Chris’ Journey through fear and uncertainty

The pages that follow are my thoughts, fears, exclamations, prayers and despair in real time.  The first day was written at the end of that day on a plane to Europe.  Otherwise, every entry is near real time.  Often, as you will see, more profound things were happening that I wasn’t aware of at the time.  I resisted the temptation to revise entries so that readers can experience the events as I did, without glimpses into the end or details that would emerge that would eventually change my entire outlook on the events in my life. 

Scott and I have been a couple since June 2001.  We have been a part of the fight for LGBTQ rights, including marriage.  In a surprise moment (which I will document in more detail on another post), we were married on January 10, 2006 in Whistler, British Columbia.  The United States had only 2 states where marriage was legal and as residents of Texas, we expected it might be well beyond our life span for legal same sex marriage would come to us.   When the tide began to turn and it turned hard, on June 26, 2015 the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that it was a violation of the equal protections clause of the U.S. Constitution to deny same sex adults the fundamental right of marriage.   We were then married again on July 8, 2015 in the presence of our friends, family, reporters and most importantly in front of our 4 children.  

As I mentioned most of this blog is real life journal entries, uncensored and raw during the worst experience of my life.  With that in mind, please forgive any duplication or grammar issues.  I thought long and hard about correcting all of those, but then I feared the raw emotion of it would be lost, as well.  Reading this will drive my oldest daughter completely crazy, because she’s studying to be a mid-high English teacher and grammar is her thing.  However,  when written this was simply to keep me sane – or partially and to memorialize things as they happened because with the deep emotions, I could hardly recall how I arrived at the airport and knew quickly that I would never remember how these events played out.  And, journaling is my go-to method for just getting feelings out and looking back, I’m so glad I went to that place. 

Before you get into the meat of the story, let me explain a bit about us.  As a note about what to expect, following my journal entries, you will see Scott’s journal entries.  He purchased a small, pocket sized spiral to keep details of what was happening in the moment.  Scott did so, primarily to record events as they happened both so he didn’t forget but also as a way to ensure we all knew what happened to him should he not make it through this ordeal.     

My name is Chris Lindsey, changed from Chris Pittman in April of 2014 as we saw the marriage tide turning.  I wanted to represent us as a family.  I was born in March of 1971 in Tulsa, OK to a 15 year old mother.  As anyone can imagine, this was quite a scandal in 1971, however no more unusual that it is now.  Simply better hidden for the sake of proper etiquette.  One of the most troubling things as I write this, is that as Scott and I were able to celebrate and be legally married in Dallas on July 8, 2015, my mom had died on Mother’s Day, May 10, 2015 quite unexpectedly.  She was absolutely the first family member to use the word husband, after our Canadian wedding.  She was 59 years old and with our closeness in age and the fact that we were very close during my upbringing, although my grandmother officially adopted me, it was a bitter sweet day in July because no one on my side of the family would have been happier for us than her.  

Growing up in Tulsa was a great place to live and grow up.  With that said, it is not just the buckle of the Bible Belt…its where the notch locks in on the belt.  Oral Roberts and several other well known televangelist were based.  So the idea, even the word gay had almost no meaning to me.  I do not recall knowing a single person that I was aware that was gay…even into my early 20’s.  As a result of that upbringing mixed with the constant thoughts I had about other men, when I met my future wife in high school, you better believe we were going to get married. This might be my only chance, after all.  And as God would see fit, provide me with a wife that chased my dreams with me, brought 2 beautiful daughters into our world and has been totally supportive in the years since.  

Leah and I were married for 9 years when I told her I was gay.  She happened to also be pregnant with our youngest daughter.  Five months pregnant and two days before Christmas with both families headed from Tulsa to Dallas for the holiday and I just can’t hold it in any longer.  I’ve apologized and cried and asked forgiveness from her for both the reality and the timing – and her response has always been for me to shut up that we were fine and she knew it wasn’t something I chose to do to hurt her.  

Today, my kids are 19 and 22, both in college and both absolutely in love with the family that both Scott and I and her mom and her second husband have created for them.  It’s unique but it’s full of love and commitment and so that’s what makes it a family.  We don’t use the word step around our house…they are our kids and we are their dads.  A fact for which I am very proud.  

I am a flight attendant and am now with a major carrier after first being with a large charter airline which flew mostly soldiers, for the U.S. and our allies to their staging areas for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and occasional vacation charters or another airline hiring them to fly a route for which they were short an aircraft.   From there, I went to a regional carrier and then in 2015, the Monday after the big wedding, I began 5 weeks of training for the airline I now work for.  As those five weeks came to a close I got my assignment, my flight attendant base would be New York City, covering all 3 airports in the area.  Scott and I had been planning on moving to the East Coast once the kids were all grown for many years, so this assignment simply made it even closer to reality.  

I started by commuting up to New York for reserve assignments and trips.  I rented a small apartment, so was living here part time until our youngest was almost out of high school and we made the big permanent move.  I get back to see them for a few days at a time every other month as a rule.  

We had a healthy and busy social life in Dallas.  I had been the Co-Chair of an important LGBTQ rights organization as well as serving on their national board.  Finally, in 2017 we made the jump.  We had owned a pharmacy since 2004 (Scott is a pharmacist) and prior to flying I had run the business aspects of the pharmacy such as payroll, accounts receivable and payable, purchasing, etc.  Now it was time and we got a full cash offer and made the deal and were loaded up for our move. 

Having 4 actual seasons, including and especially winter and snow has been the highlight of our full time life here.  Although also completing a work trip and being 15 minutes from home is beyond anything I imagined.  How much time I put into getting to and from Dallas in the years prior.  

