After 30 years, a man finds his mother in a Duluth hospital

The Duluth News Tribune, in a must-read story, has today’s lessons for parents and children: Don’t lose each other.

Rob Caskey, 48, hasn’t seen his mother in 30 years. He didn’t even know if she was still alive and, for sure, he didn’t know she was living in Duluth.

“It was a bad year,” Caskey said of the year in North Carolina when he was 18. “My dad left, and I had a brother that was three years younger than me, ended up getting killed. That was just too much for my mother.”

She met and married another man, and he didn’t like to stay put, Sandra Troy tells the News Tribune’s John Lundy.

He was going to go to Australia for work but then he was diagnosed with cancer and not long after that, he was dead.

How they got to Duluth, she doesn’t recall. But Rob was back in North Carolina and the two simply lost touch with each other.

Then he met a woman, they became a couple and she — Elizabeth Smith — just couldn’t leave it like the way Rob described his missing mother. So she started digging, and found his mother in Duluth.

“I had no idea what her reaction was going to be, because it had been 30 years,” Smith tells Lundy. “I told her I absolutely meant no ill whatsoever. If she told us to go away, we would go away. She got very emotional and said she absolutely did want to reconnect with him.”

Troy and her son chatted by phone for a few hours, but then mother went missing again.

She was in the hospital. Unconscious, until Tuesday, apparently, when Caskey arrived to see his mother again.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen those gorgeous eyes,” she said.