I heard the news today, oh boy
My brother, Marc, is missing in the woods
He drove his car to catch some fish
We now all hope get got his wish
Friday, April 1, 2016: My sister calls me to say that my brother, Marc, is missing. She explains that he went fishing on Thursday, March 31st at O’Connell Lake near Port Alice and hasn’t come home. She says that once they reported him missing, a Western Forest Products worker told the RCMP that he had seen a man of Marc’s description at O’Connell Lake that day.
|Marc loves fishing|
She tells me her son had driven all the way to O’Connell Lake but didn’t see him there nor his car at the lake or anywhere along the only logging road in and out. She tells me how they were counting on the search and rescue people to comb the area and hopefully find him. “Yes, me too,” I say. We speak a little longer about letting the experts do their job and how, for now, all we can do is wait.
“Please take care of yourself,” I say.
She whispers something softly, undiscernable into the phone and disconnects.
Later, that morning, I speak with my sister's husband, who explains that Marc had dropped into his office on the 31st to say that he was heading out to O’Connell Lake, to do some fishing. It was two-thirty in the afternoon. He tells me he thought it was a bit late in the day to travel that far. Marc didn’t see it as a problem.
“I drove to Port Alice myself. I drove around the town but didn’t see him or his car. Anyway, today, we decided to report him missing to the RCMP. Also, Sam, if there’s any news, I’ll be texting everyone. So, keep your phone nearby and charged.”
I offer my support of thanks. I wait for him to hang up.
I talk with my husband for a while about what I’d just learnt from my two phone calls. He shares his experience as a past search and rescue volunteer and assures me that the team on the north Vancouver Island are very skilled. “If anyone is going to locate Marc, they will. One of greatest thrills for rescue workers is to find their target,” he says.
My heart is heavy with sadness and I worry for the rest of day.
Saturday, April 2: Global News gives a description of Marc as a missing person. Brad texts me to say the announcement is posted on Facebook.
Port Alice RCMP are searching a remote area near O’Connell Lake for 62-year-old Marc Regimbal, who was reported missing April 1.
Police describe him as Caucasian, 5'9" tall, 185 lbs. with thinning, grey hair. He is known to drive a 2001 blue Honda Accord with the BC licence plate BW025F
Anyone with any information on Regimbal's whereabouts is asked to contact their local police.
I place a call to Marc’s estranged wife. We talk at length about the waiting game of having someone disappear and not knowing their whereabouts. I tell her I love her and that I will keep her up to date on things. She says okay to that.
I’m so sad, I take an Aspirin and lay down.
|Marc with two fish|
My sister posts on Facebook: This is my brother and I want him back. 62 year old explorer and adventurer, he was anxious to get us some fresh trout so headed off to explore places he's never been before. Problem is.... he went alone and now has been missing since March 31st. Love you big bro.
Later, my oldest sister calls me to say that her daughter saw the missing person report on their local news channel. We speak for a while about Marc having driven up the switch-back logging roads to the isolated lake. She asks about the terrain. I say that we've on that logging road and it is narrow, has loose gravel and switch-backs. “So, it’s dangerous?” she asks. I tell her it is very steep rock on one side and a long way down on the other. “Yes, it’s a dangerous road.”
I text my other brother-in-law, to ask him to call me. He texts back to say that my sister has called him to let him know that Marc is missing. He texts later to say, 'Maybe he got stuck somewhere.’ I text back that I love his optimism, always.
I hear my phone ringtone, oh boy
The sound promises an update
I’m told of plans to help find Marc
Scour territory steep and dark
My phone rings. My heart pounds with excitement. My thoughts go to a sighting and rescue. My brother-in-law said he would text, so this must be a big deal. It’s my son.
|Mother and child reunion|
“Hi, Mom. How are you doing?” He shares with me that I should put all my hope in prayer and also on the search and rescue teams out looking for Marc. He tells me that his friend once worked as a military search and rescue officer and that they have very specific plans to follow. His friend suggests the search can last up to ten days. He also tells me that his friend wants to assure me that nine times out of ten, the missing person is found. I thanked my son.
Monday, April 4: 7:52 a.m. text message from my sister: ‘Hey Susan. I’m sure you’ve read my most recent FB update. I would have called you but it’s better on me to text. Physically, talking about it to too many people chokes me up and is too draining. Heading out to do some searching today will update you later.’
Monday, April 4: My sister on Facebook: Received recent update.... After covering pretty much all of the logging roads by truck, quads, and on foot, and searching from overhead with helicopter and plane, the Search & Rescue team have exhausted their resources and the Campbell River team have headed home. Local people are continuing to look. We are heading out when its light as well. Thank you to the S&R team and everyone else who has been helping. ....Love you big bro.
I hear my phone ring, soft, oh boy
I clutch it tight and read the name
The announcement comes, I release a gasp
Mom, Marc’s been found. He’s passed.
My phone rings. It’s my son. He tells me that Marc has been found but he is deceased. Somebody found him in his car at the bottom of a ravine. Apparently, he died quickly. His car was found in water.
I tell him that I’m so sorry. I was hoping that Marc was just missing and would be found alive. He agreed that would have been good. I’m crying and am overwhelmed with grief. I share with my son that Marc was getting to know us again, and we were getting to know him, again. Oh, what a sad time for us.
O my God! O Thou forgiver of sins! Bestower of gifts! Dispeller of afflictions!
Verily, I beseech Thee to forgive the sins of such as have abandoned the physical garment and have ascended to the spiritual world.
O my Lord! Purify them from trespasses, dispel their sorrows, and change their darkness into light. Cause them to enter the garden of happiness, cleanse them with the most pure water, and grant them to behold Thy splendours on the loftiest mount.
|Marc Regimbal ~ my beloved brother|