One of the allures for Scott was that he was going to semi-retire and travel.  We would be so close to Europe and he could just see what flights had opening in First Class and go jump on a plane any time he wanted, on a whim.  He did this several times to places such as Shannon, Ireland, Edinburgh, Scotland, Buenos Aires, Argentina among others.  

The story that follows began on a Friday when I had a work trip that began mid-afternoon and so he went to the airport with me.  He decided First Class or not he was going to Berlin.  So I headed off on my transcontinental flight to the West Coast and once I landed I looked at the flights and saw he not only got on the flight to Berlin but also got the upgrade.  In the days that followed, I continued with a couple flights a day while we texted and he posted amazing pictures of the beautiful city of Berlin.  

I was headed home and he had decided to travel to Geneva, buying a $100 ticket on Easy Jet from Berlin to Geneva since the flight home from Geneva has over 100 empty seats…and he had an ulterior motive that I only later learned.  

My journal begins the morning or middle of the night when I woke up and just checked the flight from Geneva to see that it was on-time so I could pick him up and I was curious, hoping he got an upgrade.  With that introduction, the rest, as they say, is history. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

I woke up around 4:15am and thought I would look at Scott’s flight home from Geneva…there were 150 open seats so I knew he would get on, but wanted to see if the flight was on time so I could set my alarm correctly and hoping he beat the odds and got an upgrade.  When I opened the app I first checked the departure and it had left on time – even a few minutes early. I then proceeded to look at the upgrade list and only one person had received an upgrade, so I went to the regular stand by list to see if he got his own row to lie down and sleep and to my shock – his name wasn’t listed. I had checked the flight around 9pm NY time and he was listed and already checked in.  Where did his name go.   For a few minutes I thought, maybe it was some weird glitch – but with as many glitches as we have had – loosing stand by names had not been one of them.  So I started to get worried and pace and look at his Life360 App, which maps current location and recent days movements.  According to Life360 his phone had gone offline at 1505 on Tuesday, 5 minutes after he replied to me on the very same day. A simple, unimportant text about how cold it was going to be in New York when he arrived. All very normal.  I had texted 4-6 more times as I woke up and went back to sleep because I was recovering from jet lag from my trip.  He hadn’t replied – but I knew he would go to bed early and then head to the airport so that alone wasn’t odd.  

At this point I locate where it appeared he was staying.  I called one hotel that said they had not heard of him.  Next, I called the Hotel International & Terminus and a delightful woman named Maggie answered.  I explained my concern and she said ‘oh yes, Mr. Lindsey has been staying here but he hasn’t checked out” – I said can you go check on him because he doesn’t miss flights – and he certainly doesn’t miss work – which he now would as he was to work tomorrow,  The manager said the “DND” sign was on and I authorized, if not begged them to disturb him because something must be wrong.  They did and came back to the phone and informed me that all his things were there – bags, shoes, everything was there like he had went out for a few minutes but no Scott. 

At that moment I totally freaked out – I told them I would be on the next flight to Geneva.  I called Jaime, Steve and then Charlotte (all 3 my closest friends).  Charlotte was the only one that picked up so I was fast paced and in a panic told her what was going on. She was upset but for my sake trying to keep me calm.  Every possibility went through my mind from ‘was he robbed and injured and in a hospital and couldn’t communicate in French about who to call, to he was robbed and killed and his body was left somewhere, did he had a lover in Geneva which is why he went back there yet again and was leaving his life to be with him.  Nothing made sense and yet everything made sense at the same time.  

I remembered that my airline provides a service called International SOS for employees working abroad for any type of illness or emergency.  I called them and explained I was the employee and I wasn’t sure they were allowed to help me.  After explaining the circumstances, without hesitation they said of course we will help you.  They connected me from their main office in London to the local office in Geneva’s security team.  They took all his info and told me to let me know as soon as I arrived in Geneva and to let them know where I was staying so they had a way to be in touch with me.

I spent the next few hours talking to Sherri, Kim, (sisters) Steve, Jaime, Ingrid (Jaime’s wife) and Charlotte.  Jaime and Ingrid said they were coming with me – I was blown away – but I knew I needed them more than ever.  I even gave them an out – to let me see what was going on first – and Ingrid simply said, I’m packed, I have 2 ½ months vacation and my supervisor already said go now and do what you can.   She couldn’t get to New York in time to get the 6pm GVA flight but she flew on up and stayed in a hotel until the next days flight – so she arrived 24 hours after I did. 

I left Wednesday at 6pm and arrived at 7:30am on Thursday and went straight to the hotel.  I explained who I was and the whole staff came out.  Maggie got me a room and the manager took me to Scott’s room and said they hadn’t touched anything and he would leave me to pack it up and look around for any clues.  The room was as if he just stepped out for coffee – his coat was hanging by the door with his scarf, both bags were there and opened, his toothbrush was in the bath with his other toiletries, his wedding ring and the silver ring of Steve’s he had been wearing was there.  I did notice spots of blood all over the pillow – but I assumed it was his eczema, although it was far more than usual -but clearly not some place he was killed – just was minor dots of blood all over the pillow.  

I took pics and sat on the bed in utter shock – not knowing what to think, feeling numb and scared — eventually I packed his things – noting much of his clothes were missing because his roller board was almost empty.  I took all his things up to my room.

I looked up the nearest police station which was one block away and I headed down stairs to start my search there.  As I got off the elevator Maggie had printed his bill folio and showed me there was one number he dialed while he was in the hotel and she remembered because he came and asked her how to make a local call from the room.   On my walk to the police I called the number which went straight to voicemail.  I left a very generic message – not knowing who this was – simply explaining that Scott Lindsey was my husband and the last call he made was to him and if he could call me back with any insights as to the nature of the call, or anything that might point in some direction.

