My husband is no good at hiding things from me. That, "I need to take this phone call in the other room explanation." I didn't buy it. Something was wrong. Something was very wrong. He kept saying, "Are you sure, are you sure?"
I would not be put off. "What is it?" I demanded. The explanation was the worst thing any mother or grandmother could imagine being told. It had been our daughter on the phone, our grandson was missing.
She had gone to work leaving her husband to get Dillon up and ready for the sitter. Morning as usual, but when he went to Dillon's room, Dillon was gone. Dillon was only four.
It was a small house so it didn't take long to search. No Dillon. No Dillon in the yard. No Dillon at the neighbors or anywhere on the block. The police were called and our daughter immediately left work. We were on our way as well.
She called me on my cell phone when she reached her house. I could hear the terror in her voice and the sirens in the background. I did my best to remain calm for her, it was all I had to offer. Every missing child story with a bad outcome was racing through my mind. The plaintive "Mom" she kept crying, made me feel so completely helpless.
The police had searched the neighborhood. They were calling in divers to drag the river. Did I mention they lived just above the river? Believe me, it was in the back of all our minds even if it remained unspoken. To hear it out loud from the police was terrifying for us all.
One of the officers arriving had gone to high school with my son-in-law. Even though the police had searched the house he wanted to search one more time before the divers went into the river. When he entered my daughter's bedroom a small foot was sticking out from under the bed.
My daughter and son-in-law were removed from the house. The officer wasn't sure if Dillon was alive and he didn't want the parents there not knowing what he was about to discover. And of course, if Dillon was dead and it was foul play, the parents could be considered suspects. He was doing his job.
The officer crawled under the bed. Sticking out from a closed suitcase was a child's foot. The officer pulled on the leg and it moved. Inside the suitcase was Dillon. He dragged the suitcase out from under the bed. Dillon emerged rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
He had wanted to spend the night with Mom and Dad, but his parents were discouraging the habit. He was a big boy, he had his own room and a big boy bed. Still, he wanted to be with Mom and Dad. So he crept into their bedroom during the night and crawled into an empty suitcase under the bed. They had no idea. Once asleep, Dillon was then and is now, very difficult to wake. He hadn't heard people calling his name. He hadn't heard the sirens. He didn't even wake when the officer pulled his foot.
By the time I arrived, like "balloon boy," we had a happy ending; but then you never know do you?