Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dear Michaela ... Jaycee's story

Well, Jaycee's book comes out in a couple of days, and the interviews are starting to appear. Last night I made it through the People magazine interview, through taking little peeks. That means that I didn't start at the beginning and read it all the way through. I looked at the pictures and the captions, and I read little parts of text. By the end of it, I had read all the text, but I had to filter it.

Sheesh, even writing that first paragraph has blurred the computer screen through my tears. And I also want to slap myself. I mean, how can I be incapable of grasping these truths except in teensy bits when you, my sweet, wonderful daughter, had to endure something that is unknown but equally awful.

And now, by the way, I am actually sobbing. And just so you know, this also makes it difficult for Libby to put her make-up on, because when I cry about you, it makes her cry, too. You remember how Libby used to want to hang around you all the time? You know, she still loves you and misses you, Michaela.

In this little excerpt of Jaycee's story in People magazine, a couple of things stuck into my heart.  Of her first night in captivity, she says:

He says he will be back later to bring me something to eat. Then he is gone.
The tears start again, softly at first and then my silent sobs rack my body.
I cry myself to sleep alone.

There are many horrors I can't wrap my mind around, partly because I have no idea what actually happened to you. But these are the things that have always, always haunted me, Michaela, because I know they are true ... the little things, just the simple fact of you being alone, with nobody to love or comfort you ... with me not there to love and comfort you. I remember the night before you were kidnapped I woke up in the middle of the night feeling crowded in my bed. I reached out my hand and my fingers touched your hair, and I knew it was you who had come into my bed. I was pretty uncomfortable, and I thought about waking you and sending you back to your own bed, but I didn't. I let you stay. And I am so glad that I did, that I allowed you to seek that comfort of my presence in the middle of the night, because I was never given the opportunity to do that again. And just that little thing completely shatters my heart, Michaela. 

And this line also made me cry:

For the longest time, I couldn't remember what my mom looked like.
I would try to draw her, but her face wouldn't come to mind.

Michaela, after almost 23 years, you may not remember my face, but remember my heart. In this short article, Jaycee wrote of a lot of reasons she stayed with Garrido. She stayed because she had a baby, and she thought nobody would want her with a baby, she worried even after she was found about whether or not her mother would accept her daughters. Funny enough, she actually came to believe that she and her daughters were safer with Garrido, because he convinced her that without his protection her daughters might be kidnapped, like Jaycee herself had been.

Michaela, if you are out there, I just want to ask you to please cast away any fears that you have because wherever you've been and whatever has happened, you are my child, my daughter, you are my baby girl forever. You are the tiny baby, my first child, the first person to ever call me mommy, and no matter what has happened in your life or in mine, nothing is ever going to change my love for you. Over the years, I have moved from house to house, the family has changed, but that room in my heart that you came to occupy from even before your birth has not changed. It is still there, still warm, still furnished with your favorite things, always waiting for you to come home.

And I'm telling you that I am sitting here weeping as I write this blog, because I want you to know how heartbroken I am. If there is a balancing point between your fear of leaving where you are and your desire to come home, if you have trouble establishing which would be most comfortable for you, perhaps you might let this tip the scales towards coming home, knowing that my heart is broken, and this part of it can be fixed by nothing at all except holding you in my arms again.

I love you, Michaela. I love you, I love you, I love you. I stretch out my arms and reach my fingertips as far as I can, and tell you that I love you this much, just like you used to do time after time each night after I sent you to bed ... only it's never enough, as you know. I love you more, deeper and farther than my arms could ever reach.

Please, Michaela, come home. Write to me at Leave a comment on this blog. Just please, if it is at all within your power to do so, end this suffering that has gone on for almost 23 years now, for both of us. 

And if it isn't in your power to do that, then just know that I love you, and know that none of this is your fault. Remember I told you that if ever you were sad or lonely and I wasn't there, all you had to do was touch your heart and you would find me there? Well, I'm still there. Touch your heart, and feel my love for you, feel it envelope you with a warm, soft embrace that never ends.

I love you forever, Michaela.



