Sunday, November 24, 2013

Keeping on keeping on....

Well, this has been a week from hell, without a doubt. As the 25th anniversary of Michaela's kidnapping approached, I wanted nothing more than to climb into bed and pull the covers over my head. I just wanted to curl up in solitude and feel my sadness. On the morning of the anniversary, it almost seemed possible I would get my wish, as I was so sick I really didn't know if I would be able to make it to the market. But I was laying on the couch with the TV on, and as the early morning news programs came on they started announcing that Michaela's family and friends would commemorate the 25th anniversary of her kidnapping at 10 a.m. So I dragged myself out of bed and started getting ready.

I had not notified any of the media, and yet when I pulled into the parking lot they were all there.  In fact, they had lined up a row of microphones in front of the tree with yellow ribbons, as if it was a press conference. I know there are a lot of people who consider media to be evil, and might see this as an intrusion, but as much as I didn't really feel up to it, I was grateful that they were there.  The fact is that the media is the best friend of anybody with a missing loved one.  They are able to spread the word far and wide, and that's what I do, try to spread the word far and wide. There were also a lot of people who came to the anniversary, many of whom had been there from the beginning, out combing the hills looking for Michaela, many we knew and loved, and many we didn't know but who knew of Michaela and loved her. 

Michaela's sisters tying on new ribbons over the old.
The tree was covered with ragged yellow ribbons from last year, and possibly the year before. We left them there, as symbols of the long road we have traveled in our search for Michaela, and of the fact that our spirits may grow ragged but will not stop searching for Michaela as long as she is missing.

It has been a difficult week also because of some of the communications I have received. A commenter on another blog about missing children chastised me for believing that Michaela was still alive, said I needed to
accept the fact that she is dead and get on with life. Well, I have very much gotten on with life, but that doesn't mean I need to leave Michaela in the dust of
My ribbon, with a message to
Michaela written on it
the past. That will never, ever happen. That will not happen even if I find out that she is not alive. I have a friend whose 17-year old daughter was killed years ago in a car accident, and she keeps her daughter alive still. I met her through facebook, where her profile and profile picture bear the image of her daughter. 

This is something we do, those of us who have lost our children. We keep them alive in the world by keeping their memories alive. My children, most of whom were too young to actually remember Michaela, or not even born yet, all know her as their sister, as part of the family. As far as the rest of the world goes, well the fact is that Michaela carried a light. She was here in this world for a purpose, I know, to shine that light and teach the world something. I'm not sure what exactly, but as long as she is not here I will hold her light so it will reach out to the world. And those who need it will be touched by it. There was a young woman at the anniversary, this year and last year, who had previously had an abduction experience of her own. She managed to escape and she is okay, but she said that during the time she was going through that nightmare, she kept thinking of Michaela, holding her in her mind, and that helped her to survive. Others also have been helped or strengthened in various ways by Michaela. 

The entry on the other blog said that I believe that Michaela is still alive. This is not technically correct. The one thing with the news is that they only ever quote a teensy part of what you say. What I believe is that she could be alive. There have
This is me tying my ribbon on, with my
daughter Johnna and my son Robbie
been enough long missing people found in recent years that nobody can argue that point. And if she is alive, she needs me to keep reaching out to her, to keep the world reaching out to her, because she needs my help, our help. Another person commented on that blog post about the girls in Ohio, and how the families of two of the girls continued to hold annual remembrances for them, but one family didn't. The girls and their kidnapper saw these remembrances, and saw the lack off remembrance for the third girl, Michelle. And he used that to torment her, "See, nobody cares about you." How devastating! I would never want that to happen to Michaela. So I will continue to hold her out there, for the world to see, for her to see if she is looking.

