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A Close Call

I had such a harrowing experience this evening that I hardly have the words to describe it.

Joe, Grace, and I had a terrific afternoon and evening at our friend's house. Joe and I chatted with a handful of our adult friends, and Grace frolicked with their kids.

We stayed a bit too long, and Grace was entering meltdown mode by the time we left. She was too tired; she'd had too much fun.

I had to run into the CVS store on the way home, and I asked Joe to come along to sit in the car with Grace. We'd met at our friend's house after work, so we had our separate cars.

The only trouble was that I didn't specify which CVS, and Joe and I ended up at different ones.

I took Grace into the store with me. As usual, we were chatting and having a good old time. We picked up the products that we needed and stood in line at the counter.

As the clerk scanned my two items, I looked through my purse for my wallet. I found it and looked up to see Grace going out the automatic door of the store – two steps behind the man that had been in front of us in line.

“Grace!” I called.

She didn't stop.

“GRACE!” I called again.

She still didn't stop.

The clerk told me how much the bill was, but I didn't hear him. I tossed my purse and wallet at him (sorry about that, Chad), and sprinted toward the door. A Close Call

“GRACE, STOP!” I screamed. I saw her again, still two steps behind the total stranger and within arm's reach of his car.

I felt like I was dreaming. Everything was happening so quickly, and Grace didn't seem to be hearing me at all.

“GRACE, STOP RIGHT NOW!” I screamed at the top of my lungs. My throat burned.

The man stopped and turned around to see what was going on. Grace saw his face and was instantly hysterical. She froze right in the middle of the parking lot, screaming and wailing, but not taking a step towards me or the man.

I ran to her, and I grabbed her up. I hugged her tightly, one hand around her body and the other around her head.

She wailed and began to hyperventilate.

I breathed. I think it was my first breath between seeing her walk out the door and picking her up.

I felt sick. We both cried. We stood there together for a minute, holding onto each other.

We went back into the store, paid the bill, gathered our things, and left.

In the car, I said a prayer. I thanked God that the man had no ill intentions. I thanked Him that I noticed right away and caught up in time and that Grace didn't get hit by a car or snatched up or – whatever.

I'm still feeling sick over what could have been.

Photo courtesy of e453753 on Flickr

© 2009 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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22 thoughts on “A Close Call”

  1. {hugs} I am so happy it all worked out OK.

    I remember a few times as a kid, thinking I was trailing my mom and then seeing a stranger. When you are really little it’s terrifying, when you get a bit older it’s just embarrassing, especially if you grab their shirttails or something.

    Kim
    .-= mommyknows´s last blog ..Save $55 on Kraft =-.

  2. We lost DS in Epcot at Disney World last year! I took older DS to buy a pen at a kiosk. DH had DD and DS in stroller. He parked the stroller around the corner, then walked to meet us. We had paid and turned around. I saw DH and DD coming toward us and said “Where’s Lucas?” I was thinking he was right behind them at the stroller yet and going slow. When DH looked around ahead of him with a surprised look, I freaked!! Not in a scary way because I couldn’t scare the other two kids.

    So, DH said the little one, who was 3, had been walking in front and probably didn’t stop. So he ran a little ahead to look for him. I stood still-frozen to the spot but holding hands with the other two, scanning the crowd for him. It was probably only 30 seconds until DH returned with the little one, but it felt like an hour!

    When he came back with him I held him close and didn’t want to let go. No tears, though, just a racing heart.

    I deserve a medal for not screaming at DH for losing him!!

  3. We lost DS in Epcot at Disney World last year! I took older DS to buy a pen at a kiosk. DH had DD and DS in stroller. He parked the stroller around the corner, then walked to meet us. We had paid and turned around. I saw DH and DD coming toward us and said “Where’s Lucas?” I was thinking he was right behind them at the stroller yet and going slow. When DH looked around ahead of him with a surprised look, I freaked!! Not in a scary way because I couldn’t scare the other two kids.

    So, DH said the little one, who was 3, had been walking in front and probably didn’t stop. So he ran a little ahead to look for him. I stood still-frozen to the spot but holding hands with the other two, scanning the crowd for him. It was probably only 30 seconds until DH returned with the little one, but it felt like an hour!

    When he came back with him I held him close and didn’t want to let go. No tears, though, just a racing heart.

    I deserve a medal for not screaming at DH for losing him!!

  4. {hugs} I am so happy it all worked out OK.

    I remember a few times as a kid, thinking I was trailing my mom and then seeing a stranger. When you are really little it’s terrifying, when you get a bit older it’s just embarrassing, especially if you grab their shirttails or something.

    Kim
    .-= mommyknows´s last blog ..Save $55 on Kraft =-.

  5. I remember when T was younger having moments like those where I couldn’t see him at the store or he was late coming home or various other times. Your heart just falls to the floor and everything is in slow motion. I’m glad Grace is OK 🙂
    .-= Robyns Online World´s last blog ..Aller-Ease Has Eased My Allergies! =-.

  6. I remember when T was younger having moments like those where I couldn’t see him at the store or he was late coming home or various other times. Your heart just falls to the floor and everything is in slow motion. I’m glad Grace is OK 🙂
    .-= Robyns Online World´s last blog ..Aller-Ease Has Eased My Allergies! =-.

  7. (new to your blog so reading back)
    That was awful to read, glad she ended up fine! My DS once went out the front because the door wasn't shut right, he's nearly 2, and I said to my DH, where's Oliver? Responce, I dunno….?
    I saw the door was open and started screaming and I ran out the door and he was halfway gone up the street. I saw him and screamed OLIVER STOP! And he for once listened and he sat down. Scared the life out of me.

  8. (new to your blog so reading back)
    That was awful to read, glad she ended up fine! My DS once went out the front because the door wasn't shut right, he's nearly 2, and I said to my DH, where's Oliver? Responce, I dunno….?
    I saw the door was open and started screaming and I ran out the door and he was halfway gone up the street. I saw him and screamed OLIVER STOP! And he for once listened and he sat down. Scared the life out of me.

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