So we had an interesting evening tonight. Thanks to a post on our homeschool forum, I found out about an elderly woman who went missing last night from a nearby retirement home. Her name is Audrey and she has Alzheimer's Disease. She somehow left her residence (which has tight security) last night and hasn't been seen since. I believe in community and believe that no matter how large the community everyone has to do their part. I really wanted to help out with the search. When a person goes missing, it is like looking for a needle in a haystack and we shouldn't depend solely on police and fire personnel. They just don't have the resources. So many bodies are needed in this type of effort.
I debated (for a short time) if I should discuss this with the kids. Audrey went missing so close to our home that we could easily do some looking ourselves. Anyhow, I decided to tell the kids. They were amazing. I explained a little about Alzheimer's and about how she wandered away from her home and forget how to get back. I explained how the search effort worked and asked if they would like to help out. We went to a secret trail near our place that Audrey could very well have accessed by accident. The kids were thrilled. We discussed what we should bring on our search and what she would need if we found her. Mickey was very cute calling her name as we walked. I knew that there was very little chance that we would find her but it was still a great experience for the kids to participate in something like this.
After we went on our little search we came across the police search team which consisted of three forces and numerous special units (incl. canine and air). Since their dad is a police officer is was great for the kids to see police officers trying to find a "good guy" and not just the "bad guy". They witnessed them working as a team. We had great discussions. I was able to explain grid searches, how each person plays a role, the type of residence she lives in, how she might be feeling, and what to do if they got lost. Before we left the house we watched the news coverage of the story. I didn't realize how much Mason had been paying attention until we did a little drive around and he spotted her photo posted in a really out-of-the-way location. I totally missed it!
I didn't want them to worry or be scared so one thing I really highlighted was that Audrey has memory problems and that she may not even realize that she is lost. Therefore, she's probably not scared! Or, at least that's the story I spun.
We have high hopes that Audrey will be found tonight. If not, we will try to do our part tomorrow.