I don't think I'll ever forget it- December 14, 2010.
Worst night of my life.
There are certain things that a girl knows about her husband, whether anyone believes her or not. What I know about Matt is that a) he doesn't go out to bars after work (or any day for that matter) and b) he has no intention of bailing on this family.
So when 8:30pm rolled around and Matt still wasn't home, I knew something was really wrong. I actually started worrying much sooner than that because he is always home by 6:30 unless he calls to tell me he's going to be working late.
I called him to yell at him at 7:15: "Hello! I made dinner. Don't you think you could have told me you'd be late??" No answer. Oh well, I guess I'm eating solo. He can have cold salmon when he gets home, I thought to myself.
At 7:30, I started wondering... By 8, I had called him 4 or 5 times, texted him and emailed him with no response.
It was a horrible feeling- knowing that something was really wrong, but knowing that everyone was just going to reassure me that he was out Christmas shopping or something.
Matt doesn't go Christmas shopping. Matt doesn't go on after work adventures. He longs to be home relaxing on the couch before getting up at 5:45 am the next morning.
The minutes turned into lifetimes. I called every hospital in the 15 mile radius by 9pm and also got confirmation that there were no serious car accidents in DC or Montgomery County, MD.
What could be happening? My mind started wandering to that place you never want it to go. I had visions of Niall waking up tomorrow, exclaiming his usual "Da!" first thing in the morning... only for me to tell him daddy wasn't here anymore. Not that he would really understand. It was me who would have to do the coping, letting it all sink in, and attempting to live.
We filed a missing persons report at 10pm, when my stomach really started turning into knots. Questions like "Could he be suicidal?" and "Check your bank account to see if he took money and left you" were fired at me.
I knew this wasn't the case, but would they really believe me? I felt like I was in one of those movies where the wife pleads "No, he's not like that!", but the detectives know that she's completely in the dark about who her husband really is.
My confidence about who Matt really is never waivered. But my confidence that he was still alive was dwindling. Was he stabbed, mugged, murdered? You just never know in DC. Would we ever find him?
This couldn't be happening. It was too surreal. I just wanted to touch his face, hug him, talk to him a little longer when he called me at lunch earlier. You just never know when it will be the last time you see someone.
Just as the detective (who was amazing, by the way) was wrapping up the paperwork and gave me those dreaded final words: "Call us again in the morning..." The morning? I wouldn't survive until the morning! I looked at the clock and saw that it was only 11:30. What am I supposed to do for the next 8, 12, 16, 378 hours?
Being helpless is absolute agony. I kept trying to talk to him in my head: "Help me find you," "Where would you be right now?" I just thought he was in some ditch in the woods or something and I was the only one who could find him. What if nobody could get to him? What if he is freezing to death?
When that little miracle came...
The detective said "Oh, ok, great work."
As she sighed, I knew that this story would have some kind of an ending- either a good one or a bad one. I knew there was a chance that I wouldn't necessarily want to know what had happened to him. What I had been longing for was also what I had been dreading.
But it was good news.
He was in jail!
Who would have thought that I would be so happy about such a thing?
I started laughing and crying and hugging everyone. The detective probably thought we were highly dysfunctional and crazy. Maybe she's right.
I knew he couldn't have done anything bad; it was one of those weird misunderstanding arrests.
And sure enough, it was. Some ticket that we had actually paid, but somehow it didn't get processed. So, his license was suspended without him knowing it.
Lovely that they couldn't let him make a 10 second phone call to his worried sick wife and baby until after 6 hours of being incarcerated. Even then, he only had about 10 seconds to talk to me- and they were thinking about holding him overnight. Ridiculous.
I am actually writing this at 2 am because I can't sleep and he's still not home. My father in law is waiting to get him the heck out of there. But it's going to be a while. He has to get fingerprints, mug shots, all that great stuff. Seriously?
All I know is that I'm going to tackle him when he walks through this door. I'll never be so happy or so aware of the blessings in my life; how much there is to be grateful for, and how truly insignificant all the other little so-called problems in my life really are. Life IS good :)
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!
PS. I'm going to sleep for 3 days now, so you probably won't hear from me for a while :)
PPS. I think I lost 12 years off my life tonight
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