I spent the entire morning getting the uniform cop to take my statement. He said detectives would follow up later in the day.  So from there I re-traced his steps on Life360 – very normal places — he stood and looked at the river, he went across of the river to a Rolex store.  I had found 2 business cards from this store – when I mentioned that to Olivia (our oldest daughter) she explained that he told everyone in Dallas the last time he was there he had to get back through Geneva to get me a special gift since he usually misses gifts and he always makes it up with an amazing gift.   (I later found out that what cost $25k in the U.S. was $6k in Geneva.   Definitely worth the trip…so the jewelry store now made sense.  I showed his pic to those at the jewelry store and the woman who helped him with women’s jewelry said he was very nice and excited – but women’s jewelry confused me.  I suppose my perplexed look spawned the sales woman to tell me he mentioned getting something for his mother.  She also said that the other card was for a woman who sold in the watch department. 

I then went throughout the rest of his route from Life360 and there was nothing unusual, a quick lunch spot…their version of a mall, all very ordinary.  Life360 did show the phone was killed at 1505 on Tuesday…so after his trip to Rolex.  We didn’t know if he had bought them or not.  Maggie reported being very busy but seeing him come into the lobby in the afternoon with shopping bags under his arm – far too large for a Rolex. 

What else was there to do. I felt helpless and more scared than I had ever felt in my life.  My wonderful husband and life partner was gone – into thin air.  How could this be.  I wandered the city centre on and off and then cried in bed for a couple of hours.  

I ended the day with more questions than I began with.  The number he dialed finally called at about 8pm and simply said ‘i missed a call from this number’ – which he didn’t  because his phone was off.  I explained that I had left the message and the situation – and he was very defensive saying he told the police everything he knew and he had dropped Scott in Lyon, France on Tuesday evening.  What? Why? Where the fuck is my husband.   Someone had to have taken him – he would never just leave.  OMG….what do I do now?  Where do I go from here.  I’m ready for Jaime to arrive.  I need a good hug and endless cry.  There’s no way to sleep…just stare up at the ceiling and wonder.  I can’t stand the TV – but listening to music is ok sometimes….especially music for “A Star is Born”.   Why would Scott go to France…and in a taxi?  He knew he had a flight – he would have gone to bed at 7pm — has he met someone?  Has he decided our life is not what he wants?  I have to believe he was forced, against his will – but he called the taxi from the hotel room and then took it to Lyon, France.   I am totally in meltdown mode…not only loosing my husband – but what does all this mean.  

Okay, its been a couple hours and I just keep racing all the options through my mind.  Scott and I have been together for almost 18 years and when we didn’t work together at our own pharmacy for several years, and he came home with something bothering him, I could sense it within minutes of him arriving.  Each time, I would say, “something is up with you”, which he would at first deny and then rather quickly say well this or that happened at work or with the ex-wife or with a friend or family member.  We talked it out and he was better.  Over the years, he joked that he seemed to never learn that I could read him so well.  So, if he really wanted to leave our life together, how on earth could this be such a surprise?  He was fine before he left…we went to the airport together as I began my trip and he was off to Europe.  This was the long awaited joy of living near our hub and not being tied to our own business, that he could hop on a plane and explore, especially when I was working anyway.  That just can’t be it.  It just can’t be.  

Friday, February 1, 2019

Ingrid arrived on the 0730 flight and took the train the 8 minutes from the airport and I met her on the street – we got her room and I told her about this Lyon connection….so we went straight to the train and bought tickets to Lyon for ourselves.  It took about 2 hours – and the sheer beauty of the French Alps was overwhelming – but I could not enjoy the view because all I could think about was Scott.  Ingrid and I made a plan of what to do when we arrived,  There were only 2 Rolex dealers – we would start there, then go to the police.   No one recognized him so we went to the 1st precinct – which sent out some non-police staff member who said we couldn’t file a missing persons report until we checked all the hospitals.  We explained we didn’t know French or the city, he didn’t seem to care.  

After we were initially blown off by the police, we sat at a cafe nearby and tried – but the language barrier prevented us from getting any good information. We walked and walked and we finally went to the largest hospital that was closest to where he had been dropped off.  He wasn’t there – but the attendant used his own cell phone to call the other major hospitals to no avail.  We were so grateful for this kind gesture. 

We made last ditch effort to find more helpful police and went to the 5th District and they were amazing – just hearing Scotts name – the began to move frantically – could he be in jail here — please, but no every precinct got his missing persons report and they had just seen it and hung it up on their work board.  There I made another lengthy report -simply adding to what the Swiss had done. During this time I received calls from the Swiss Embassy in Bern. I explained we had very good reason to believe he was in France – so they said they would send his file electronically to Paris. 

Eventually we decided we needed to head back to Geneva, Jaime had landed and then we would move our hotel to Lyon on Saturday.   We missed the last train of the day back so we rented a car and drove through the Alps with poor visibility and snow flying — but we made it back.  I collapsed into Jaime’s arms and when we went to move the car from the street to a garage she came with me.  I told her to try to work in that I was in no position to hear some of the things Ingrid was saying — like ‘if we find him in some gay bar with a young, cute foreigner then she would kick his ass and I better divorce him. First, I had never even suspected this to be the case and even if it was our vows weren’t said with any ‘unless you do this’ – and I couldn’t think of that right now. Jaime handled it and it was never brought up again. 

**While in the Uber to the train station a detective called from Geneva and said he had been dropped off in an area ‘full of gay bars’ so he probably was going to party.  I told him he didn’t know Scott and that’s not something he would do.  However, after that I realized Geneva didn’t want to work the case at all. 

