Since I work overnight Sat/Sun, after church I usually take a nap. Today I went to sleep on the couch at about 1230-Ash was watching tv-Nick was on his way back from church. I woke up close to 5pm and poor Nick was so tired--bad night sleep with Preston--and had been dealing with Preston while I slept. I asked where Ashleigh was....
She was MISSING!!! Nick said she told him she was going to take a walk with a couple of new neighbor friends to the end of the street and back, but she never came back!! I went searching through the house for her hoping that she had just fallen asleep somewhere. I didn't see her so I went outside--her bike, scooter, and baby stroller were on our lawn, but NO ASHLEIGH!!! I looked up and down the block, scanned the houses, etc. NO ASHLEIGH!!! I called our neighbor who has a daughter that Ash plays with fairly often-Ashleigh wasn't there, but she and her husband came right over and asked what Ash was wearing and told me to call the police while they went knocking on every door to try to find her. A couple other neighbors came out and asked what was going on--then they went on the search for her too. Nick got in his car and started scanning the neighborhood for her. I called 911 and started telling the lady what had happened and what Ash looks like, what she was wearing, when we saw her last, etc.
While I was on the phone my neighbor, Francel, yelled to me that they found her! :-) She was across the street and 3 houses down in the back yard playing with a girl from church on her swing set. As you can imagine I was in hysterics by now-tears streaming down my face and almost hyperventilating! I had horrible images running through my head....I was so scared.
When I saw her again I just hugged her and cried and told her how much I loved her---I did explain to her why I was crying and told her that she needs to tell us EXACTLY where she is at all times---we cant just guess, especially when she is at a "new friends" house that I didn't know existed!
The neighbor mom-Jill-was so sweet and apologetic. She didn't need to apologize--it was our fault for not knowing where our child was!!! I apologized to her for freaking out-and thanked her profusely for taking good care of my sweet daughter!!!
I was overcome by fear and saddness that something might have happened to my daughter, but SO grateful for the amazing outpouring of love and help from my ward family when I needed them most! I can't say this enough---I LOVE my neighborhood and my ward. They are awesome. I have said probably half a dozen prayers since we found her just thanking my Heavenly Father for keeping Ashleigh safe during our negligence and for helping us to find her!
Give your kids a hug today---no matter how hard it may be right now, not having them around anymore is much worse!!!
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