Lt Chris Orrey and Inspector
Rob Lampkin, Hayward PD,
and dear friends
I have also heard this week from a couple of very well known sources who wanted to help. One is an internationally well known astrologer whose acquaintance I made years ago. She contacted me, wanting to know if I still had the charts she had done. I didn't, and so she did some more. She hasn't completed the report, but preliminarily she said that she didn't think that Michaela was still alive. She was reluctant to say this, because she said she didn't want to crush my hopes. So I explained the things I said above, that I'm well aware of it as a possibility. There are other questions to be answered even if that is true, and I mean questions other than who did it and where is she. So we will see. The other was from a very famous psychic, one who at least one friend had been pestering about Michaela for a couple of years now, but she said she wanted to do a written report if I would like. I still haven't received it. I don't know, but I'm guessing that she saw things she didn't want to tell me. 

John Spahn, the boy who was in the
original photo of Michaela in
the blue sweatshirt
I've also received literally hundreds of emails and messages on social media this week. There was a posts put up on Facebook, which seems to have gone viral. The post contained the age progression of Michaela. At this point, it's not unreasonable to believe that if you have blonde hair and blue eyes, you have been reported to me as possibly being Michaela. I have received photographs of some of the most beautiful women, smiling and happy with their families. I only wish those could be pictures of Michaela. Honestly most of them don't look all that much like the age progression, and the age progression in turn doesn't look all that much like Michaela. I really, really appreciate the fact that people have been touched by Michaela enough to want to find her, and to help us find her. It means the world to me. Unfortunately, we don't use the age progressions in the investigation, because of their inaccuracy, and because investigative time and resources could never be stretched to check out all the hundreds of people who have been referred to us. If you know somebody who you think looks like the composite, and who you think is suspicious somehow, ask them, "So how was your life before the age of 10?" We really could use an army of investigators on this case, but of course we can't release most of the information that needs to be investigated because it is confidential and could potentially compromise the case, but this is something people can do if they want to help. 

I've been exhausted, because I have actually tried to read all the messages I have received, and to answer most of them. It's hard to convince kids these days that they should answer when spoken to (sorry, I'm thinking of my kids and their propensity for not answering text messages ... one of my pet peeves!), but I was raised to believe that I was supposed to answer when spoken to. I was also taught that I was supposed to actually answer the question that was asked, although I have observed over the years, in presidential debates for example, that you don't have to do that. I've learned when a reporter asks a question that doesn't have an answer, I can just talk about something else! Anyway, I really need to learn to just say "thank you for the information" and leave it at that. Trying to discuss and explain is pretty exhausting and probably just ends up getting me in trouble. 

Yesterday the week wound up with a few people getting really nasty with me in comments on this blog. I think I've gone through and deleted the worst offenders. It just isn't necessary. But yes, I have found it really disturbing. One woman (whose comment was not published) suggested that if I needed to write a blog that I should do so anonymously, and if I had to maintain one for Michaela that perhaps I should get someone else to do it. I'm still kind of astounded by all this. The purpose of this blog isn't to get my feelings off my chest. It is to reach out to Michaela. That isn't something that could be done anonymously. I agree, perhaps I should bring the comments here under control, although on the one hand I have been criticized for allowing the comments, and on the other had have had some pretty vicious attacks from people when I have not allowed their comments. I'm a person here, people, not a PR firm. I actually enjoy comments from readers and the conversations I am able to have with them, and I intend to continue that as much as I can, but I guess I will just have to live with the frustration of people whose comments I decide not to publish. 

This has impacted me personally, though. In the last week, between being sick, having the anniversary, and trying to deal with hundreds of new messages, I have managed to get behind on everything from laundry to my writing. If I am going to finish NaNoWriMo on time, I have to write another 17,000+ words in the next six days ... and Thanksgiving, cooking, and company are all on the schedule for that time also. I do feel I need to meet the challenge of NaNoWriMo, because I think it is the only way I will ever get this thing finished. I sit and write and keep thinking, "this is awful," and I know that my usual thing would be to stop writing, rip it up  and throw it away and try to start over again, and never, ever get anything finished. As it is, this NaNoWriMo challenge just keeps me moving forward. Maybe it will be awful. I know it will need a lot of work. But I have some people who will read it and tell me what is good, what is bad, what needs more, what needs less, and hopefully after some hard work it will be something good.

