Sunday, February 22, 2015

Faith

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
that I would see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.

Psalm 27:13

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Michaela's Rainbow


Michaela was very fond of drawing rainbows. As you may know, I have discovered in the last couple of months that I can get tattoos. I'd always wanted them but for some reason thought I was too "old." I have a couple now, but this drawing will be the inspiration for my next one, scheduled for late March. I actually had to post this picture on the blog so I could upload it and send it to my tattoo artist, but I hope you enjoy it anyway, as an example of Michaela's bright spirit.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Can't renew domain name! Help!

p.s. 2/10/15. Just want to let everybody know that thanks to the very kind help of some very nice and well connected people, the dearmichaela.com domain name has been renewed and is safe for another year! THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH!

Dear Friends,

Years ago I purchased the dearmichaela.com domain name through blogger, which is owned by google. Since then google has been through multiple changes and it has now become impossible for me to pay for my domain name renewal through google, and I cannot find any way in the wide world to actually contact a living person there to help with this!!! I apparently cannot log in to the admin console with my usual google log-in, and the one they suggested as an alternative has been permanently deleted and cannot be recovered.

So should this domain name disappear one day in the future, this is why. You will be able to access it through the original web address, which is www.thewonderingheart.blogspot.com.  Don't forget the "the" or you will not end up in the right place.

I will  post updates, if need on Michaela's facebook page at www.facebook.com/MichaelaJoyGarecht

Thank you so much for loving and caring for Michaela for all this time.

Michaela's mom

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dream Last Night

I had my normal sort of wandering dream last night, always seem to be moving, looking for something, trying to get somewhere. But last night I dreamed about a very, very old friend of mine, who I lost track of long ago. In the dream she had been kidnapped and had been gone for years and had returned, but she hadn't told anybody (except for me I guess), because she had two children, two boys, and she didn't want them to be affected by what had happened to her ... didn't want them to even know that she had been kidnapped and that they had been living with a kidnapper.

We would travel close to her family's home, kind of sneaky so she could see what they were up to but not reveal herself to them. Then one day she was walking down the street and her mother and a cousin or other family member were walking across the street. I saw her lift her hand and wave to call out to the cousin, without thinking what she was doing, and I tried to warn her but if I called her name out loud her mother would have turned and looked. So she called to her cousin, then realized what she had done, and turned and ran as they looked for her.

Finally we sat down and I begged her to contact her family. I assured her that we would take care of her kids, but I asked her how she would feel if it was one of her children that was missing and she didn't know what had happened to them. I was in tears by this time, and she agreed to contact her family and had just left for their home when I woke up.

Elsewhere in that dream or another there was a plane crash. I was looking out my living room window and saw two planes crash into the ground in the same place, with a huge fiery explosion. Don't remember the context of the dream.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO GET HELP!

This is for Michaela, and for anyone else who is in need of help of any kind. If you can't get help directly, think creatively, like this woman did!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Happy Birthday, Michaela

Today, Michaela, is your birthday. I was just sitting here praying for you, and I was praying that wherever you are that God would put his arms around you and hold you ... and that brought to my mind the saddest picture ... of you alive somewhere, knowing it is your birthday, feeling like nobody cares. And I prayed that wherever you are, God would allow you to feel my arms around you, to let you feel my love.

Do you think that you are forgotten? You are not. On this day, for the last 26 years, I have remembered you in various ways, but I have never forgotten you. I have never forgotten the gift that I received on this day 36 years ago. I have written before in these many blogs about this, but never, ever doubt Michaela, that I am glad you were born. I rejoice in you. The gift you were to me then, and honestly the gift you continue to be to me now. Even on the darkest roads I have walked in my grief, you are a shining light in my heart. My love for you is great and huge, overcoming any attacks with its power. So for me, there would be no other choice. I would always choose to have you, to know your softness, your sweetness, to hold you and feel your heart beat against mine, a heart that was purely kind.

For you, Michaela, for your sake, the story might have been different. If I had been told, before you were born, how YOU would suffer in this lifetime, it is most likely I would have sacrificed my own joy for your sake. I would have chosen to spare you that, even if it meant I would never get to hold you, even if it meant that I would walk through this life without your light in my heart. It always comes back to that, Michaela. Every last little bit of my own suffering is tied in with your suffering. It is impossible for me to separate my own grief at missing you from my overwhelming grief over what you have had to endure, what you may still be enduring.