I was up most of the night trying to figure out what could have happened.  Did he choose to do this and if so…how did I not see it coming – and even more so – why wasn’t he just honest and say he needed some time – at least I would know he’s alive. I felt like a failure as a husband for not seeing more. I began to blame my job – being gone leaving him with no real social network.  For almost 18 years I’ve seen what’s wrong – or at least that something was wrong before Scott did – and somehow I missed this huge, life altering thing that the police want me to believe was his choice.  I mean it seems like it is – but how and why – and how could I not have seen that something was bothering him so badly.   

Saturday, February 2, 2019

We had agreed to drive the rental car back to Lyon and I found a hotel near the center of nightlife and shopping – the Grand Hotel Des Terreaux.  We drove and turned in the car…after checking in at the hotel – then started our search over again.  We went back to the 5th Precinct and the one who spoke the best English was there and he called around and it turned out the criminal detective wanted to see me in person.   They were so kind and put us in a police car and took us all the way across town to their new police HDQ and we were met by Thomas Reina. He led us up to his office and while he spoke a small amount of English we waited on an interpreter.  This detective was from the 1st precinct – and she had come in on a Saturday evening with her 4 month old son just to do this and at the end she drove us in her personal car back to our hotel  This was probably the only night we attempted a real meal at the pizzeria next to the hotel 

We had spent 4 ½ hours with the detective – asking the usual ‘did you fight before he left’ – ‘why was he just casually traveling’, etc.  Thomas did his own very complete report.  He also told us that if Scott was found – as an adult he had the right to privacy and could refuse to let them tell me where he was…however they said – but we might write it down and leave it on the desk and go to the bathroom.    I appreciated that – they both saw how absolutely distraught I was and they believed that this was not normal nor in his character to do. 

We went out around midnight – it was Saturday so we could get the full clubbing experience – and found that this was no gay area at all.  We only saw one lesbian bar and everything else was just very busy bars with people of all ages and types.  We showed his pic to some bouncers, no one had seen him.  We then went to the Away Hostel which was in the midst of this area and asked…no one working had seen him but they texted his pic to everyone who works the front desk – we got that no one have ever seen him. 

We finally retired for the night and I just laid awake crying and worrying.  

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Sunday we decided to make a last ditch effort and go to INTERPOL since they are based in Lyon.  We quickly found out it doesn’t work that way.  It would be like us going to the CIA and asking for an agent to take our info.  They explained reports to them came directly from law enforcement agencies around the world.  We felt dumb, but also that we had left no stone un-turned.  

We did some more canvassing with no luck.  We then looked on the U.S. Embassy – Paris website and they had a list of attorneys and we were all drawn to one – Stepane Drai who went to Harvard, was licensed to practice in the states and in France and had argued before the SCOTUS.  I left a message Sunday but we decided we would just go to his office first thing Monday.  

Sunday was tough – I was more distraught than ever and I felt like Scott would never come home and that I would never see him again.  My crying had become so deep it was painful.  Late afternoon, I asked Jaime and Ingrid if it would be ok if I had the evening to just be alone.  Of course, they were supportive but it was decided Jaime would take my phone and hotel key – and just check on me or bring food so I could have my private nervous breakdown. 

Jaime and Ingrid were amazing every step of the way – I can’t imagine doing this without them.  Jaime texted to our group text that she had my phone because I wasn’t doing well and she had taken it from me so I could try to rest.  We had been doing a twice a day group text to about 20 people, the kids, parents, siblings and closest friends. 

I laid in bed and cried, wailed, beat the pillows and then laid silent.  It seems to go in cycles…nice not to have my phone – I can’t stand the thought of another person “caring” – I’m sick of it – I only want to hear from Scott.  And without his voice – I don’t want to hear anything else…so I lay here only hearing the sounds of horns on the street and people walking by…the window is open of course. 

I’ve been reading and re-reading the vows we said to each other at the “W” Hotel wedding and I pray you remember every word somewhere inside you – if you are alive – and can find you way back to me and to our lifelong promises to each other:

SCOTT VOWS:

I never thought I would ever see this day!  Thank you so much to The W, HRC and Turn It Up For Change!  

June 15, 2001, changed my life forever!  I was 36 years old before I finally found what true love meant.  I’m living my love story!

Chris, these are my vows to you.  I promise to …….

Love you forever until the end of my life.  Love Madeleine and Caroline (our kids) until the end of my life.  Love Brian and Olivia (our kids) until the end of my life.

Be there for you in all aspects of our life, good and bad, sad and joyous.

Respect you.

Communicate with you.

Trust you.

So, if you’ll have me, I promise all this until the end of my life.

CHRIS VOWS:

I stand here today before the man I love…in dis-belief.  I am in dis-belief that this day ever came…when we met more than 14 years ago I never thought this day would be possible.  So we ran off to Canada in 2006 and got married, much to my surprise.  However, today – we get to stand in front of each other AND our friends and family  — and our 4 amazing children –  and commit again to each other, this time fully public and in the open, not ashamed of who we are or how God created us – but PROUD of who we are and that we are. 

Marriage is like any other part of life…a process — one that evolves and grows and changes with time.  Our marriage is not what it was 14 years ago, nor when we went to Canada…its ever growing and changing…and I will promise to grow with it in concert with you. 

As I look in to your eyes…I see the first thing I loved about you — your beautiful green eyes.  And over the years I’ve come to know that not only are those eyes beautiful, but they are the window to your soul.  I’ve stared into them when I needed to feel loved and cherished, when I’ve wanted to celebrate and I look for that sparkle that makes me smile (up close or across a room)…and I’ve stared into them when I needed comfort and wasn’t sure how to handle my own grief, sadness or disappointment.  I stand here in disbelief that I lived to see this day but my mom didn’t — I know she’s here and I love her for always loving both of us….I remember her visiting US and calling you my husband when no one else other than our friends had used that word!!   

