Thursday, November 26, 2009

Dear Michaela,

Happy Thanksgiving, sweetheart.  It's just a little after six in the morning here.  My husband is awake, but all the kids are still fast asleep.  In a little while, they will wake up and I will start cooking, and the house will be warm and filled with scent of Thanksgiving dinner cooking.  We are having turkey.  Personally, I'd rather have tofurkey, but I am overruled.  We eat early in the day, around 2:00.  Three places are missing at our table.  Alex lives too far away to be able to come home, at least for now.  It would be great if he and his little family could be here, because they are great cooks!  Haha.  And I would love to be able to give him a big hug, because I miss him, and his little girls. 

Another of the missing places is Nana's.  This is our sixth Thanksgiving without her, and I miss her as though it was yesterday.  I'm a grandmother myself, and never quite get over the feeling of being an orphan since I lost my mother.

And then there is your place.  This is the hardest thing, because I don't know where you are.  Are you here with us somewhere?  Do you have a Thanksgiving meal?  You are 30 years old now, and I wonder if you prepare it yourself.  Are you with people who love you, and people you love?  Or are you sad and lonely? 

Are you here? 

I remember that first Thanksgiving after you were kidnapped.  The headline in the morning paper read, "No Thanksgiving till Kayla is Home."  On that day we had an abundance of food, which people had brought to us, but no table set.  It was a day like the others had been since you'd been taken.  The volunteers who had come all the other days came on Thanksgiving as well, and we all watched and waited for you to come home.  I thought surely the kidnapper would let you come home for the holidays.  On that day also, the newspaper printed an article saying that the Hayward police had authorized the San Francisco police to take a suspect in for questioning.  This was the first lead I'd heard of, and I thought this must be it!  But I was distraught over where you might be.  If he had kidnapped you and the police had him in custody, what if he had left you tied up somewhere, and you didn't have access to food and water?  But it wasn't him, wasn't the guy who'd kidnapped you.  He'd been in a very public place on that day, so he could be ruled out. 

Now, 21 years later, it isn't true that there has been no Thanksgiving.  Every day I give thanks for what I do have.  I give thanks for my family, for your brothers and sisters.  What I do have, the love I can still hold in my hand, has become all the more precious, all the more to be thankful for, because I have learned that it cannot be taken for granted.  I give thanks also for you, for having had the chance to have you in my life for almost ten years, to have been able to see your beauty, your sweet spirit, to have been touched by your love.

We live near an elementary school, and there is a little girl I see walking there in the mornings, with her mother and her brother.  She has pale blonde hair, which hangs straight down, just chin length, and she loves to dress in pink.  Every time I see her, my heart stills because she reminds  me so much of you that it takes me right back to you.  All the time I see little girls in the grocery store who remind me of you.  I see them often from the back, and their hair and the way they dress conjure you up in my heart like a flower bursting out of the frozen earth in full bloom.  They always make me smile, these little look-alikes.  They always make me cry.  They are with their parents, following along, asking questions.  They are curious, learning, they are full of the promise of a beautiful life.  Like you.

Today, in between roasting the turkey and mashing the potatoes, I will be checking my e-mail, just in case today is the day you decide to write to me.  I will be sending you my love, oceans of love.  I pray that it will wash over you, wherever you are. 

God bless you, my baby girl.  I love you so much, always and forever, wherever you are.



  1. I can't really fathom what it must be like in your mind Sharon and your heart. To live through the pain you have. The fact that you have experienced this, are still experiencing this upsets me so much. I just want it to end. I have come to know you through your blog and like everyone else, I really want your pain to be over.

    You seem like such a good person and it seems that it is the good people who always have the biggest struggles and challenges in life.

    The bad people seem to get away with whatever they want. Up until a point. I think one day, every good person gets thier reward and every bad person thier upcommence. The day you get your reward is the day the bad person who took Michaela will get thier punishment.

    We just have to keep praying to God. God knows what happened that day, where Michaela was taken. God knows where she has been all this time. God knows where she is right now. But why isn't God revealing this information to you? It must be for a reason...It seems when God wants to keep something from us he puts a block in front it and no matter how hard we try we can't pass this block. You've tried, the police, the FBI have all tried yet 21 years later its still mystery, doesn't that seem crazy? There has to be a God-placed block that is stopping the truth from being revealed. But God will lift this block one day and the truth will come out.

    Hope you have a great day. Hope Michaela does too wherever she is...

    God bless

  2. Hi Sharon, I've never seen such beautiful letter from a mother to a daughter...all I can tell you is that God Is In Control and I'm sure he is taking care of Michaela wherever she is...even though we don't see him working sometime He always there next to you giving you strenght everyday...Today I will add Michaela to my Dayli Prayers...God Bless You and have a Good Thanksgiving Day.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving Sharon and family! I'm so sorry for the painful missing spot at the table. We had a missing spot at our table when I was growing up too, so I know the emptiness. But for Michaela, it is more than emptiness - there are so many feelings you must have besides the emptiness.

    I was just taking my dog on a walk on this beautiful Thanksgiving day and saw many children playing by the elementary school and trails where I live. Michaela was so innocent, just heading to the store with a friend on scooters, when she met with her horrible fate. I hope perhaps she is okay like Jaycee, and has children or something dear to protect, so that she remains in hiding and maintains all the psychological defense mechanisms to stay alive. Jaycee never called home, but I think it was because she lived under so much psychological control and fear, not because she didn't want to go home. She is happy to be home now! I am thankful she is healing, and I hope and pray Michaela will be found so she can come home to all the love that awaits her.

    But the main thing I wanted to say- despite my ramblings and you are probably tired of reading everybody's ramblings- the main thing is that despite the horrible violation in Michaela's life there is one thing that nobody can ever take away from Michaela. Nobody can ever take away the unconditional, unrelenting, neverending, and immense love of her mother. Michaela will always have this and I know it will alway give her value, wherever she is.

  4. I agree with the comment above. Someone may have taken Michaela away from her life but NO ONE can take away the love you have for her. NO ONE can take the love her father has for her. NO ONE can take away the love her brothers and sisters, and her friends have for her. NO ONE can take away the love we all have for her. The whole world has for her. And NO ONE can take away the love that GOD has for her.

  5. Hello Sharon,

    I stop by to read your blogs from time to time and Yes these blogs are very sad, but, also very beautiful. What a beatiful, beautiful, beautiful Mother and person you are, with so, so,so much Love in your heart,truly Godsent Love. I am positive, where ever Michaela may be, she feels it and has been feeling it thru out these years.
    If only more children in the world can feel a little piece of your Godsent Love from their Mothers and Fathers while they are still present. You are Amazing.

    God bless you and his Godsent Love, he gave you.

  6. Hello Sharon

    It is with great sadness that we read of all these awful situations relating to young are a tower of strength to everyone...with living in the UK we only read what is happening when we go on the websites or if anything comes on the news. I hope and pray that you get your daughter home with you a mother myself to 4 girls I feel I can sence what you are going through....having good family, friends and your local police force will be a help....we can only hope who ever has your daughter has a bit of heart and now releases her back to her family.

    God bless


  7. Sharon--

    I hope your Thanksgiving was at least tolerable. I'm sure it has been light years away from being "happy" for 21 years now. For that, I am sorry.