I was going to put up a blog a few days ago, but things kinda got out of hand. If you follow me on Facebook, you might have seen the drama. But here’s a re-cap in case you missed it.
Oliver went across the field to the park around 10:30am on Friday. (There wasn’t any school) The playground is line of sight and he has been over there multiple times by himself without incident since we’ve returned to Cheyenne. Around 12:30, he hadn’t come back, and we couldn’t see him running around bu the equipment, so Grandpa went over to get him and bring him back for lunch before they were supposed to go bowling. At 1pm- Grandpa called and said Oliver was no where to be found in the park. He had checked the bathrooms, all the structures, everything. I called Josh and our friend Jeff, told them both that Ollie was missing and they were on their way- I also called the police department figuring that the second I got off the phone with them, he would come bobbling across the field. But no.
Pretty soon, the entire neighborhood was full of police cars searching for him. The park had been scoured numerous times, and the K-9 disturbance dog had lost Oliver’s tracks. People came from all over town, including the Air Guard, the Postal Carriers, some former speech and debate student’s parents, other friends, etc. No one could find him anywhere. The Air Guard kept checking tapes and cameras, as did the folks at the BLM building.
Hours went by and he didn’t turn up. Josh, Jeff, and the police started the door to door search while others stopped every person they could find on foot, and checked out places like the bowling alley, skating rink, the mall, etc. The police were very concerned that Oliver might have fallen through the ice somewhere in the park because it was so warm out.
Around 3:45, Josh knocked on a door and was met by a woman named Kim, who didn’t automatically admit that Oliver was there. (this was good- she wasn’t going to just fork him over to a stranger) Once she knew that Josh knew Oliver’s name, description, etc, she let him in. She explained that Oliver had told her that his parents knew where he was- a complete lie.
The search was called off and after not too long the fleet of law enforcement vehicles tapered away. Josh brought Oliver home and spoke to the detectives (there were 2 of them) and that was it. I thought for sure we’d be getting yelled at, or a ticket or something for the kid disappearing, but they were really nice about it. The one officer just simply said, “It’s our job.”
My. Nerves. Are. Shot. I am fried emotionally. Josh was a wreck through the whole search, and I couldn’t even register an emotion. Everyone said I was just very quiet and stiff. But I guess that’s how I deal with things. Like when my brother was shot in Afghanistan, my mom was a wreck, but I had to keep it together. I don’t know what else to do these days.
At any rate, on to the the what I was going to write about yesterday, though this incident definitely fits right in.
I don’t wish what we are going through on anyone, not even those people who I would love to stick with a fork. I don’t wish Friday’s events on anyone either. That fear/panic/worry/disbelief/pick-an-emotion sucks in a HUGE way. Couple that with the already wrecked nerves and emotions from our current situation with Toby.
What I DO wish upon everyone though, is the love and support that has been outpouring from all over the globe. I wish for each and every one of you (even the people I want to poke with a fork) that you someday feel this same thing- without it having to come from a bad situation. If everyone could feel this sort of love, the world would be such an amazing, happy place. I wish I could bottle some of this love up, and send it out to those who need it. I really do.
People have donated to the Toby Tolin Fund from all over the place; friends, family, c0-workers, and even strangers. We are so grateful for everyone who has pitched in- we are forever indebted to all of you. I don’t know how we will every be able to say thank-you enough, or repay you all for the kindness. I will forever be baking cookies for people.
So many people came out to search for Oliver when he was missing- the response was overwhelming. We are a strong community here- I know that isn’t the case in a lot of places. I know so many people complain about Cheyenne for a number of reasons, but we have it so good here! Get out there and be part of your community and it will pay you back in ways you can’t even imagine!
So here’s my challenge to you all- share the love. Let others feel the same way you have made us feel, and in turn, others will make you feel the same way. You will feel so awesome, even when things aren’t. I promise.