There’s nothing like a late night phone call to get your heart racing and the adrenaline pumping! I had just crawled into bed at about 11:45 last night when the phone on my bedside table rang. It was our son, Matt, calling to tell us that Dad’s high rise apartment building had been evacuated a couple of hours earlier and Dad’s whereabouts were unknown!
photo credit: Vancouver Sun
While conducting a search warrant for drugs on the 11th floor of the 29 storey building, Burnaby RCMP officers found more than they were looking for… 10 sticks of dynamite and several small bombs! As soon as Matt heard the news on Twitter, he headed over to Grandpa’s to make sure that he was okay.
Dad is a distinctive looking man. Though slightly stooped by age, he once stood 6 feet 6 inches tall and only weighs about 170 pounds (yes, that’s definitely where I got my skinny genes!). He’s fairly frail and walks with a cane. The officer that Matthew spoke with knew immediately who he was looking for and told him that he had seen Dad waiting in the lobby earlier. He assumed that he had had gone to the nearby community centre that had been opened as an evacuation centre and directed Matthew there. Dad wasn’t there nor was he at the care facility where Mom lives. Unable to find him, Matt headed home and called me.
I assumed that Dad might have called someone from his church and that they had picked him up but I had no way of knowing for sure. I called my sister who agreed that that was a likely scenario but neither of us had a name or a phone number to call. We discussed the fact that Dad is of sound mind and wouldn’t just wander away into the night. We agreed not to panic and I crawled back into bed.
That’s when the phone rang a second time! It was Matt’s wife, Robin. The evacuation centre had called. Dad was there and Matt was on his way back to pick him up. Their plan was to bring him back to their place for the night but when Matt got there, he was told that the order was about to be lifted. He waited with Dad then took him back to the apartment. All was well!
It wasn’t until this morning that I learned that when Matt went over the first time, Dad was actually sitting in a warm bus outside the building waiting to see what was going to happen. He sat there for an hour and a half before being taken to the evacuation centre.
Dad doesn’t carry a cell phone and he probably wouldn’t have called anyone if he did. He knew he was okay and had no idea that anyone was worrying about him. As my niece pointed out, he doesn’t understand how fast news travels these days. We’re just relieved to know that he was in a safe, warm place where he was able to sit and wait in relative comfort! We’re also very grateful that something of this nature didn’t happen while Mom was still living at home. That would have been a much greater ordeal.
I think I’m going to escape all this family drama and go to China! We leave later this afternoon!