Shari Rushton holds up her phone to show a photograph of her mom, Lori Rushton, who was missing at the time. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Shari Rushton holds up her phone to show a photograph of her mom, Lori Rushton, who was missing at the time. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

LETTER: Thank you for all your help to find my mom, Lori Rushton

Thank you for every prayer, every set of eyes of every single person who was searching


Hi, my name is Shari Rushton.

I am writing this on behalf of my family. On Oct. 14, 2021 about 4:20 p.m., my mom, Lori Ruston went missing.

Mom had spent the weekend in hospital and came home Tuesday. She has just recently started getting confused and we are all trying to learn what is going on. So, dad went next door to their neighbour and friend Dave Peever and they did an immediate search. I found out at 6 p.m., left work and joined the search.

By then the entire neighbourhood and police were searching for mom. I wish I could share each outpouring of true love and caring we ended up being surrounded by. This letter is meant to say thank you. But just thank you is way, way too small of a word. So, I would like to say a huge monumental thank you to every single person in our world that this touched.

This happened for a reason, this has restored my faith in humanity. I have been feeling very alone in our world saying nobody cares. I was born and raised here with tons of family and friends. There has been a disconnect with all of us. I believe my mom was the strength needed to bring us all back together again.

When mom was in hospital I was not reaching out to anyone, I believe we needed to be shown how strong mom really is. I think mom had angel wings wrapped around her and she needed time for clarity while we all had huge angel wings wrapped around us.

Mom brought close family, old friends, new friends and amazing strangers we didn’t even know, together.

Mom is still teaching me.

I found out I am not alone and I found out so many of our old friends and family were feeling like me. We all needed to be together and know we are there for each other especially in our crazy world we are living in right now.

Thank you for every prayer, every set of eyes of every single person who was searching. Every person that told us ‘Do Not Give Up.’ I had. I was wrong about so many things.

To the neighbours that said they saw mom walking on Hazel, I said ‘no that could not have been mom… She can’t walk that far’ … LOL wrong.

I learned never give up and miracles really do happen.

Thank you to Don and Dawn who ran the search command station and every single volunteer that came out.

Thank you to the RCMP Pat Grey, my first contact. Fraser who spent two days with us, Katlynn at the detachment, thank you for reaching out to us. For all the food and drinks provided for us the first night. So much food brought over by family and friends and people we didn’t even know … just overwhelming gratitude.

My cousin Marcela Hutchinson and Sheila Hurst for bringing a fire pit to sit around, was so amazing. Ivy Bowe for homemade soup and bannock. Someone brought us a huge pan of scalloped potatoes and a big tray of amazing buns and brownies. So much more we are grateful to every person who has touched our lives.

Thank you Joey, someone who saw it on Facebook and came out everyday, I would like to thank you for being with my brother Mark down at the lake, I am glad he wasn’t alone. Thank you for helping me remember my days, explaining what had been going on.

So hard to think straight under so much stress. When the Rangers arrived the second night, Joey directed them to the best place to get set up. It felt good to see them, truck after truck with quads. When someone else family member goes missing I will be there to tell them to never give up … miracles do happen. Mom was so “Euphoric” when we saw her in the ambulance. It was stunningly amazing she was wide eyed and bushy-tailed, grinning ear to ear. Then I was told mom was refusing to go to the hospital. I went back in to talk to my tiny little mommy I thought was gone forever, to get the stern mom look … LOL I thought I would never see again, tell me no I am not going, that’s it. LOL … I was not going to argue, so our new RCMP friend Fraser took over, mom agreed with him and spent maybe an hour in emergency then I brought her home. When the emergency doctor asked mom what happened mom told him “Well I just wanted a little time to myself. So I put on my ugly shoes (nobody likes but me) … I have white ones but I like my ugly ones and I went for a walk about and you know when you turn around too fast sometimes you don’t know where you are.” Poor mom lost her ugly shoes and was crawling in the forest on her poor little knees. She was upset she thought nobody cared or was looking for her … Little did she know. Mom’s second night out there at one point she thought she was at home safe and warm in bed until she woke up. Poor mom. She heard and saw the chopper the day before but she could not move fast enough to be seen. A special thank you to Sean Empey who found my mom … Sorry thank you just does not feel like enough!! Forever grateful, Sean looked into the camera and said “Now that is 90 pounds of tough” with a big smile on his face. Thank you to Tracy and her RCMP dog for coming out to search and taking time to talk to me. I would also like to thank Mike from Kamloops and his search dog Ranger who came out the day we found mom. That day I stopped to search the lake … I was walking back when I said out loud,mom they said I wouldn’t be alone and I was alone again, I looked up across from me and out came Ranger the search dog and his handler Mike, I sighed with relief. It was what I needed right at that moment. I told Mike who I was and had a heartfelt talk and I got a hug that was badly needed. So grateful you were there and my mom was not. Sorry I am writing this how I speak, I am a stickler for detail and tell a long winded story. Thank you to Monica Lamb-Yorski at the Tribune for your caring and compassion, thank you to victim services for being there, to my cousin Blaine Norberg, thank you for making mom, dad and I laugh out loud when we heard you say Auntie is not going to like the cow bell she going to have to wear. Good to have humour. Thank you so much to the search crew that were on scene that brought mom down from the forest, forever grateful for all of your kind love and support. Thank you Uncle Rollie for driving in everyday from Alexis Creek and back home at night so worried about his little sister, he is her only brother lift. Thank you to mom and dad’s neighbour Tyler and Alpine his Saint Bernard who helped search from the start. Best wishes to Tyler who is now in Kamloops Hospital. Him and Alpine went over the cliff on 6 Mile Hill this last week. You never know from one second to the next what is going to happen. To anybody I forgot to mention please don’t take it personally. Forever grateful for every second of everyone’s time, caring compassion and love.

Shari, Jerry, Lori and Mark Rushton

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