Story 12: Lost At Christmas

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Bry and I a few years ago on our Anniversary in Las Vegas

Story 12/24: It’s hard celebrating an Anniversary so close to Christmas. Brian and I rarely leave the state to celebrate, and presents are usually dual purpose: Happy Anniversary/Christmas or Anni-mas gifts. Mid-December is when school Christmas parties, family and friend get-togethers, and Office parties are. If Bry and I can shove in a night away on the calendar during all that, we do it.

When my kids were small, we’d ship them to a relative’s house for a night or the weekend. One year my sister, Em and her husband Tim took them. They decided to take the kids to see the Christmas lights at Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City.

Temple Square is a city block that holds several Mormon buildings including the Salt Lake Temple. Every year the trees, and bushes along the block are decked out in colorful Christmas lights that are turned on at dusk every day starting the day after Thanksgiving and go until New Year’s Eve. It’s a beautiful sight, even if very, very crowded. Everyone in the world it seems goes to see the lights on Temple Square!

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At Temple Square last year

Anyway, this particular year, Lorrin was seven-years-old, and Nate was three. Em and Tim drove them downtown. As they crossed a busy road, Tim looked down and couldn’t find Nate. They looked up and down the street. A friend of theirs started running back across the crosswalk to see if Nate was still on the other side. Panic went through them. It was dark. It was busy. One small boy was somewhere in the night by himself.

After a moment, Tim walked down the street in another direction. Standing on the street corner was a family. The man was holding the hand of my little boy. Tim ran to him and asked them what had happened.

As the group was crossing the street, the sidewalk had been full, as well as the crosswalk. Nate simply reached out to the hem of the nearest coat and held on. It wasn’t until the man was down the street when he felt his coat tug a bit and realized he was being followed. At the moment the man turned around, Nate realized he wasn’t with his aunt and uncle anymore.

It all worked out okay. My sister, to this day, apologizes for the time they lost my son in Salt Lake City. All I can think of is how great people are:

How sweet of my sister and her husband to take my kids—even as their own Anniversary is during the same month as mine. How sweet it was of Tim and Emily’s friends to immediately take off running to find him. How sweet was the family that realized what had happened and waited for the lost boy’s family to find him again?

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Nate and Lorrin at Temple Square last year

It’s hard to recognize the kind of world we live in. Most of the time we hear about nothing but fear and demise. But that’s what’s great about this holiday season—it’s a constant reminder that there is greatness on this planet and we experience it every single day. It’s what we are willing to focus on to know what kind of planet we live in.

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