Chances are at some point in your life you’ve experienced the panic that comes when a loved one is missing. Parents of young children almost always experience at least one incident of their child getting separated from them in the store or some other public place, whether accidentally or intentionally (i.e. your child plays hide and seek in the clothes racks). There’s nothing more heartbreaking than when a loved one isn’t where they are supposed to be.
I experienced this just last weekend when I drove to retrieve my daughter from an extracurricular activity and the entire parking lot was empty. My call to her phone went unanswered the first two times. I had told her not to go anywhere else so I couldn’t imagine where she had gone. It had only been about an hour and the parking lot was full of cars and people when I dropped her off. But now it was dark and not only was my daughter not where she should have been, she wasn’t answering her phone and there was no one in the parking lot for me to get any clue as to where she had gone.
Whether it’s for a few moments in a store or for a longer period of time, a missing loved one is serious and time is of the essence if you want a good outcome. With the rise in sex trafficking abductions and an increase in custody related parent abductions, a loved one missing even for a short period of time can be very stressful. For me, knowing my daughter typically wasn’t one to rebel and just take off, my immediate thought was something unusual had happened.