So this morning I really need to start writing, but all these nasty messages from yesterday have me doubting myself, making it hard to start. This book is fiction, but it is based on Michaela. I have believed that I had something of value to say, a message of healing, a message of continuing to be open to life and love even when faced with the knowledge of its dangers. Now I am questioning myself and the very roots of my writing. Honestly and truthfully, I don't believe those people, but I'm already feeling vulnerable right now, so it has had at least a momentary negative impact. 

But I'm going to end this blog and move on to working on my book for awhile. 


Love you, Michaela, forever. 
Every night I leave the kitchen light on for you, 
to symbolically help you find your way home. 
Every day I try to hold that inner light you brought to the world up for everyone, to bring them love and hope and healing. 
I apologize if sometimes I fall short, but I will continue to try. 
Always.

mom

48 comments:

  1. Dear Sharon,
    I have followed your blog for several years and am always touched by your love letters to Michaela. You are a gifted writer and your words help me to be a better mom to my 10 year old daughter. I know the negative stuff is easier to believe than the good stuff, please keep going. Your readers will support you through this and look forward to reading your book whenever you decide to let us. You are right when you said Michaela's light shines brightly through this world. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!
    MJ

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    1. Hey Sharon

      Just remember - astrologers don't know where Michaela is - only the person who dragged her into that car knows where she is. People who write nasty comments on this blog also don't know where Michaela is, and they don't know what you have suffered.

      I hope you and Michaela both have as happy a Thanksgiving as possible.

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    2. I do want to make sure the astrologer isn't mixed in with the people who have made me feel bad, because that's not the case at all. I very much appreciate her input.

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    3. don't stop writing...its therapeutic for you...and if Michaela is reading your writings, as we are, then she is in awe of you...a woman of courage and patience, so loving and giving to others, especially other women in similar situations...you're teaching them how to cope with their sorrow, leading them down a path of survival, like a guiding light...and if Michaela is no longer with us, then she is with Bella, at least that's what Dr. Eben Alexander says in his book about the after life...

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  2. Thanks Sharon for sharing your heart. That's what I like about you is that you say the truth and how you feel. You have always inspired me and you continue too.
    These people who send these nasty messages make me so angry, and I'm so sorry for you that you have to see and read that crap. They are such heartless and awful people.
    Like I've always said and will continue to say we should NEVER LOOSE HOPE FOR THOSE WHO ARE MISSING! I believe in the MIRACULOUS and I believe Michaela will be found. More and more missing children, and people are being found and that gives more Faith and Hope. I will never loose hope for your beautiful Daughter Michaela and all the others who are missing and I will continue to post about her so she will be found.
    I love to read your blogs and thanks for sharing them with us.

    Love and Prayers always to You, Michaela, and All of your Family
    Thelma Mandera

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  3. Oh Sharon I'm just sick to read your words to read what others are doing to you. Sadly and disgustingly I'm not surprised as I see this day in and day out on most cases of the missing, they even still attack me! Your answers will come from the good in the world not from these know-it-alls that know nothing. Some of them may in some twisted way mean well but most just comment like this for the shear entertainment of making you or any family of the missing uncomfortable. They live for the slaps on the back they get from their like kind, other know-it-alls. When they get to me I just have to remind myself that having a loved one missing is not something to be wished on even them. If they knew what it was like they wouldn't be doing this. I also remind myself there is more good than bad in the world. Count the good in your life and don't even give anything less than good a second thought.

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  4. Sharon,

    I appreciate you sharing your heart year after year. Keep being diligent in your search. Someone people are just not capable of understanding...period. Looking forward to reading your book in the near future.

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  5. I heard of a Novel WRITING TIP that you might find helpful. The author said to pick ONE special person and write the Novel as though telling the story to this one. It made me think of your Winnie The Pooh story times with Michaela. Maybe having her picture nearby and telling her the story may create something healing & extra special. …..

