Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • My father is 62. His hair is the color of oak, as resilient as when he was 20. The years pass, but his hair does not change.

    Everyone seems to comment. Old friends. The neighbors. The women at the local doughnut shop who make my mother roll her eyes.

    I am driving down the highway headed for home. I see the electronic billboard screaming orange against the graying skyline: Silver Alert! Call 511.

    It is still 50 miles from home. I dial out of curiosity.

    The recorded voice pours into my ear: Daryl Gene Smith is missing. He was last seen in Jamestown driving around in his 2011 Hyundai. It has a Pennsylvania license plate. GCK-2811.

    I watch the cars hustle across my path like ambulances chasing an emergency. The recorded voice continues: Daryl Gene Smith has dementia.

    He has blue eyes, glasses, and brown hair — just like my father.

    He also is 62.

    I am drawn to this man that I do not know.

    My father has his memory. I know where he is. He is safe at home. His hands are in the garden soil. He is sitting on a bench in the shade and reading books as the summer heat slowly sheds its heavy degrees.

    But Daryl Gene Smith cannot remember the garden or the bench or where he is at all. And I want to help him find home.

    I pray for this Daryl Gene Smith, the age of my father. Two men with eyes made of summer lakes and library glasses perched on the bridges of their noses and genuine oaky hair as brown as when they were 20.

    I squint at the license plates of cars flying into the sinking sunset, too quick to catch.

    In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, I pray:

    Please return Daryl Gene Smith. Please lead this father home.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.