Today is Mothering Sunday here in the UK. We don't have "Mother's Day" in May. And it started in the best way, with a cup of coffee from my son, together with the info that he had unpacked the dishwasher and restacked it. Perfect present for this mother.
I went to church this morning, and it was a beautiful service, celebrating mothers and each lady in the church was given a small posy of flowers, as is the tradition here. Daffodils. It was lovely. Life was good. When I came home, David told me that both my other children had phoned, and then the phone rang again.
I expected it to be a far off child. It wasn't. It was a friend to tell me that one of our friend's sons was missing.
Every mother's nightmare.
He is not small. He is 18 and in his first year at uni, and a delight. He is one of David's friends, and I have known him since he was a little lad.
He went home for the weekend to celebrate Mothering Sunday, his Mum's birthday, and his girlfriend's birthday. He and his friends were out on Friday night, and walked home from a party at 3am, alongside a river. There was a howling gale at the time. One minute he was there and the next he was gone.
And so the search goes on. It is now nearly 40 hours later. Our Mother's Day. His shoe has been found on the river bank. It is all over the news. Tomorrow, the police have asked for volunteers to go to help search the miles and miles of riverbanks. It is fenland where he lives, and the river is a tidal river. I have spent the evening on the phone rounding up volunteers, after a request from the family, and it is astonishing just how many are prepared to take the day off work.
Astonishing? Not really. If it was my son, I would hope people would be there. Good people live here. Downham Market is nearly 2 hours drive away, but people are going. Old people. Young people. And each and every one is praying for a miracle. The search has been called off for the night. And it will be the longest night for his mother and for his father, and for his brother.
He is not my son, but it feels like he belongs to all of us. And I feel so helpless.