Today, I stare into your eyes and re-make a promise I’ve made to you over and over again.  I promise to look you in your eyes and tell you the truth, to ask for help when I need it, to offer you help when you need it and to trust you and value your partnership.  

In truth, my idea of marriage is not one that simply boils down to roles as a couple, but a commitment to put you first, to believe you first, to trust that you will always have my best interest at heart.  Marriage is a sacred, holy – yet invisible thing – that isn’t just you and I living in a place together or even saying we will do it forever no matter what.  To me, marriage is bigger than that.  Our marriage is –  and I promise I will do my best to continue – to make it a safe haven….a space that gives each of us room to be our true selves….we both lived too long not doing that — and even while being our true selves — making the space to be in relationship with each other…honoring the commitment we’ve made over and over again through the years…I promise I will continually re-commit to our lives together – both in small and in big ways.   

I promise to love and protect you, I promise to be there for you when you know you need me and even when you don’t realize you need me.  I don’t promise to be perfect at it…because we are both old enough not to enter into a fairy tale…but I do promise to do better when I mess up, I promise to make our life together meaningful, full of laughs, cries, silent thoughts and deep talks.  I will make you better and you will make me better. 

Whatever comes next…I commit to enter into that with you!  Scott Lindsey, I vow to make you my husband every day I wake up for as many days or decades I have in this life.  

He said “until the end of his life!!” – I get that if he’s having a nervous breakdown, logic and promises go out the window.  But nothing was going on…so why. 

*** Wow…re-reading these vows make me want to jump out a window – because all of our promises meant something – they mean something – and if you left me, especially like this – I will be dumb founded.  And if you are dead…I will never recover.  I don’t wanna love any one else and never will.  But I keep praying I don’t have to, although it feels more and more like that is the reality.   I genuinely feel no hope…no part of me thinks Jaime will come knocking on the door saying my phone rang and it was you.  How did we go from being together 24/7 at the pharmacy to me not even knowing where you are.  And why would you leave the hotel in Geneva without even a coat.  Nothing makes any sense except that I feel like this is the end…an end I can’t imagine living through…so maybe an end for us both cause I wanna be where you are.  I promised until the end of my life…but that’s not enough.  Especially if your life has ended…I have more to say, we have more to do…more trips and sex and touching and kissing and me feeling you NEED me…and knowing I need you.  Dear God…how is this how it ends?  We know nothing.  Not like a car accident or a heart attack…we know nothing.   If anything ‘normal’ – even deadly happened we would know where he is and yet – he’s vanished into thin air.  Why?  I know he didn’t and would never do this on his own…not even in a nervous breakdown state…I think he would come home and maybe fall into my arms and fall apart – but to just vanish in fucking France.  Are you kidding me?  But why did he take a taxi all those miles from Geneva to here?   He wasn’t dead then…I guess…if I believe the driver.  I just don’t know what to believe.  I want answers…and God forbid if Scott is gone – please let us find him so we know where he is and can take him home.  I may not make it through all that – but I know I can’t make it through this not knowing.  My body is literally shutting down…I can’t think, I can’t do anything normal.  How can I eat when I don’t even know where my husband is.  Ingrid very quietly came in and dropped off pizza…not wanting to wake me cause it was dark – but I’m not asleep – I just kind of mumbled like I was cause I don’t wanna talk.  That pizza is making me nauseous just being in the room.  I give up for the night.  I can’t type any more – cause I can’t think of anything else to type.  I’m trying to pour out my feelings here so they aren’t bottled up -but God knows they aren’t bottled up as much as I’m crying.   I’ve actually never cried like this before – my entire body shakes and feels like I can’t even stay upright.  I’m glad to be in bed…I feel a cool breeze and I’m cuddled up under the covers.  I can’t watch Will & Grace…maybe I can’t laugh – maybe its too close to being a Scott and me thing.  So I will just be silent and stare at the hotel light out my window.  And I will pray that I’m really asleep and I wake up next to Scott – or by some miracle he just knocks on my hotel door.  Please God….

Monday, February 4, 2019

We met in the lobby and took an Uber to the attorneys (Mr. Stephane Drai) office, having no idea if he would take the case or throw us out.  But we needed to talk the possibility of a media campaign along with a reward as well as set him up to be looking out for us once we were no longer useful here in France. .  He said rewards aren’t allowed in France – but that he could file a criminal complaint in Geneva with the DA which would force the DA to instruct the police to do a more serious investigation.  We explained about the taxi driver and he immediately was furious that they talked to him on the phone, saying constantly “this is bullshit” in his French accent. He asked us to come back at 6pm and he would have the complaint drawn up and a retainer agreement – he also explained the retainer was $5000USD and his hourly rate was $495/hr.  Didn’t phase me – if we have to spend every penny we have to find Scott. 

We walked around some more looking, dreaming where Scott might of gone – finally it was 3:45pm and we had to be back at the attorney at 6p so Jaime suggested I lie down and she took my phone and hotel key.  About 4:15p – Jaime knocked and came in and said the police are here and need to talk to you.  A wave of fear, anxiety, grief all washed over me – the police coming to me could only mean one thing – his body had been found.  It was clear even Jaime thought that…the way she gently told me about the police and the way she held me like I was already a widower.  

