It's a gray and windy day today. From the living room window, I can see it, can see the rain sheeting down across the bay. Not long and it will be here. I love being at home on days like this. It's so cozy inside compared to outside, and I think it's just beautiful. But then, gray is actually one of my favorite colors. I know most people think that's crazy, but it just speaks to my heart somehow.
I'm going to give you some photos that Libby took at the anniversary yesterday. I would guess it might be difficult for you to look at these pictures. There I am, standing the the spot where the kidnapper grabbed you and threw you into his car, only it's 21 years too late. If only I had been able to be there then. If only you hadn't been there then.
Someone reminded me of something recently. As I write to you, I can make many guesses and assumptions because I don't know where you are or how you are, or what you have been through. So it is true, I do need to cover every one of the bases. I have said this before. I have said it on the news, and I have said it on your website, I have said it on the myspace I had for you before I had any of these websites, but let me say it again. I want to make sure you know that you are still the beautiful, strong, sweet Michaela you were when you were nine years old. You have been that person from the day you were born, and you will always be that person. It does not matter where you have been, or what you have been through, or what you have done. You are Michaela. And I love you. There is nothing in the whole entire world that could ever change that. Nothing. Please, be assured deep down in your heart that this is the truth.
Anyway, here are some photos. The first one was taken from the living room window. If you look down, between the railings on the balcony, you can see our mailbox, and next to it a telephone pole, and you will see a yellow ribbon tied on that pole for you. We have others tied on the railing by the front steps.
These next photos were taken at the market. The person in the gray jacket is me, of course.
At the back right here, you will see your baby brother, Robbie. He's not so little anymore, is he? And the person with the blonde hair, right in the middle, is Libby. There were LOTS of people there from the Hayward Police Department. You can rest assured that they are doing everything they can to find you, even now, 21 years later. I love you, of course, but I hope you can feel the love of the rest of the world for you, including the police department. There are many more things I'd like to have shown you. I guess I will have to see if Libby took photos with her own camera. Tomorrow, I will post photos of some of the ribbons people have hung for you, as far away as Germany and New Zealand!
I said at the anniversary that I hoped this was the last time we would ever gather there at the market to remember when you were kidnapped. I said I hoped the next time we all gathered it would be to celebrate your return home. There is a line from a very old movie. I can't remember the name of the movie, but the line is, "I cry for happy." All the sadness of the last 21 years has carved a might deep river into our lives, but that just makes for a huge container for the happiness your homecoming would bring!
I love you forever,