Monday, June 17, 2013

Everlasting Gratitude

Yesterday was “Father’s day” …but my mind was my son, Michael.  He was there!!! He was full of fun and laughter!  He gave the party. I shared lunch with His beautiful wife and grown children and I am so grateful! The Lord saved me from more grief that I can imagine and gave me joy and gratitude in its place.
It was a nice, sunny day when we almost lost Michael.  We had been given tickets to the World’s Fair.  We enjoyed the “It’s a Small World After All” ride, ate hot dogs, and then stood in a huge line waiting to get into another show or ride. 
I don’t remember what we were anticipating because what happened next is glued to my memory forever. 

I was holding baby Matthew. Patti and Gail stood in front of their father, Rol. Michael was standing by my right elbow at the edge of the six or seven deep line. Suddenly, Michael wasn’t there.  He had been jerked out of the crowd by a stranger, tossed over that persons shoulder and they were disappearing back down the path to my right. The crowd simply closed in as if nothing had happened.  

I shoved the baby into Patti’s young arms, fought my way to the edge of the crowd, and began to run. There was no time for explanations or decisions.

I could hear Michael crying and his voice drove me to run faster than I had ever run.  The path split, his voice came from the left, and I rounded that bend. I was gaining . I could see the figure carrying Michael on its shoulder.  Michael put out his hands towards me and and I ran even faster. Suddenly the figure threw Michael on the ground and raced on.

I dove for my son, crying, trying to catch my breath and hugging Michael close to my heart.  Rol arrived quickly considering that he had to fight his way out of the closing crowd, carrying the baby and dragging two very young girls along with him.

The person was gone. In some ways I felt relief. I had run faster than I could have imagined. I was grateful to the Lord for giving me the strength. But I wondered, and have always wondered; if I should have left Michael by the side of the path and caught the kidnapper.  What could I..would I.. have done?  I have always felt guilt that I wasn’t that wise or that strong. We never found anyone to report the incident to and I watched the newspapers for weeks wondering if there had been another kidnapping.  Gratefully, there were none