Jaime held me tight as they began and quickly they said they knew with 100% certainty that he as alive and in Spain.  Spain requires names to be input into a government system of any foreigner in the country, and they got a hit on his missing persons report we had filed in Geneva   They again explained it was up to Scott if he would allow me to even know where he was – and that we should come back to police HDQ on Tuesday morning.  

We went to the attorney at 6p – signed our contracts and updated him on what the police had said.  He was still unconvinced that this was on Scott’s freewill…as were we. At every meeting we explained this is not what Scott would do.  

The joy of him being alive got overtaken with the new type of grief of why he left, how did I miss he was in a bad place…did he not want our lives anymore.  There were clearly easier ways to leave me – like just go to Texas, either option was sheer devastation for me – but as I told Leah (my ex-wife and my kids mom…and still a person I love and who loves me) – ‘he’s alive, we can work with alive’ – she agreed and broke down almost as I had.  Leah told me how hard she had prayed all day even getting on her knees and begging God not to take Scott from me, our kids, our family…and she found her prayers answered.  

Tuesday, January 5, 2019

Went back to police HDQ where a new interpreter joined us who had far better English and empathy.  The detectives showed us pics where the hood was down and it was him – and a video of him checking into the Away Hostel with audio.  We could even hear him saying some sob story about being robbed and he had no ID but is name was now Estaban Ramos.  I told them then – that he didn’t look like he was doing this of his own free will – but as they had said all along – oh people act ways you wouldn’t expect with they want to say fuck my life.  I adamantly disagreed – I explained – I have known this man for 18 years and I could tell something – even minor – was bothering him before he did.  And, we had recently had conversations that we were finally living this new chapter of our lives in New York, etc. He loved his job at Jerry’s – and if nothing else I knew he wouldn’t miss work if a leg had been torn off – he just would never do that – even 1000x’s more without calling ahead.  The detective just blew me off and said – no, he’s doing this on his own, no doubt. 

Even Ingrid, who is in law enforcement, asked the detectives, “how do you know he’s not under duress, being extorted?”  They dismissed her as quickly as they did me. 

We went back to the hotel in shock – trying to make sense of it all. 

The three of us took a nap – not knowing the correct next step.  I spent most of my alone time crying my eyes out and in cycles just lying there in utter shock — how is this happening – Scott is the definition of stable, their theory just didn’t make sense…but what else could it be.  He wore that damn red parka and left all his bags behind – was that a diversion so we wouldn’t know and if so – he could’ve taken his things and not tipped anyone off to where he had gone or was going. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

We asked the police if we were doing any good anymore – and they said we should go home and wait for his call.  So, we checked flights from GVA and CDG and found that leaving Paris was much better option – so we booked those reservations and I made a reservation for 2 rooms at the Hilton at CDG for one night.  We took the train to Paris, arriving at rush hour but finally making it to the hotel.  We all agreed we were going to pass out and meet early for the flight.   I continued to update family and friends back in the states, explaining why I was coming home and about the attorney we hired so we had a presence in France. I feel a little better knowing someone was working for me and could keep pressure on the police.  

Thursday, February 7, 2019

We got on our flight from Paris to New York — I was happy I was able to upgrade all 3 of us – Jaime and Ingrid deserved that and so much more.  I didn’t sleep – I mostly cried because I never thought I would leave Europe without my husband.  Where exactly was he – what was he doing – watching TV – eating food I know he doesn’t really like?  WTF was going on? I stared out the window for what seemed like hours because I couldn’t stop crying — he was still in Europe and I’m just going home, how is that ok?  But with not even a city in Spain to go on…what could I do.  Maybe I should’ve taken the train to Barcelona…but as Olivia pointed out – he wouldn’t know Castilion – so more likely someplace else.  Seville?  Madrid? Everything is possible. 

Landing in New York around 11am and Jaime and Ingrid and I will say our goodbyes as they were flying on to DFW – It would be torture letting Jaime go…and being really really alone – but also I need to get home – to be around OUR life – our stuff, Scott’s clothes and toothbrush.  I need to feel close to him. 

Olivia and Drew (Olivia’s fiancé)  said they wanted to come up so I wasn’t alone – so they plan to come Friday until Sunday or Monday.

On the plane, I can’t sleep but I’m listening to two songs that are not only two of our favorites but man do they ever fit my feelings and mood, so they are on repeat.  I can’t stop crying listening, but I listen nonetheless. 

_______________________________________________________________

Carrie Underwood: Cry Pretty

I’m sorry, but I’m just a boy*

Not usually the kind to show my heart to the world

I’m pretty good at keeping it together

I hold my composure, for worse or for better

So I apologize if you don’t like what you see

But sometimes my emotions get the best of me

And falling apart is as human as it gets

You can’t hide it, you can’t fight what the truth is

You can pretty lie and say it’s okay

You can pretty smile and just walk away

Pretty much fake your way through anything

But you can’t cry pretty

Oh no, you can’t dress it up in lace or rhinestones

It don’t matter if you’re in a crowd or home all alone

Yeah, it’s all the same when you’re looking in the mirror

A picture of pain, so let it flow like a river

You can pretty lie and say it’s okay

You can pretty smile and just walk away

Pretty much fake your way through anything

But you can’t cry pretty

You can’t turn off the flood when the dam breaks

When all your mascara is going to waste

When things get ugly, you just gotta face

That you can’t cry pretty

Oh no, you can’t

Ooh, yeah

You can’t turn off the flood when the dam breaks

When all your mascara is going to waste

When things get ugly, you just gotta face

That you can’t cry pretty

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

No, you can’t cry

No, you can’t cry

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, woo

You can’t cry

You can’t cry pretty, baby

Oh yeah, woo, woo

No, you can’t cry pretty, yeah

Lady Gaga from A Star Is Born: “I’ll never love again”

