Come on Erin, What REALLY Happened With The Silver Alert?

Last night at work I had a friend ask me, “What REALLY happened with the Silver Alert?” (Thank you Michele for inspiring me to finally write about this)

At the time my son, Marc, was missing, my ex-husband was calling me and telling me not to post about our son, Marc, on my Facebook or my blog. After twenty years of being told what I should and could, or could not do, I cowered and complied.

I am not proud that he still has the ability to shut me down.

After the fact, I ended up writing a post on my blog about Marc being missing and how I wanted to lose weight. Probably the worst post I have ever written… nonetheless, I was in a bad head-space and I posted it anyway, not wanting to reveal any details as my ex-husband had instructed.

Marc loves his dad and is very protective of him. No matter what John and I do for Marc, we will never be able to give enough for Marc to accept John and I as a couple.

Fifteen is a tough age. I remember it all too well. I remember feeling that I was as big in stature as most adults… and also feeling that I knew it all and could do anything that adults do.

This combination leads to some pretty bad decision-making on the part of a fifteen year old.

I know it all too well, yet as a parent it doesn’t make it any easier.

Prior to the actual Silver Alert, Marc was making comments for weeks about going to live in New York.

I called my ex-husband.

“Marc is saying that he’s moving to New York.” I stated.

“Don’t worry about it Erin,” He replied, “Marc has no money to get there. He’s just talking. Let it go.”

And, I did.

Until Marc came in my room to borrow my computer and check the train schedule.

I sent a text to his father, who replied, “Don’t worry. He’s just talking shit.”

I knew that Marc didn’t have the money to leave the state, so I just chalked it up as an attempt to get under my skin and I let it go, as my ex had instructed.

I returned from work on a Friday night and Marc was gone. I questioned his brothers who told me that Marc was in New York with his friend Angel who lived in the Bronx.

I was surprised but comforted that they knew where Marc was.

Angel is my Landlord’s nephew. I knew that Marc was safe and I was ready to ride out the latest chapter in parenting a teen who was irreversibly affected by both domestic violence and divorce.

I worked a double on Saturday, feeling a bit out of sorts. I checked with Rocky and Kevin who both told me that Marc would be home on Sunday night and at school Monday morning.

Saturday night I awoke from a deep sleep in the middle of the night. I walked into Marc’s room. I had no idea why I did, but I have become in tune with my sixth sense.

The room was dark and empty. I glanced at the entertainment center and confirmed the reason that I had gotten up in the first place… both his T.V. and PlayStation were gone.

“John!” I yelled, “Marc hocked his T.V. and PlayStation. They’re gone. He’s not coming home.”

I was petrified and full of fear.

I began to cry.

That turned out to be a long night of tears, worry and no sleep.

On Sunday, Marc texted me saying that he was hungry and wanted some food.

“Where are you Marc?” I texted in reply.

“In the Bronx with Angel.” Marc replied, “Can you send me some pizza?”

Part of me felt like not enabling him and letting he deal with the decisions he made. The mother in me couldn’t stand the thought of eating without knowing that my child had been fed.

“Call me.” I texted, “I need the address where you are so I can send the pizza.

My cell phone rang.

“Mom, I’m almost out of minutes. Here’s the address. Please send me something to eat. I’m starving.”

I dialed the number Marc had given to me and placed an order for wings, two pizzas, cinnamon sticks and a bottle of soda, as I listed off what I thought to be the delivery address.

The woman at Domino’s Pizza put me on hold for a ridiculous amount of time.

Finally she returned to the phone.

“Ma’am, the address that you gave me is our address.” She stated, “”Do you still want me to go through with the order?”
“Yes,” I replied. “My son will come and pick it up. I said realizing that Marc must be in walking distance of this Dominos.

“I ordered the food,” I texted Marc when his order had been placed.

“Thank you, Mom. I’m not coming back home.” He said, “I’m almost out of cell phone minutes and I’m going to live with a friend in Manhattan who used to go to my school. His family owns a restaurant and I’m going to wait tables.”

“Marc, you’re fifteen. What do you know about waiting tables?” I yelled, “You have school tomorrow!”

Marc hung up.

Talk about stress.

I should have never listened to my ex… if this kid runs out of phone minutes, I’ve lost him.

“Okay, we’re going to the police station now!” I yelled, as John hurriedly got his shoes on and grabbed his car keys.

Kevin flew into the room.

“Mom, my girlfriend Anna is on the way here to meet the family for the first time! Please don’t involve the police! We have to pick her up at the train station in forty-five minutes… how long is this going to take at the police station?” He pleaded.

“Kevin, your brother is missing! Anna is just going to have to get used to our crazy lives. I have to go, I’m worried about Marc.” I said, as I rushed out  of the front door.

Once at the police station, I realized that I had to pee.

“I’m going to the bathroom.” I told John.

“Okay.” He said, sitting in a chair in the waiting room, settling in for the long haul.

When I returned a few minutes later, another person was at the window, stating their complaint.

“Seriously John, we are supposed to meet Kevin’s girlfriend for the first time. Couldn’t you have taken the next spot in line while I had to pee?” I asked in desperation.

