Praying A Jeep Cherokee Back To A Boy

I feel compelled to give an update and a huge, HUGE message of gratitude to every single person who supported my family in a crisis turned miracle yesterday. We are tired (adrenaline really has its way with your body) and so very overwhelmed as we feel the grace we experienced settle into our cells.

And before I give this update, I want to say that I am going to tell this story from my perspective but this is NOT my story. It wasn’t my trauma or my good outcome. But I am a mama and I feel ferociously protective of my people. When they hurt, I hurt… and that hurt compels me to whatever I can do to protect and cover them in support and protection. Please know that the I’s in this story are only because I am writing it – but not a reflection of whose victory this was, the force of love that is God to us in this family and my beautiful son. So with that…

This is a story all about how my life got flipped turned upside down, on a Wednesday morning, before coffee. While I was waking up slowly I was listening to David Letterman interview Kim Kardashian on Netflix. She was telling the story of the robbery she experienced in France and commented that she and her sisters were talking about what they would do in an imaginary scenario of this type at dinner the night before it happened. My blood went cold with an intuitive hit. 

I’m talking to myself internally saying, “Nope. Get that robbery, loss, violation business out of my knowing NOW” when Ashton burst into my room and said, “MOM”! He never says “mom”, only “MOMMM”. “The Jeep is gone.” 

Again, I thought “Nope. You just aren’t seeing straight”. We ran outside. No car. No beloved project that he bought and restored with his hard-earned dollars. With his best friend who passed away last year. Which he finished in Cody’s honor.

Call the police.

Call the insurance company.

Oh, yeah. Breathe too. Coffee.

Call the praying people. Create the social media posts. 

Now! The first hours are the most important.

The boy went to work. He was alive. It was just a thing. But a very, very special thing. Ick. That violation feeling is sick. I needed a minute to get full-on, freaked out hysterical. I have to cry sh!t out before I can be productive. I’m too old to let that make me feel soft or weak anymore. 

The girls couldn’t be still. They started the hunt. They drove to every field, alley, and warehouse parking lot in the IE. Does anyone need to hire some detectives?

Audree and Chloe found an abandoned car in the field by our house. They thought it could be a clue. They cautiously drove by the car and rather than finding it abandoned saw a duck head pop out of the driver’s side window. Not a stuffed duck. Not a toy. Just a real duck in an abandoned car. Audree had to avoid her desire to capture and rehabilitate the duck in the middle of her crime investigation stint, and also gave the animal control dispatch a good chuckle.

Later in the day, as the hunt continued, Chloe saw a car wash called Quack Quack and screamed, “It’s a sign”! They searched the car wash but it was a bread crumb to keep going and not quite the destination. We were all energized by some much needed laughs.

And then the outpouring of sharing and praying started. If a kid ever needed covering and a tsumani of prayers to pull a hunk of metal and rubber back to a human, he did. And he got it. Big.

I stayed home and between baking and working, pulled the clues together into a golden thread of hope. There wasn’t any more to do so I sat down and released the hope to something stronger, faith in the best outcome, before I picked him up from work.

When he got home, he went door to door, asking for ring camera footage and handing out fliers. At about 7:30, he was out of gas and laid on the couch pale. He said, “I don’t know what to do next mom”. I said, “That’s because you already did it all. Sleep and be prepared to feel like hell tomorrow from the adrenaline. Now we wait”.

He went to his room to call his FIL to be and the neighborhood kids filtered in to be close and show their support. I was winding down the bakery and getting to the dishes when I heard from his room, “I’ve got it, mom”! Got what???

We fumbled for shoes, left a neighbor with the dogs, and teleported out to my car. We drove exactly the speed limit and obeyed every traffic law but miraculously arrived at the location he’d been emailed… Quite a distance, in another city, in a quick ten minutes. Mario co-piloting and me on the phone with two different police departments, one in each ear. Chaos pinpointed by the laser vision of intention.

The car wasn’t at the exact address so we circled around a park… And there it was. There it effing was, in near perfect condition. Now what?

I was barking mama bear safety orders but the boy was on planet reunited where ears don’t work so bolted out of my car. 

This is where I’ll take a break to say I’ve done many stupid, dangerous, and hair brained things in my life and one got pushed out of the top 3 spot last night. I know this was dangerous. The seriously selfless contact that we were on the phone with at Redlands PD implored me not to stop and also knew we couldn’t do that. We were aware of danger and prepared. That’s all I have to say about that.

At this point, my daughter and her friend rolled up who I shooed (yelled) away which she also didn’t entirely obey. We sat in the locked car to wait for the police. This is when we saw an extremely equipped tow truck come by and slowwww before it passed. Then a gutsy sports car that announced it presence aggressively. And then they passed again. Goosebumps called me to action. I asked Ashton if he wanted me to get the troops on their way and he said, “Call everyone. Now”, so I did. Dad, Audree’s boyfriend, friend’s dad, Brother and SIL, one of Andrew’s cooks. Who am I missing? They all started making their way to our shared location, at the speed limit, obeying all the traffic laws.

Within 15 minutes there were at least 10 cars and 15 people surrounding us and the car, with blazing hazards on. For some reason the tow truck and gutsy sports car stopped circling.

The police showed up in one hour instead of two and listened to everyone’s details. She was fantastic. And patient. The group had a lot to say and she listened to every detail. Ashton was free to go so Bella called AAA.

And then we waited again. And again. It took for flipping ever. The final promised ETA was surpassed by 15 or 20 min. I got misty when they loaded Ashton’s Jeep, Cody’s Jeep, onto the tow truck to get it home. And then Audree called to say there was a bad accident in front of them. We sat on the freeway a long time.

Our neighboor Mario was alone with me in my car and I asked him if he thought that the AAA delay might have been another little miracle and he quietly said, “I was already thinking that, Mom”.

I know that we live in a tricky world. A lot of time it hurts here. It hurts to be human. No religion or positive thinking, or fancy mantra protects us from that. I also know there are angels and sometimes they show up in the funniest ways. They come to add grace, and hope, and healing, and sometimes help humans pray Jeep Cherokee’s back to boys.

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