Today’s guest post comes from Natalie H. There’s one word that best describes me: novice. A novice at being a wife and mother. A novice at writing. A novice at the world of blogging. And, most of all, a novice at life (still). Luckily, I love learning and maybe… just maybe… someday I’ll elevate my status to “expert” in one of those areas. By day, I work as a technical writer and editor, piously correcting grammar, sentence structure, and formatting. By night, I’m ready to ditch the play-by-the-rules editor side of me and instead give voice to that pent-up wannabe creative writer. I love writing (specifically blogging), reading, photography, my knight in shining armor, and our one crazy, adorable offspring of a daughter.
It was a night in early March. My husband of just seven months and I were at an institute dance, acting like silly newlyweds and having a carefree time. Amidst the loud music, dim lights, and cheap decorations, my husband held out my cell phone to me. “It looks like your mom is calling you.”
On a Friday night? At 10:30?
Instantly my stomach clenched. My parents never call after 9:30.
In the quiet of the Institute hallway, my mom’s worried voice came through the phone. “We can’t find your brother. He sluffed school this afternoon, came home and got his snowboard, and we haven’t seen him since. We’re worried about him and I thought you should know.”
The rest of the night was a back-and-forth battle in my mind. He was probably just being a typical inconsiderate 17-year old and didn’t call. He somehow got stuck somewhere while he was snowboarding and didn’t have a phone. All reasonable excuses, but somehow in my heart of hearts I knew something was wrong.
The safe, naive world I had known until then came crashing down early the next morning with another phone call from my mother, this time in inconsolable tears. “We’re at the hospital. They found Jake* last night… he tried to overdose on pills. He’s really sick, but he survived.”