Well, you have been on the news again, Michaela. Apparently the District Attorney from El Dorado County, where Jaycee's kidnappers were prosecuted, has said that he believes that Philip Garrido was responsible for your kidnapping. So we have had reporters calling, or just stopping by the house, for an interview.
I really don't like these interviews. I don't like to be on television, and it's always difficult ... they want to stop by while I'm at work, which I can't be doing all day long, or even at home, where we have two dogs who bark like crazy at strangers ... especially strangers with equipment! But I do it. I rarely say no ... perhaps twice in all these years. There is the standard wisdom, like our police department tells me, to get your name and face out there, so maybe that one person who knows something will see it and be moved to call in the information they have. That's never something I've felt down in my bones, though. I mean, we have tons of information on your case. We could use a little help sorting through it and figuring out which is the right piece of information that can lead us to you. And I guess I figure that over 23 years, that right person has had plenty of opportunity to come forward. So it's a good reason, but it's not the reason.
Yesterday, I figured out why I do it, what it is that I feel down in my bones, in the center of my heart, that makes me do this. It's two things. First, it is in case you might be out there somewhere, in case you might see me on television and know that I am still looking for you, I am still missing you. But I think the main thing is that I am just absolutely driven to keep you alive. If you are alive, people need to remember you so you will be found. But even if you weren't, you are just so special, so beautiful, such a gift to the world, that I just have to keep you alive by keeping you alive in people's memories, in their minds and hearts.
So Jaycee's book is out now. I have it, but I haven't read it yet. Libby is reading it right now, and I will read it later, if Libby says it is okay for me to read.... But I've listened to her interviews. It has been so enlightening. She was asked why she never tried to escape, and she said that she didn't know, that it just "wasn't an option." And you know what? That's okay. Nobody could ever hold it against her. And nobody would ever hold it against you, if you are out there. Well, if you get a chance, maybe you could read Jaycee's book, "A Stolen Life." Jaycee found in the end that all her fears were illusions, and that escaping from her kidnapper's grip was nothing but good, that she was safe, even though her kidnapper had told her that she wouldn't be, that she was loved and accepted, that her children were loved and accepted.
Just like you would be.
Well, every time I write to you, I tell you that you should e-mail or leave messages on the internet, or leave a voicemail somewhere. And it always seems so inadequate. So today, I got a telephone, just for you. The phone number is 510-461-0470. (As for everyone else out there, if you have actual information about Michaela, you can use this number also, but if you just want to chat or to express your feelings, I'd really appreciate it if you would e-mail me, or leave a message here or on Michaela's facebook. I promise I really do read all the messages that are sent to me, and I actually try to answer all of them pretty quickly as well.)
I have to tell you, it seems impossible sometimes, that you could be out there. It seems like a dumb thing to do, to go and get a phone for you to call. But you are alive to me. You will always be alive to me. You know, a reporter came to my office to interview me today. Nobody is surprised to find photos of you in the house. As I sit on the couch, there are seven photographs of you straight ahead in my line of sight, and of course there are more scattered in other parts of the house. But in my office, there are three in my little cubicle, and two missing flyers in the lobby ... on in English and one in Spanish. And in the lobby there is a business card holder which holds cards with photographs of you and a listing of your website and my blogs. And you are not just photographs. You are just so much here, so much with me, all the time.
But what is wrong is that I am not with you. I want to be there for you. I want to hold you when you cry, and laugh with you when you are happy. I want to be able to love away every bit of loneliness and fear and sorrow that you have suffered. I want to give you all the love and comfort I have been holding onto for you for almost 23 years now. I know that's a big thing. Like Jaycee's therapist said, there are things that her kidnapper took from her that she will never get back, but she has taken back so much of what she had lost, and he can never take that from her again.
That is what I want for you. And it is possible, Michaela. It is. Just call me. Just come home.
Love you forever,