Who’s Your Emergency Contact?

This sounds funny looking back, but it was not at the time....

I was in a zen, laid back, vibing with the universe space driving Riley, my 14-year-old daughter, over to the local trail for a run/bike ride together this afternoon. This is my safe space...with her, in nature, talking, biking while she does her thing. Pulling into the parking lot, she sat up in her seat, "MOM!! OMG! Look!" She handed me her phone to see a snapchat message from Kaylyn's boyfriend. It was a screenshot of an automatic notification from Kaylyn's phone showing her location, stating that a crash had been reported and 911 had been called.

So. What did I do?

I freaked. Panicked. Spun out of the parking lot, asking Riley to call Kaylyn's boyfriend to find out exactly where she was on the map. Blinkers on, speeding, Riley calling Kaylyn with no answer. Then, my mind went back to crisis moments from the past. A blur of thoughts and emotions. Finally, she answered me. "Mom, a kid ran out into the road, the car in front of me slammed on the breaks, then I slammed on the breaks, then my phone fell onto the floor and my car called 911. Its fine." Hands and legs shaking. False alarm.

[Disclaimer: Kudos to whoever developed this from a car/phone integration standpoint. And, note to parents, make sure you are your child's emergency contact, not their boyfriend/girlfriend. Yes, we handled that point immediately.]

After our bike/run, this made me think back to the day Ben passed. I think there are two types of emergency contacts: (A) those driven by the heart (maybe irrational) and (B) those driven by the brain. I am (A). 100%. When I could not contact Kyle at the end of the day on July 7th, I started driving through town frantically looking for him. Calling friends, "Is Kyle with you?" Answering the phone call from daycare, "Is Ben OK?" Rushing to the police station parking lot, collapsing in an anxiety attack and calling my best friend.

Same for Kyle. When he found Ben in our car at daycare, his mind skipped rational steps. Instead of calling 911, he spun out of the parking lot, rushing to the closest emergency room, hitting cars on the way, calling me to no avail.

I think maybe you need two emergency contacts. A heart and mind for you. Or, maybe when the heart is existing outside of the body, a person will always be (A). At least that's my experience.

The only thing I have realized from today: When you need me, I will come find you.