I was at a loss. I couldn't think what to do or where to go, and as always in a stressful situation, I felt painfully the separation from my children, and it filled me with anxiety. I drove around aimlessly for a while, then found myself at the north end of town and saw the sign for Perkins. I went in to get a cup of coffee and a slice of pie and to figure out what to do next.
I sat there scrolling through Facebook, and posting about the situation, and eating my pie, still trying to collect myself. An anonymous stranger paid for my snack! That's never happened to me before, and I have no idea who it was. I figure if it was someone I knew, they would have come over and said hello, and if it was a man who thought I was attractive, he would also have identified himself, so I ruled out both. Why then? Somebody just being nice? Or did they feel sorry for me because I was alone? Maybe I looked lost, I certainly felt it. I guess I'll never know.
One of my friends from my knitting group invited me to her house, so I went there. Subsequently I got a bunch more offers, which was really sweet. My kids, especially my son, were getting anxious and wondering what we were going to do. It was a school night, and they didn't have their school things with them, nor a change of clothes.
I kind of wish I could have picked them up and gone to a hotel or something, so we could be together. I felt bad about imposing on my friend, but by the time it became apparent that I wasn't going home anytime soon and would have to spend the night, it was too late to call anyone else and the kids had already gone to bed at their dad's house.
I lay there on the couch in the dark, wide awake, checking the local police Facebook page for updates. Finally, they posted that they were wrapping things up and would re-open the road soon. I debated whether or not to leave my safe place immediately, or to wait for confirmation that I could go home. I waited, because it was now the middle of the night, and I didn't want to end up stranded if things went sideways.
Finally they posted that the street was open again, so I went home. I still couldn't sleep - I'm functioning on about three hours right now. I've only found one news story about what happened, from last night when they didn't know anything. I still have no details. It's worrisome that something like this happened in my neighborhood. I know it's not the greatest, but this is beyond anything I ever expected.
When I initially was turned away by the police, my lizard brain went back to the flood of 2013, when I was stranded away from home and separated from my children. I think it's why I was so freaked out at first and not thinking straight. It really makes it clear how important those things - my children and my home - are to my peace of mind and sense of place in the world.