Getting Lost by Jackie Villarreal Najera

 One Easter Sunday when I was about six years old we went to Cole park. Every year we would go and hunt for eggs carrying our Easter baskets. My father would make a big production hiding the eggs. I was not very interested in doing that because I could never find too many eggs.

In the park was a small creek that got my attention. I was looking for tadpoles. I was so enthralled that I didn’t even know my family had already gone home. My father always counted us as we got into the car.

I guess in those days I was always daydreaming and very quiet. They forgot me. When dad found me, he looked pale and frightened.  I did not know I was lost.

My father picked me up hugging and carrying me to the car. I was surprised because usually Dad just held my hand when we walked.

The following year we came back from Chicago on a train. We were at the depot. I was fascinated with my surroundings. I was looking at the flags that were everywhere. I had been holding my father’s hand. I let go of his hand as I looked at the flags and then reached out and took what I thought was my dad’s hand.

The man whose hand I had taken was not my fathers. The man looked surprised and just laughed.  My father was in panic mode looking for me. I still did not know I was lost. I was still looking around when Dad found me. He started to get angry when suddenly he stopped and picked me up and just sighed.

 My husband tells me that that holding someone else’s hand instead of your father’s hand is common. It happened to him too. He got yelled at by his parents when he got lost.  

I’m so glad I’m a girl. Dad never yelled at me when I got lost. He always said his girls were his love and joy. He always added I love my boys too.

I knew my dad meant it because any time I cried he would give me anything I wanted. I knew that sometimes I took advantage of my dad’s love for me. After I became teenager I decided never to did that again.

My dad has been gone for a long time now. My younger brothers now give me anything I want.  My husband gives me anything I want too. Sometimes when I cry they do not know what to do.

One of my younger brother who is also gone, could never see me cry. He would often go and buy me my favorite food and other things he thought I would like.

I still cry mostly because I miss both them a lot. I really don’t care if I get anything anymore.

Isn’t that the way life goes?

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