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  6. Dear Sharon,
    I am sorry to hear you have received negative responses lately. I started reading your blog when I read about Michaela's disappearance soon after those 3 women were found in Ohio. I have been touched by the effort you place into your blog, and the purpose with which you write.

    I too remember reading that the kidnapper taunted one of those 3 woman and told her "see, nobody cares about you." and as a result understand even more why you would continue to blog so that if she is out there, she sees just how much you reach out to her.

    I wanted to remind you of a few things I sometimes remind myself when I feel that self doubt, especially when the self doubt creeps in as a result of other people's negativity toward me. If it's helpful good and if it isn't, please disregard it: Often people's negative comments can momentarily affect us more strongly than all the positive comments and interactions we have. And while certainly, everyone is entitled to their opinion, you can consider those opinions the negative and the positive, and take what is of value to you while disregarding the rest. While the negative comments those people gave you may sound very loud now, I hope you know there are also many many people out there who only feel positively towards you and your outreach to your daughter. People like me who think you are brave beyond measure.

    Also, while I agree with your reasons for writing the blog, it doesn't matter what I think, or what those people who made you feel badly think, it matters only what you think is best for you and for your daughter. If you believe writing this blog is the best way to reach out to her, then that is what matters. Those people who disagree do not have to read it. They can choose what they would like to do, but you still choose what's best for you no matter what they say.

    I cannot imagine how hard hearing negative comments about your earnest writings on your blog must be for you. But persevere through that negative noise knowing there is positive out there. Keep doing what you think is best for you and your daughter, whatever that may be.

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  7. Thank you, everybody. Off to try to do some writing this morning!

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  8. *Sigh* It's as I've always said. When it comes to anonymous internet trolls, nothing is sacred. It doesn't matter if they're talking to a rape victim, a battered spouse, or the family of a missing child, nasty people just can't seem to keep their disgusting comments to themselves. I'm sorry you had to go through that, Sharon. I don't have to tell you that they don't matter because I'm sure you already know. Just keep doing what you're doing. You're doing everything right no matter what any of those trolls say.

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  9. I am so sorry to hear that others are making you feel bad or doubt yourself. I would be doing EXACTLY what you are doing... keeping her alive, reaching out, hoping, praying, and living your life. Big hugs to you and much love to Michaela, and the rest of your family.

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  10. Dear Sharon, I am so sorry and heartsick that people write hurtful things. You are doing everything right and no one should say different. We do not know what you are going through, are doing and have done. I shall continue to support you and to pray for you and for Michaela. Bless you!

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  11. Sharon, I am so sorry for your suffering at the hands of ignorant people! I have followed your blog for several years now and am very touched at your honesty! I put myself in your shoes all the time! I can't imagine how I would handle life as you have handled it since Michaela's disappearance. I still remember the day we heard she was kidnapped! I will never forget watching the news and hearing the story! My sister knew Michaela and I have never stopped hoping for you and for her! I pray that if she is being held captive...there seems to be so much of that lately with Jaycee and girls in Ohio and now the women found in England, she be found! Until there is closure, you must continue to reach out! We do not know where Michaela is, but you are doing what any mother can possibly do in this situation! You have kept her in the forefront of everyone's minds and hearts! I hope that you don't let ignorance stop you from writing this blog! I know that if Michaela is out there and can see this, it could give her the strength she needs! Jaycee Duggard said that she didn't know how her mother would feel when she was found and with two daughters! Her mother loved her irregardless! This blog is proof of your heart and soul! Not that you need to prove to anyone...but if it helps you...the community wants to be here for you! Although I don't know you personally, I feel like I do! You have shared so much with "us" through your writing! I pray for peace for you! I pray for answers for your family! I pray that if Michaela is out there, that she will be brought home! Not knowing is the worst part...Michaela will never be forgotten! Thank you for sharing your heart with us!

