My kids go to Catholic School. Every year they have a volunteer mass where they honor all the parents, neighbors, parishioner, and others who have volunteered during the school year. Since I’m always at work during their weekly masses, I usually try to make it the volunteer mass each year. A few weeks ago, I put in my sheet for the time off to attend today’s event.
As it just so happens, today is also my mom’s birthday. Today she’s (29×2) + 3. (My mom insists on staying 29, so the rest of us comply with her wishes….sort of.)
As we were all running around this morning getting ready, Paige called my mom to wish her a happy birthday, then we jetted off to school. Just as mass was starting, my phone began vibrating. I looked at it and noticed it was work. Someone must have seen my office was empty, but didn’t talk to the main office to see that I was coming in late. Oh well, I’ll return the call after mass.
Then a few minutes later, it goes off again.
Then another call. This time from a different co-worker.
I know I turned in my paperwork, I hope there’s not an emergency at work.
Then IP‘s phone starts ringing.
A few more minutes later, I get a call from my mom.
Then another on my phone from work.
Then one from my mom’s cell phone.
Oh crap, there’s an emergency all right, but it’s not at work, its me.
Our father, hallelujah, stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight! Please say Mass has ended, so I can go in peace to love and serve the Lord and calm the nerves of my loved ones.
When I step outside to start returning calls, luckily, I’m greeted with endless laughter as I find out the extent to which the Finding Kerry saga reached.
When I didn’t arrive at work, they were worried. I’m always on time, heck usually early, but no panic yet. When I wasn’t there after 30 minutes, the calls started. After not reaching me on my cell or at home, then not reaching IP, they called my mom.
“We don’t want to alarm you, but Kerry didn’t arrive at work today. She didn’t call. It’s not like her.”
“Well, I talked to Paige this morning and heard Kerry in the background. Let me make a few calls.”
Mom decided her best first move was to call the kid’s school. If they had been dropped off, she could start her search between there and my work. If they weren’t at school, then she would make a B-line to my house. Quick to action and ready to roll. I think mom may have missed her calling by not becoming a detective.
She called the school. “Um, this is going to sound like a weird question, but, I’m Paige and Trystan‘s grandma. We can’t find their mom. Were the kids dropped off at school?”
“Yep, they’re here. Let me get the Principal for you.”
The Principal, in her infinite wisdom, scanned the pews at Mass before coming to the phone.
“Hi. She’ in church.”
Praise the Lord! I had been found.
Aw shucks….I might have looked good on a milk carton.
Meanwhile, back at the bat cave, um, I mean my work, they were feverishly digging through the paperwork, hoping to find proof that I wasn’t supposed to be there. Eureka! I’ve found it! Kerry, 4/25, out 8-10 am at kid’s Mass. Then my director asked the key question….”Did I sign the sheet?” “Yes, yes you did.”
When mom called my work back to give them the good news, they relayed to her the mix-up with the paperwork and apologized for the near heart-attack they offered her as a birthday present.
I arrived at work to cheers, applause, and hugs. The prodigal co-worker that was once lost, had been found.
Some times you walk through life not knowing if others around you really care, if you’re actually seen, if you’d really be missed. Today I learned how kind, loving, and caring my friends at work truly are. I’m proud to say that you have given me my Sally Field moment…
You like me, you really like me!
And I love you all!