim apartment but she would remember my house.
****to be continued****