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  12. Please keep on keeping on. You and your blog are wonderful! Don't second guess!!!

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  13. Sharon, you are an amazing, loving, inspirational mother and person! The Internet is full of vicious, cruel people hiding behind their computers and keyboards spitting vitriol and ignorant comments. Please, never let them stop you from doing what you need to do to find out what happened to Michaela! Unless these people have suffered what you have been through, these people have no right to say anything negative or to comment on your actions. Michaela is lucky to have a mother willing to fight for her and to bring her back to her family! Keep doing whatever feels right for you and try to avoid that heartless Internet hate that is prevalent everywhere. I admire and respect you for your loyalty and love to your daughter.

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  14. Hi Sharon, I just wanted to say that I love your writing, and enjoy reading what you have to say. Don't let them make you feel bad, it is just so unnecessary! Take care and good luck with the writing :)

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  15. I didn't hear of Michaela until today, but know a bit about the walk you face, after 6 1/2 years of searching for my brother. The circumstances are much different, but we also keep his memory alive and have many who don't understand. I write, not just to keep his face and name out there, but also to help process my own feelings and offer hope to those who are in other seemingly hopeless situations.

    Keep on, we're here with you, the families of so many others missing too.

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  16. Hello Sharon, I have been following your blog for a couple of years, I know that all of your readers have tried to help by giving you ideas that you may have already tried, I want to tell you to never ever lose your faith, I wanted to suggest to you (although you have probably already done this) you and the police department have done everything within your power as humans to try to find Michaela, so why don't we all ask God for help. I believe very much in the power of prayer, and why don't we start a prayer chain asking God to please let you get some closure? Why don't you put Michaela's case in God's hands and let him guide you?? If God is involved more in this case through prayer, He can take something that to us humans feels impossible and turn it into possible.

    Anyway, it's just a thought! :)

    God bless you Sharon.

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  17. Just wanted to say I still love reading your blog, whether about the case or about how you get through your days with Michaela always on your mind. Or about puppies/doggies or nutrition!! So please do not be discouraged by those who are not as like minded. I have enjoyed these recent updates. Please keep up with the book - I look forward to reading it! And have a great Thanksgiving! Michaela have a good Thanksgiving and please go home to your mom.

    Diana

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  18. I Dont know what kind of person criticises a mother for trying to find her child, but I think they need to take a hard look at themselves.
    Michaela is alive in this blog, and I believe she is alive in this world and I love how you always write your honest feelings, and still keep the message alive so Michaela can see it if she is looking.

    Take care and ignore the fool's.
    - Rod R.

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  19. Hey just curios Sharon, did you ever see that movie I mention a while back called "gardens in the night"?

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    1. I haven't! I apologize, but I have holes in my head and things fall out. It does look like a really good movie, though, and I'd like to see it. Thank you for reminding me.

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    2. Sharon, Please do not watch Gardens of the Night. Cannot even believe why anonymous would ask you to. It is a horrible movie even for someone who does not have a missing child. This movie would just set you back and put terrible thoughts in your head. You have come a long way and need positive re enforcement. There is nothing positive about this movie. LIke I said it is heart wrenching.

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  20. I have been reading your blog for a long time now and I'm always impressed with how sane, patient, and rational you are in dealing with the rude and ignorant comments, the repeat questions and the naysayers who think that they are "helping" by telling you how to think. It's insanity! Who are these people? Rod R. said it best- ignore the fools and keep on trucking. You have the masses supporting you.

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  21. Sharon,

    I believe that probably 90% or so of your readers are mothers as well. You will not find a single solitary mother that would ever, at any point, just "accept" that their child is dead and "move on." That is a ludicrous statement, and does not deserve to be dignified with any sort of response or reaction from you. No good mother would ever stop searching. Furthermore, it is not about you believing that she is alive. It is about you putting her needs above your own, just like any good mother does, in case she happens to be out there somewhere. Because if she is, she most certainly needs to know that her mother still loves her and is still searching for her. That is something you have explained to your readers time and again. But I, like all the moms reading your blog, don't need that explanation. I understand it and I feel it. You have to know that SO many are behind you every step of the way through your journey.