“I didn’t know what you wanted me to do.” John replied.

I sighed and took a seat in a hard chair in front of the vending machines.

The person next up at the window, (Not us of course) rattled off his name, date of birth and street address for all to hear, as we sat in the lobby.

“Did he just say that he lives on the same street as we do?” I whispered to John.

“Yes.” John whispered in reply.

What are the odds, I mumbled.

“I don’t know why you couldn’t have taken the next place in line while I was in the bathroom.” I said, annoyed and as stressed as I could possibly be, “We have to pick Anna up from the train station in less than forty-five minutes and I’m sick to my stomach about Marc.”

The guy on the same street as us began to file his complaint.

“I believe that someone shot a beebee gun at the siding on my house. There is a dent to prove it.” He said, as if it was the most important crime of the century.

It took all of the strength that I could muster not to yell, “MY CHILD IS MISSING AND ALMOST OUT OF PHONE MINUTES! IF I DON’T ACT FAST I CAN LOSE HIM FOREVER!”

But I sat quietly, rolling my eyes.

Finally it was our turn at the window.

I had the chance to vent and tell my story about my missing fifteen year old son and my emotions began to get the better of me.

The officer told me to please take a seat, and I complied.

I was worried for Marc.

I felt bad that I was ruining Kevin’s girlfriend’s first visit.

I was afraid and I wanted someone, anyone, to tell what to do.

Behind closed doors, I heard the officers talking about who was going to take what case.

I held my head in my hands, tapping my foot as I waited for my name to be called.

“Mrs. Reed.” The officer said as he lead us to a private room.

“So was it a toss-up between who took the dented siding and who took the missing child case?” I asked in jest.

“Actually, it was.” The officer laughed.

“Well I think that you might have drawn the short straw.” I said, as I began to fill him in on all of the details.

Before long, both my strength and my sense of humor began to fall by the wayside as I was overcome with fear and concern.

After I answered all of the questions, I sat and cried.

My fifteen year old son was in a bad section of the Bronx and he was telling me that he wasn’t coming home. He was almost out of phone minutes and I had no idea what I would do if I lost all contact with him.

“Where did you send the pizza?” The officer asked.

I gave him the address of Domino’s Pizza which I knew was in walking distance of where my son was.

“At this point, we have to file a Silver Alert.” He replied, “He’s only fifteen years old.”

“A Silver Alert?” I asked, “Can I call my eighty-two year old mother before she sees it on TV?”

“You can.” He replied, “And you probably should. It’s just procedure, but the alert will be on television, radio and social media, nationwide.”

I called my mother and broke the news.

My mother was so distressed.

And just for the record, that conversation alone broke my heart.

The police contacted my son on the few minutes that he had left on his cell phone and made sure that he was on the next train and on his way home.

My ex-husband retrieved Marc from the train station and the police met them at my house.

Marc was home and safe…

Angry about the police involvement.

Angry with me.

But home (thank God) nonetheless.

Anna embraced the situation for what it was and took it all in stride.

I like that Anna.

I guess if you’ve never been there, you will never know what it’s like to deal with not only your own, but everyone else’s growing pains, confusion, longing for affirmation through love and attention, and the need to heard.

I get it.

Life is hard and beautiful all at the same time.

Face your fears,

Let go of your judgement,

Don’t be afraid to call on your humor,

And live through your heart.

It will never let you down yet.

I have made it this far and for the grace of God, so will my kids.

Keep fighting the good fight… it’s always worth it in the end.

Erin Cooper Reed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s What’s In Store…The Ultimate Social Media Calendar June 2017

Welcome June! The month that is not only the official start of summer, but also the most popular month for weddings.

I was anxious to find out what’s happening in June 2017. I even looked it up for you so that you wouldn’t have to.

You’re Welcome!

According to the “Ultimate Social Media Calendar 2017” here is what we have to look forward to this month:

June 1st – 

Global Day of Parents

International Children’s Day

June 2nd – 

Leave The Office Early Day

National Donut Day

June 4th – 

Civic Day of Hacking

National Cancer Survivor’s Day

June 5th –  

World Environment Day

June 6th – 

Higher Education Day

June 8th – 

World’s Ocean Day

Best Friends Day

June 14th – 

World Blood Donor Day

National Flag Day

June 18th – 

Father’s Day

June 20th – 

World Refugee Day

June 21st – 

National Selfie Day

World Music Day

International Yoga Day

First Day of Summer

June 23rd – 

Take Your Dog to Work Day

June 27th – 

National Sunglasses Day

June 29th – 

National Handshake Day

June 30th – 

Social Media Day

Now, I don’t know about you, but personally, I was hoping for some downtime this summer…and now I’m feeling totally overwhelmed.

The only way that I can figure I’m going to be able to survive all of these festivities if I combine all of the above “Holidays” and get them out-of-the-way in one day, ya know, for efficiency’s sake.

So I’ve decide that tomorrow, I’m going to wake up early, grab a donutthrow on some music and do a little yoga before selecting the perfect pair of sunglasses for my dog Max to wear when he goes with me to work.