  1. Sharon, I don't know you, but you've had a place in my heart for a long time now. And especially today, a special place in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. my heart breaks for you and your family Sharon. I think this blog is an amazing way to reach out to Michaela and others who may be in her same situation. The fact that you posted pictures of you and her siblings will help remind her of your face...the same thing Jaycee worried about. I also noticed that Jaycee said she wanted to search for her mother online but was afraid to because Phillip Garrido said he would monitor her emails. Maybe you could create an anonymous email that wouldn't give away your name? sorry i'm sure you have thought of everything...i just so desperately hope that you are reunited with Michaela. I will continue to pray for you with all my heart. God is with you

  3. Sharon, my heart goes out to you and your beautiful daughter. I wish to God there was some way to make it better and to take away your pain and suffering. It just breaks my heart as a mother myself. Please don't ever lose hope and faith, and I have no doubt that as caring and loving as you are, your daughter has never forgotten you or where your heart is.

  4. Hi Sharon,
    This is Amber, we are friends on facebook. I was thinking of you and Michaela tonight as I watched Diane Sawyer with Jaycee Dugard. I am the same age and remember both of their kidnappings, but especially Micheala's as I lived not that far from you also in the Bay Area. Anyway just wanted you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers. I can't help but wonder if Micheala is out there, actually out in public at times, as Jaycee was, living as a different person. Jaycee said she went by Alyssa because she liked the actress Alyssa Milano on the show Who's The Boss. Did Micheala have a favorite show, actress or a favorite name? I'm sure this is a total long shot, but perhaps that could give a clue to a name she could go by, if she was given a new name and she was the one to choose it. She could be living a life in public, even on facebook or myspace as her new identity. I remember hearing Jaycee actually worked at Philip's printing business and interacted with customers and they all just knew her as Alyssa. Unbelievable that she was living a life in public and no one found her. I can only hope that Micheala is out there and returned to you soon. My heart breaks for you and I pray you have answers soon. Hugs.

  5. Did Hayward PD ever have the chance to talk to either Garrido?

  6. Every time I visit your blog, I send up a prayer that today will be the day that Michaela comes home to you! I grew up in the East Bay and started my family in 1984.

    What seemed like an ideal place to grow up, became frightful, with the zodiac, kidnappings of Michaela, Amber, Polly, Irene and Jaycee. It caused me to watch over my daughter in a different way, than my parents watched over me.

    I can not imagine Michaela ever forgetting or being able to separate herself from the love you have for her. It may be pushed down deep, into a secret hiding spot, that kept her kidnapper from taking it away, but it is there. Close to her. Keeping her safe inside. You taught her love and strength.

    I hope that somewhere Michaela is reading your blog. That those feelings of love, warmth and acceptance are paving the way for her homecoming.

    God bless you my dear!

  7. Whether or not Michaela reads this, she must know she is loved because your love for her is so powerful. I just pray that she finds the opportunity and strength to reach out to someone and end her suffering and yours if she is out there. Every day you reach out to her and eery day that you keep hoping, is a day closer to seeing your daughter again. I pray that God keeps giving you the strength to keep fighting the battle.

  8. I have just ordered Jaycee's book and cannot wait for it to be delivered.

    I read on wikipedia that it was actually a woman (I presume Nancy??) that forced jaycee into the car. Is this correct? With long hair is it not possible that the the person who took Michaela could've been a woman mistaken for a male? Maybe wearing male clothing? It must've happend so quickly can the eye witness be 100% sure it was a man?

    I also saw the sketch of the suspect in Michaela's case on the website of another kidnapped child. I don't know if this is ligit or some kind of hoax. you can see it here:

  9. Trix, Michaela and Jaycee's cases have been linked over the years because of many similarities, and our investigators are still looking into Garrido. They have been blocked for all this time by El Dorado County, and now they are given a break-in time in their new homes, but it will be soon. Of course, if this does turn out to be the case, it doesn't hold much promise for Michaela.

    In the other case, a diagnosed schizophrenic identified our composite as being involved in that kidnapping. But there is a lot of information being disseminated there that I know for a fact to be incorrect, so I don't place any stock in it.


  10. Sharon - I read Jaycee's ENTIRE book (downloaded it on my kindle at 3am & read straight through) and I've got a bit of a "warning" for you.