    Imagine that you did finally give up. That you decided you no longer had the strength or energy to carry on with this blog and deal with the overwhelming response from people. Then some time later, Michaela is found. And you find out that she had always read your blog, and how hurtful it was that you stopped writing to her. Imagine that heartbreak you would feel. You would feel like you had failed your daughter miserably. You are a good mother, Sharon. Keep doing what good moms do. Let others discourage all they want. As someone else here already said - you must do what is best for you and your daughter. No one else's opinion matters.

    There are people in this world that have nothing better to do than sit on the computer and get entertainment by trying to be hurtful and put others down. Please do not give them the satisfaction of letting them get to you.

    If I could meet you, I would give you a hug. :) But since I am all the way over here in Michigan, I will give you one of these instead....((HUGS)).
    Praying for you and Michaela always.
    Becki

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  22. Sharon As long as there is no proof that Michaela is not alive then there is no reason to think that she isn't. Jaycee would still be missing if Garrido didn't make the mistake of taking of taking her out in public. People can be ignorant, insensitive and just plain stupid. Don't pay any mind to what they say on this subject.

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  23. Hi Becki,

    As a mom, I certainly understand what you mean about not giving up. I also think that Sharon's motherhood burden is much greater than any of us without missing children can imagine. I wouldn't judge her if at some point she did decide that she couldn't search anymore. It wouldn't mean that she wasn't a good mother. I wanted to say that because I imagine there are parents with missing children who don't, for whatever reason, do the kinds of things that Sharon does. I'll bet there are some who can no longer live with the pain of the unknown and accept their child as deceased. But I'm sure that their love and their pain is every bit as great as Sharon's. Basically insofar as possible I try not to judge Moms as good or bad because Moms are pretty good at judging themselves.

    Cindy

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    1. Cindy, I understand what you are saying. Different people also have different abilities. I have the ability to write so I can keep up this blog, but not everybody does. On the other hand, I don't have the personality to travel the world passing laws. I think that the important thing is not even that we don't blame the parents for doing only what they can, but that every missing child out there understands that each parent misses, grieves and searches for her child in her own way. If that is only through prayer, it is still significant. No child should ever assume that they are not loved because they don't see it in print or on video. You are loved. You are wanted.

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  24. Hi Sharon, Your heartwarming ending comment about light reminded me of this special Youtube video “I'll Hold the Light - Dedicated to Missing Children and Their Loved Ones.wmv “ HOPE CONTINUES! Wishing you and your loved one’s a special Fellowship time this Thanksgiving with lots of good yummys <3… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYNf3oED1o8

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  25. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! <3 Radhika

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  26. 11/28 my revised-spellchecked- edited LETTER has been SENT TODAY to Police Chief Diane Elyse Urban-<3 ((in response to your request: “If you want to do something, people, rather than brainstorming what the police should have investigated in the beginning, how about barraging the Chief of Police at the Hayward Police Department with letters saying that Michaela's case should be given priority?”........ Blessed Thanksgiving Everyone <3

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    1. This “given priority” situation reminds me of when I worked in a Nursing Home in the 1980’s. Before everyone lost their jobs when shut down there was a chronic problem with shortage of linen and overwhelming patient to staff ratio.(At times 12, fully dependent for every need, patients were assigned to 1 Nursing Assistant). Charge nurses pushed us to use short cuts, some nursing staff teamed up, however the burdensome workload consistently effected the quality of care and moral.
      In utter disbelief it was noticed that bountiful fresh clean linen and ample staff coverage would be made available when the yearly Nursing Home* Inspectors* came to accredit. The owner & group of Facility decision makers knew what was needed year around and only made provision when it became a personal PRIORITY .

