Someone near and dear to me went missing. Someone who's instability and struggles were never hidden, but never cared for either.
When I got the call that she was missing, the first thing I felt was terror.
Then comfort in my denial.
Put this on repeat for days.
There's nothing more surreal than putting a Missing flyer up in bar bathroom while strangers offer sad looks and kind words. I couldn't even look at the flyer. I had to look around the edges. I couldn't read the Facebook post being shared around this half of the country. I couldn't read the prayers and well wishes. All I could do was go through the motions of my day.
Then someone called. They saw the Facebook post going around and recognized the picture as someone he met the night before. She wasn't in danger. She just wasn't home.
The first thing I felt was relief.
Then a relieved, frustrating and saddening anger.
And that's where I still am. She came home. She's safe. She's fine. But I still feel a void where she should be.
The healing process has already begun. I've never been more grateful for my husband and our Tiny Home. I'm back to working and cooking and cleaning and exercising. All the things I love. I feel happy and content in my life and gratitude that it offers me the opportunity to breathe and count my blessings. I'll need all the time I can get isolated from my family to recharge. Lord knows the family wide toll this has taken is going to be difficult to mend. But it will mend. Not only will it mend, but we now have an even deeper appreciation and love for each other.
Love and appreciation aside, I never want to experience that again.