    Maybe it's just because I was kidnapped & held for a month myself, but I would think EXTREMELY CAREFULLY about reading that book. It is MUCH more graphic than, say, the book Elizabeth Smart's parents wrote. Rather than saying something like "I was raped," she describes it in detail. If just the magazine article was that rough, I don't know how you'll do with the book. I regret reading it only because it was so much harder than any other book of its kind.

    Of course it is written well, and Jaycee's story is very powerful. I'm proud of her for what she's accomplished in writing that book! But it's a lot harder than I ever thought it could be. I've read the books on Elizabeth by her parents as well as her uncle who is also a journalist, and I've read books about other missing children as well... nothing has been as difficult as this one.

    Just wanted to prepare you if you do decide to read it. I'll be praying for you as I know this makes the pain you feel on a daily basis amplified when things like this are in the news.

    - Michelle

  11. Wow, Michelle, you have read it already? I have heard that, but I will read it anyway. As she said in her interview, we should face up to things. She has helped us to understand many things already, I think.

    I will let you know after I read the book. My copy apparently won't arrive until the 14th (amazon let me down on this preorder, which usually arrives the day of release), and my daughter (26 years old) has said she wants to read it first to make sure it's okay for me to read, so it may be awhile.

  12. I thought of you while I watched the interview with Jaycee because when Michaela was taken my son was that age when all those children were taken so I was hyperaware. When Kenneth Parnell was paroled to my neighborhood in Berkeley I was so aware of the threat. So, even though I don't remember Jaycee's story I do remember Michaela, Amber, Timmy White and the others but I was thinking of you and knowing or really not knowing the pain you must be feeling and wishing your daughter could/would come home too. Constance

  13. Sharon,

    I have E-mailed you before and I still follow your story and check in with your blog from time to time. With the Jaycee case out, I think of you and your dear daughter even more often. I am a mom now myself and cannot even imagine. I pray for you and your family to find peace. You are so brave, thoughtful, and inspirational.

    Praying Michaela comes home SOON!!


  14. I just found this blog via the Wikipedia article on your daughter. I am so sorry that this happened to you and your child. Keeping you both in my prayers.

  15. I heard about Michaela's story years ago, and still I remember her to this day. This blog is amazing-keep it up! Sending my prayers and love to you and Michaela!

  16. Hello Sharon, I downloaded Jaycee's book on my Iphone, and Have read almost the whole thing. The book made me cry , As u read it, is like you reliving those moments too that she went through. Jaycee is a very strong women and a great mother to her daughters. No words can explain everything I want to say ,cause there's so much. Im really into the book ,and I know if I keep reading it the way I am ,Ill be done very soon. This book makes me wonder how many missing children, and adults are out there living the same way ,and are afraid to run away from their captor for different reasons , like jaycee.It gives me hope for Michaela and so many others out there who are missing . Reading this book makes me feel that if Michaela and other missing people are out there , they are very afraid to leave their captors for the same reasons Jaycee mensions in her book. I pray to god that someday you find answers , but most importantly find your daughter. Your a strong women, a great mother ,and you have a beautiful family. Making this website for her was a great Idea . I could keep writing all night but I don't want to bore u, so Ill stop here for now sending you a big hug from NJ. Im far away but just shows you that you've touched thousands of hearts around the world ,and mines too. I would give so much just to help you, and others in the same situation. I have 2 kids (11 month girl and 10yr old boy ) and I know what a mothers love to a child is. I know there's not much I can do from overhere, but anything I can help in please let me know. I send u lots of love and hugs ...Martina

  17. i'm crying as i read this. all the best wishes to you and your family. i hope michaela comes home to you - miracles do happen so keep up your hope.

  18. That makes two of us, because I cried when I wrote it! Thank you all for your love and kindness!

  19. Sharon, it breaks my heart every time I read your blog- I weep. And it makes me hug and appreciate my 8-year old just a bit more.
    I so wish and pray that you get your daughter back-or at the very least that you find out what happened to her.
    You have the deepest sympathy of every mother in the world.
    May God bless and comfort you.

  20. Just wanted to let you know you are in my thoughts and prayers when your investigators question the Garridos. You have really been through so much and I hope your case has a happy and amazing resolution. I think your feeling it will be solved soon is probably right, just like the feeling you had about not letting Michaela go to the market.

    Whether or not your case is solved, you could probably write a bestseller as well!!


    PS - For some reason, I could not post under the most recent blog.