I just want to thank those of you who have left comments here. I have received so many nice comments, and they really lift my spirits. I am particularly gratified by the comments from people who say that my faith has helped them build their faith. What better gift?
A lot of people continue to comment on how strong I am. Well, I want to tell you, I am not. I mean, what choice is there but to keep getting up and going on, day by day by day? There is no choice. I had to go to work today, and I can't tell you how much I didn't want to go, but life goes on. There are bills to pay and groceries to buy, kids who need stuff (all kinds of stuff), and so I get up and go to work. Today was a bad day, though, and I sat at my desk feeling like I wanted to do nothing so much as to melt into a puddle.
Today, this morning, I think I came to grips with the fact that I need to be prepared for anything, including for my hopes and wishes not to come true. I know that they are looking into other possibilities. I know that a bone fragment was found on Garrido's property, and that it was a human bone fragment, and right now they are probably extracting DNA to compare to Michaela's. I know other things are going on also, and some of them could lead to Michaela, alive and well, and some could lead to Michaela not alive at all, and some could lead to absolutely nothing and I would be back where I started.
So this morning I picked myself up from the ashes, as my pastor had told me, and I began to praise God. I praised him because this I know: if Michaela is found, whichever answer I am given, she will be found alive. Either she will be alive here in this world and will come home to me, or she will be alive with God in the next world, and one day I will go home to her. I will just have to miss her for awhile longer, because there are other children here who need me still.
But it doesn't feel good to think those thoughts. And I am not feeling strong at all.
It is a fact that I am not a crybaby. This is just simply because crying does not release my feelings for me -- it doesn't make anything better, and doesn't make anything feel better. I'm more likely to cry when I'm angry than when I'm sad. Instead, I carry my sadness like a sack of cement that has been poured into my limbs. I carry it as a huge soggy lump in the middle of my chest, creeping up into my throat. Tears pool in my eyes, sometimes there will be moments when I can't talk. I just feel as though I am filled with sorrow, wrapped in it.
That's how I felt today. And those nice comments I received did help.
One comment brought me back around, made me remember my task. It was an interpretation of Michaela's poem, and said:
It seemed like the poem itself was about the fight to keep hope / faith alive in that type of situation.
Part of keeping hope for the person behind bars, seems to be a connection to the love of the ones on the outside who are advocating for them by "knowing" and "saying" and having "confidence" and having "dreams" on their behalf.
I note that you continue to do all of those things on behalf of your precious daughter.
I hope with you.
I know that I have to continue. I have to get up each morning and do what I can. And I have to continue to have hope. I have to continue to remember that the evidence leads more towards the notion of her still being alive than not. I have to continue to believe in Michaela. I have to continue to hold her tenderly in my heart. I continue to love her.