Wish I could, I could’ve said goodbye

I would’ve said what I wanted to

Maybe even cried for you

If I knew it would be the last time

I would’ve broke my heart in two

Tryin’ to save a part of you

Don’t wanna feel another touch

Don’t wanna start another fire

Don’t wanna know another kiss

No other name falling off my lips

Don’t wanna give my heart away

To another stranger

Or let another day begin

Won’t even let the sunlight in

No, I’ll never love again

I’ll never love again, oh, oh, oh, oh

When we first met

I never thought that I would fall

I never thought that I’d find myself

Lying in your arms

And I want to pretend that it’s not true

Oh baby, that you’re gone

‘Cause my world keeps turning, and turning, and turning

And I’m not moving on

Don’t wanna feel another touch

Don’t wanna start another fire

Don’t wanna know another kiss

No other name falling off my lips

Don’t wanna give my heart away

To another stranger

Or let another day begin

Won’t even let the sunlight in

No, I’ll never love

I don’t wanna know this feeling

Unless it’s you and me

I don’t wanna waste a moment, ooh

And I don’t wanna give somebody else the better part of me

I would rather wait for you, ooh

Don’t wanna feel another touch

Don’t wanna start another fire

Don’t wanna know another kiss

Baby, unless they are your lips

Don’t wanna give my heart away

To another stranger

Won’t let another day begin

Won’t even let the sunlight in

Oh, I’ll never love again

Never love again

Never love again

Oh, I’ll never love again

______________________________________________________________________

How many times can I live through hearing these songs.  I cry all the way through but I can’t stop.  Over the Atlantic now and all I want is for Scott to be sitting next to me.  How can this be.  I didn’t come here to then come home without him.  I never knew what to expect – but it wasn’t this.  And was leaving Europe my goodbye, like Lady Gaga?  Omg…how could that be.  Will he ever come home?  Will he ever call?  What’s next?  I raced my way through Switzerland and France and nothing – and so I don’t see a time where this is better or is over…will I be still doing this in June? December?  I have to support myself…but I can’t imagine giving a shit if someone wants a red wine or a club soda right now.  And I don’t trust myself with an aircraft door.  If it goes on that long will I feel better – or be able to walk through life at least in zombie like fashion, enough to get through?  Will I move back to Dallas?  Tulsa?  Omg…neither of those options seem ok – but in New Jersey the only person I really have is Janice.  And I probably can’t afford New Jersey – maybe back to an old walkup, studio or something.  The scariest thing I’ve ever thought was during this round of this song…”wish I could have said goodbye” – WTF…goodbye?  I guess I’d rather of said goodbye that whatever this is…but I have no idea where to start in getting home and waking up tomorrow…to do what?  He’s gone!  

Friday, February 8, 2019

I stayed in bed all day – I didn’t eat…I did drink a bottle of water because Jason Carmin and Charlotte made me promise and I sent selfies proving it.  I showered, got water and went back to bed.  Dr. Foster called after seeing my message to Gloria the day before – he was mind blown and offered to send valium out which I happily accepted.  Leticia texted that it was ready and she could bring it by after work – she did and seeing her was a great sight.  We hugged and cried and didn’t do much talking because what was there to say. 

I set my alarm to pick up Drew and Olivia because my routine was to sleep as many hours a day as possible. Olivia was intent that they were getting me out of the house on Saturday.  We chose Dear Evan Hansen, I felt guilty for even thinking of doing something not focused on finding Scott…but what could I do now.  I’ve lost 20 lbs and am so weak – being out might help.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Slept late – got up when Olivia was making coffee – she did a good job of talking about other things. The show was at 8pm and by 3p I needed alone time – I apologized but she said I earned alone time and to do what I needed.  I showered and then cried for 2 hours.  I finally pulled it together and got dressed and we headed into the city – we ate at Times Square Diner on 8th then went to see the show.   Show was good – might have been really good if I could’ve concentrated.  Only cried like 3 times during it – so that’s an improvement. 

Went back to the apartment and went to bed.  

Monday, February 11, 2019

Took Drew and Olivia to the airport mid-day.  Leticia (a good friend from Scott’s work in NY) was texting to see how I was doing and if there was anything I needed. There was nothing, but her being worried she sent her husband Alex to bring me food and check on me later in the evening.  I cried out in prayer to God and Mommy to be close to Scott – for Mommy to make him feel her presence because then he would think of me – and he would never do this to me on purpose.  I cried myself to exhaustion and finally fell asleep for a bit.  At about 4am the phone rang and it was a doctor asking if I was Chris Lindsey and if Scott Lindsey was my husband.  I said yes…and she said he’s here ———omg, my prayers were answered — she explained he would be in the ICU for a night due to ‘wounds’ near his heart.  I said are you saying he was stabbed and she said yes.  But she assured me he was doing ok and would be fine and had asked her to call me.  I told her to please tell him I was on my way.  She told me he was at the Hospital Clinica San Carlos – and she said its a large hospital and any taxi would know where it was.   

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Ice storm was on its way to NY – and most Europe flights don’t leave until evening – so decided to take the 8am to London and then go to Madrid first thing the next morning.  Omg, he’s ok or will be – and I will see him in a matter of hours.  What seemed like I would never see him again had turned on a dime. wow. 

Departed for LHR at 0800, arrived in London at 2005 and in flight made a reservation at the Sofitel in Terminal 5 as my flight to Madrid left at 0630 – I could hardly wait.  I still don’t know what has been going on with him these past 2 weeks – but I would know soon.  I am scared and excited.  Would he want to see me or had he called cause he needed someone…needing me meant something – so I’ll take it.   