I plan on using my time at work to make a donation to the refugees (In Donald Trump’s name, of course) and to purchase some Malware to ensure that our companies computer doesn’t get hacked. Once I know that our computer system is secure, I’ll give my boss a firm handshake before informing him that I’ll be leaving the office early to go donate blood.

On my way home from giving blood I’ll make it a point to see both of my parentsI’ll give my mom a hug and congratulate her on being a cancer survivor before having to leave to purchase a small flag to put at my dad’s grave site. I’ll wish my dad a Happy Father’s Day and tell him how much I miss him, then I’ll return home to see my children.

I’ll drop Max off at my house, throw on a bikini to celebrate the first day of summer and call my best friend to see if she would like to go to the beach with me to help me remove some of the liter and cans from the ocean to protect the environment.

I’ll spend the last few moment’s before heading off to the beach, begging my kids to complete their summer homework packets so that they can pass to the next grade and eventually get a higher education.

I’ll forget my sunglasses because Max is still wearing them (What can I say?) and I’ll end up with a weird tan line on my forearm from where I gave blood.

But don’t worry, you won’t miss a thing.

I’ll be sure to document it all in selfies and post it on social media!

 

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Have a great June and a memorable summer my friends!

Much love,

Erin Cooper Reed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Is Why I Blocked You On Facebook

It has taken me most of my adult life to get to the point where my three teenage sons have accepted my friend requests on Facebook.

I’m not sure if this is a major victory or a daily reminder of my greatest defeat. Tonight my son Rocky posted a heartfelt message that went something like this:

“Idk how people can just kick friends and family out of there life’s over stupid things. I fear losing the people around me more than I fear death.  I could never do it.”

To which I replied on his Facebook page.

It’s their lives, not there life’s. Just sayin.

Rocky immediately sent me a private message:

“This is why I block you from my Facebook.” 

What can I say? I am a writer and I want my children to learn proper grammar. Is that too much to ask?

Maybe so.

Actually, there are plenty of reasons to block people on Facebook.

Here Are The Top Ten Reasons To Block Someone From Facebook:

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1. The Selfie King or Queen – Okay, I get it. You love you. I just really don’t want to see a picture of you at home, in the car, at the mall, trying on shoes, having a drink, smiling, making a resting bitch face, fluffing your hair, straightening your hair, wearing your sunglasses, not wearing your sunglasses, etc. Document your entire day for yourself so you can see how great you looked in every moment. Personally I don’t care.

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2. The Relentless Foodie –  I’m pretty sure that I like to eat just as much as you do. I just don’t have the need to share it with the world. Your breakfast looks fine, as does your lunch, mid-afternoon snack and your dinner. I get it. You love food. Did I mention that there are children starving not only in Africa but right here in the good old USA?

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3. The Hypochondriac – You’re tired. You’re crampy. You have the flu. Your sinuses ache. Your doctor hasn’t called, just called, wants to see you. You feel like shit and you can’t stop talking about it. I’m not heartless but there really isn’t anything that I can do. Update your status when you’re feeling well for once. That would be a welcomed change of pace.

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4. The Work Out Nut –  Thank you for recording your every footstep you take on your Fitbit and posting it on Facebook. If I ever need to find you I’ll know every moment that you spend at the gym. I’m so happy that I didn’t miss the selfie on the treadmill and the photo of you covered in sweat.

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5. The Democrat/Republican/Liberal/Independent Looking For A Fight – Unbeknownst to you, I am really okay with whatever opinion you have. That is what makes you an individual, that is also what makes the world go round. The truth is that you just like to stir things up and your goal is to get under someone’s skin and really have it out. Facebook wasn’t created to be a political platform. Sorry to disappoint you. To each his own. I’m seriously okay with that. Just respect that other people feel as passionately about their stance as you do, and that’s okay. Please just let everyone be.

Image result for images trouble maker6. The Trouble Maker – Facebook is not a venue to destroy people’s lives. It is not the place to out your sister-in law about having an abortion, to bully someone, embarrass them or try to destroy their lives. I have seen it all. ENOUGH SAID.

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 7. The Stalker –  Just because you knew someone in high school, worked with them 15 years ago or ran into them at the grocery store last week, doesn’t mean that they want to interact with you everyday on Facebook. If you keep private messaging someone and they don’t respond, they probably don’t want to talk to you. This would be obvious to most people. For those of you that don’t get it, reread #7.

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 8. The Bragger –  We get it. You have been there, done that, achieved it, purchased it, traveled there and you just happen to have the most accomplished brilliant children in the world. If we ever need to experience ultimate perfection we can certainly visit your page.

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9. The Total Pessimist –  No matter what anyone says you are right there to spread the doom and gloom. You are easily offended by anything that is meant as a joke and you can instantly destroy a funny post or meme by taking it too literally. Lighten up. Life is just too damn short.

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10. The Teenager –  Let’s face it, you know it ALL. You post things that I find so offensive that I frequently check your page to spare my extended family the embarrassment. You just don’t get it, but I live in hope of the day when you finally do and we can interact and share ideas as adults. In the meantime, I’ll continue to police your page, correct your spelling and love you nonetheless.

Rant over.

Carry on.

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Erin Cooper Reed

 

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