But I didn't know the suffering life would hold for you, and on the one hand I am so sorry I didn't ... but on the other hand ... well, my friend Margo introduced me to this song not long after you were kidnapped, and it has always stuck with me.
Holding you, I held everything.
For a moment, wasn't I a king
If I'd only known how the king would fall
Hey whose to say, I might have changed it all
I'm glad I didn't know
the way it all would end, the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance.
I could have missed the pain,
but I'd have had to miss the dance.

If you are on this earth, if I knew where you were, I would come to you.You are 36 years old today, actually two years older than I was when I lost you. What years we have missed sharing. And yet I can tell you that between that age and the age I am now, entire epics have been lived. There is so much yet that we can share. There is so much ever loving, pure joy to be shared! There is so much love. And your family! I wish you could meet Libby. She has grown up to be so kind, and so gracious. Whenever I had to go to social events where I might feel awkward, I would try to take Libby, because she has such a gift for making people feel at ease, for making people smile. She went and moved to Oregon, so now I can't do that, but she would come back for you! She and Johnna would both love to take you shopping! And wouldn't you like to go to Disneyland?

If you are alive on this earth somewhere, just know that you are so everlastingly dearly loved! On your birthday and every single day, you are loved, you are remembered, you are cherished. And if you are not on this earth ... well, I know you are in good company, and I will see you again one fine day.

I just want to end with this video that was made for you for the anniversary of your kidnapping in 2009. A simple little video, it has had almost 80,000 view. For you my sweet child. I love you forever ... mom




Wednesday, December 24, 2014

For those who grieve at Christmas

Michaela's First Christmas 1979
ornament on our tree, 2014
Today is Christmas Eve, and there are a number of people on my heart today who I know who have lost a loved one and who have a particularly difficult time at this season. Although this is completely natural, I just want to offer a different point of view. For me, the one thing that really bothers me about the idea of dying is the grief those I love would suffer. I could probably die fairly peacefully if I knew that everybody I love would be fine, if I knew they would be cared for, loved, held, that they would laugh and grow and be gloriously happy. Any parent out there undoubtedly understands exactly what I am talking about.

But if you are a parent who has lost a child, as so many of us are, do you not understand that your children love you as well, that they want that exact same thing for you that you would want for them? I know you sometimes feel guilty during those moments when you experience happiness, when you laugh, when the lights flicker on again for just a moment. You feel as though you are doing a disservice to your child when you do that, don't you? But you are wrong, completely and totally wrong. The disservice you do to your child is when you refuse to allow yourself to be happy. I just want to reach out to you on your child's behalf, touch your heart and tell you to smile. Each and every day find something to smile about. Laugh. And if you are trying to comfort someone who is grieving, there are probably only three things you can do ... listen, hug tightly and deeply, and make them laugh. Laughter heals the heart.

Your child does not want you to grieve. Your mother or father who has passed does not want you to grieve. Your husband, wife, partner, friend, sister, brother ... none of them want you to grieve. They want what all of us want for those we love. They want you to be happy.

I honestly manage to do this to the very best of my ability. Believe me, I know that it is not always easy to be happy in life, even when you haven't suffered a traumatic loss. Often, it's just a choice you have to make. This is a little more complicated for me ... actually a lot more complicated ... because I don't  have the sure knowledge that my daughter is at peace somewhere. I have to continually worry that she is still suffering somewhere. But even so, it would not do her any good at all if I allowed the darkness to swallow me. Nor would it do my other children any good. And are our other children not every bit as valuable as the ones we lost? Yes, of course they are. They also need us to be whole, and happy, and for us to be able to love them.

As always, my final word is to Michaela. This also is what I want for you, and nothing else, for you to be happy. If I knew you were happy wherever you are, I would be content. I am the mother, and you are the child, and my heart is wholly for your happiness and well-being above all else, and certainly above mine. However, the peace of mind that would come from knowing that you are okay, if you are, would be worth the world. On the other hand, if you are not happy, I reach out my hand for you to lead you back to where you can, perhaps, find that.

This is my 27th Christmas without you now, Michaela. But every year your special ornament is on our tree. I love you forever, my sweet child.

mom