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Got on my British Airways flight to Madrid – grabbed a taxi had him let me drop off my bags at the hotel and then take me to the Hospital Clinca San Carlos.  After a lot of language issues – someone found him and led me to him and we saw each other and both fell apart and cried like I’ve never cried for almost an hour.   My first question was do you still love me, do you want to come home.  He was so confused – ‘of course, I didn’t want to be here, they made me’ – and then he asked if Mother was ok – I said well, not really but better knowing we found you – I hadn’t realized he thought she was dead.   We continued to cry and a team of 3 docs walked in…they asked Scott to explain his story – and this was my first time to hear what had happened – and it was awful – I thought I was going to throw up just hearing that this had all happened to the most amazing man I have ever known.   What monsters made him do all this and then left him for dead.   Honestly,  I don’t give a shit about them at the moment – I just want Scott to be ok.  

They informed me that visiting hours was only from 4p-6p and I would have to leave soon.   We begged but they said these were the rules.  We cried even more about that.  However, about 30 minutes later they opened the double doors to the room and said we have a new room for you and the doctor has written special order that Chris can stay from 9a-9p.  Omg..it was a miracle.  Thank you God.  I never left his side until the nurse said it was time for me to go — 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The doctors informed us when I arrived today that starting today, Scott would get 2 hour breaks to leave the hospital as long as he didn’t have a temperature.  So we got so excited, even if an orderly just pushes us out into the sunlight.  After the 30 min IV push of antibiotics the nurse brought in a “pass” and when we asked if we were to be escorted, she said that we were free to go as we wished.  She said the doctors made it clear that he should stay close and come back if he felt bad in any way.  So he threw on the clothes I had brought up to the hospital and we walked out.  It’s a huge hospital and by the time we got outside and walked down a small hill he was out of breath and dizzy, so he needed to sit for a bit.  He quickly said, “don’t tell the doctors”, I said I wouldn’t but that this seemed pretty normal for someone recovering from his serious injuries and who had been in a hospital room for a week now.  We took it slow but walked down the main street leading away from the hospital and in true Scott fashion, he sniffed out a bakery.   Convinced a little sugar would give him the energy he needed and he was right.  We walked further before going back to the hospital.  He was tired from this outing but it was so freeing for both of us. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

I arrived at about 8:50 in the morning and around 10, his team of doctors came in for their morning visit.  The first thing they asked was how his 2 hours of free time had gone the day prior.  We both went on like we had seen Las Vegas for the first time.  The doctors had questions and then I realized why we got these 2 hour passes.  Scott didn’t notice it…but I immediately realized from their questions that these were tests on how he would do outside the safety of the hospital.  After all, he had been terrorized for weeks and then stabbed, almost to death, a mere 8 days ago.  They wanted to know if he felt safe.  Did he ever feel scared or worried?  Did any of the sounds like cars or motorcycles bother him or the hustle and bustle of an afternoon rush hour on the sidewalks of Madrid.  I think he hadn’t noticed their line of questioning because for everything they asked he just said, no, he felt fine.  And he did.  But they were worried about PTSD and while he was on heavy duty meds at the time for PTSD, they wanted a trial run prior to releasing him into the world, especially to fly back to the United States. 


With the questions answered, they told us we could do the same for the rest of his stay…which would be 3 more days at this point.  Even though we were trying to get home for our sons wedding on Saturday, in Dallas.  The doctors were trying, but they also were cautious, and rightly so.  The trip to Dallas would be even further and then assuming we made it, we would be rushing to a wedding with the entire family just excited to see him alive.  We were both still set on trying though…and they said they would try hard to get us out early on Friday.  

Later in the day, Internal Medicine came in and said the latest blood cultures were good but that the antibiotic he was on had been started once the original cultures came back and that they just couldn’t let him go until after his Saturday IV round.  This IV antibiotic is meant to prevent bacterial endocarditis – or a bacterial infection in the heart.  The risk was due to the close proximity of the wound in his chest to his heart and the sack surrounding his heart.  With billions of bacteria always coursing through our bodies, this wound was inviting those bacteria to take hold and infect his heart…a potential death sentence.  After all he survived, we simply couldn’t risk him loosing his life over a rush to leave.  We finally were coming to the realization that making it to Dallas and the wedding was not in the cards. 

Friday, February 22, 2019

The days have actually gone quickly – just spending every moment they allowed with Scott was amazing.  I got here every day at 9am or before and tried to be good and leave before 9pm when I knew the nurse would ask me to.  I went to the hotel, got what we needed for the next day, shower, lay out clothes and try to sleep to do it all again the next day.  The past few days being able to leave the hospital with him for 2 hour breaks have been so great.   Seems like every day Internal Medicine adds days to Scott’s IV antibiotic routing — but finally getting out of here and heading home.  Flying to London tomorrow – then on home on Sunday. Think it’s a good, measured step towards home.  Glad we finally just put the wedding to rest…I think it would be way too much for Scott and it would overshadow Brian’s wedding – not good for either of them.   I think Scott would be worn out before we got there and the emotional ride of seeing the kids, Mother, Sherri, Kim, Steve…would be overwhelming.

Published by chrislindsey71

Late 40's flight attendant. Born in Tulsa, OK, moved to Dallas for graduate school and stayed for 23 years before moving to New York. Proudly was able to marry the love of my life, Scott Lindsey in 2015 in the most amazing ceremony I could've imagined. On the top of the W Hotel & Residence in Dallas, TX after reciting vows were surprised by Jennifer Hudson, who surprised us with a performance...dancers and all to celebrate marriage equality. Only because of the Human Rights Campaign and W Hotels was that evening possible. One we will never forget.

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