If you are a parent yourself and have ever been at the supermarket with them, it is possible that at some point you lost sight of them for a moment. Can you recall how terrifying this moment was?
Exactly! You probably lost a couple of years of your life. And, remember, it was just for a moment. Can you imagine your child going missing for two whole days?
UNSPLASH – BENJAMIN LEHMAN
Although this is a scenario no parent wants to even think about, it can happen.
And it did happen a while ago to a California family. Thankfully, with a happy ending.
8-year-old Leia and her 5-year-old sister Caroline just wanted to play outside, so they asked their mom, who happened to be busy at the time, if they could go play in search of a “sunny spot”.
YOUTUBE – ABC NEWS
Their mom, Misty Carrico, said yes, so the girls started wandering on the family’s 80-acre property. But, in search of an adventure, they ignored their dad’s warning about not going beyond a certain fallen tree. And they got lost.
“I wasn’t sure which way home was but it turned out that home was way back south,” Leia told ABC News.
The girls walked in circles until they noticed they had already been there before, so that’s when they realized they were lost.
UNSPLASH – SEBASTIAN UNRAU
Luckily, the girls had been paying attention during family camping trips, and they had also watched many movies about people who had been lost in the woods. That’s how they knew what to do.
They knew that the key was to stay together and stay put where they were safe, a spot that they called “their huckleberry home”.
UNSPLASH – STEVEN KAMENAR
With the rain pouring at night, and the temperature being as low as 38 degrees, the girls found shelter under Caroline’s raincoat and the huckleberry bush.
That’s how they kept dry and avoided hypothermia. But, what about their spirits?
The youngest sister kept crying the whole first night, as her sister recalled, but Leia tried to calm her down by asking her to make happy thoughts about their family.
YOUTUBE – ABC NEWS
“I thought of going to the park with mommy and daddy. I thought of going to the ocean. I thought of everything but it didn’t work,” Caroline confessed.
And, when Caroline managed to feel better and get some sleep, Leia stayed awake the whole night- both nights- in order to make sure they would be safe and not approached by wild animals. They also quenched their thirst by sipping rainwater off the huckleberry leaves.
While the sisters were doing their best to survive in the cold without food, their parents were going crazy.
Misty could hear her girls screaming for help in her head, and her mind even went to “a really dark place” when they were not found after the first night, she admitted.
The girls’ father, Travis, who didn’t panic at first, spent two days going through all emotions.
“I went through every emotion you could think of, everything from thinking it was a dream to balling up and crying,” he told ABC News.