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    2. Well, the thing is that people in the City of Hayward keep committing crimes, and when the investigator is needed to investigate a current crime, he is called off Michaela's. Or more often these days it seems he can investigate Michaela's in his spare time. This is speaking from my feeling, not from my knowledge or what I've been told. Also, the lieutenant over investigation is a rotating position, with a maximum tenure of two years I believe. Different lieutenants have different priorities when it comes to Michaela's case.


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  27. Gardens of the night is not a horrible movie at all. It's about a missing girl who gets kidnapped and sold for sex and she grows up and her kidnappers let her go. She ends up in a type of shelter and a man who works there recognizes her and she eventually goes back to her family only they have moved on believing she was dead and they have a new life. She tries living with them but doesn't feel she belongs there anymore. And she bails. It is like Michaela'a case in some ways but in others not because you have not given up on her nor have you moved on from her. I will admit its not exactly a family friendly sugar coated movie but it was not horrible at all.

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    1. I have it on my watch list on amazon, and I will get to watching it once I am finished trying to get the first draft of this silly book finished. Thanks. I also thank those who try to protect me from the difficult stuff, but I will be okay. Sometimes these things help me to understand.

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  28. Just want to clarify that I was not implying that you should be deemed a "bad mother" if you did ever feel you need to stop writing on this blog. My intention was only to encourage you to ignore the people that are trying to fill your head with doubts about your need to keep this blog. I certainly was not trying to judge you, and I hope you didn't take it that way, Sharon.

    Becki

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    1. I didn't take it that way at all Becki. No need for apologizing. I really appreciate your support. :)

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  29. I’m looking forward to hearing an update about how your novel is coming along !. Not willing to give up on my own writings, despite a huge struggle, I just heard this very helpful video . He speaks from the heart & gives helpful information
    “Script Consultant - Michael Hauge - common problems in first scripts- “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MoNvhUyX2c

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  30. Sharon,
    Personal issues prevented me from being at the 25th anniversary, however, I would like to send you the 25thsheep to add to the lamp from last year. As soon as I locate it,I will send to Haward PD, and have them contact you.
    As for any one who has the hubris to suggest you write your blog anonymously, perhaps they should just refrain from reading it! Problem solved!
    I hope that future comments will reflect more favorably on the human species.

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    1. I was just thinking about you last weekend. My daughter was dusting the vase and she was asking where it came from, and I was thinking that I hadn't seen you. I do really love the vase. It sits on my fireplace.

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  31. This is the first time I have commented on a blog! I just wanted to say that your story has really touched me. I am a mother of small children, and I worry about them a lot. I know that it must have been like having your worst nightmare come true when your child was kidnapped. So, I wanted to let you know that you are an inspiration to all mothers out there. To know that even when the worst happens, as it sometimes does, we can find the strength to carry on. I know that you are not trying to be an inspiration, you are only trying to find your daughter. I get that, I would do the same. But you are an inspiration anyway, so thank you. Bridget.

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    1. Thank you, Bridget. Sometimes I actually have to inspire myself, to tell myself that if I have got this far, I can keep going.

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    2. I forgot to mention that I am in South Africa, and had never heard of Michaela until someone posted a link to your website on facebook. More and more people are learning about her every day, all over the world.

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  32. 1/30/2014 Ticker tape below the morning news mentioned the Misheloff family preparing for their yearly candle-light walk for missing Dublin teen Ilene Misheloff. Today marks 25 years. I burst into tears & uplifts as I thought of your Michaela’s yellow ribbon tree & tender yearly gatherings -& now the long walking trail of tears and hope prepared for tonight. I pleaded (in a new way) to God and Goddess Divine to please have this year be the final year for these specific types of gatherings. I requested this year be one for indisputable resolution…for unlocking the mystery of where the beloved children of noble long suffering dedicated families have been… and are today . A stillness with much peace followed. http://www.arounddublinblog.com/2014/01/dublin-ca-mark-25th-anniversary-ilene-misheloffs-disappearance/

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