It has been awhile since I have been here, I know. It has just become so hard to bear anymore. Not you, Michaela. You would never be hard to bear. The other day, I was taking care of your little nephew, my grandson. He is six months old, and six month old babies can be a lot of work. His mom and dad have been busy lately with the theater program they work for, so I have been babysitting. They asked if it would be okay if they went out on a date one evening, or would that be too long to watch him. And you know, I looked in his face, and I thought, how could I ever say it would be too much, too long, to care for him. He is so innocent and helpless, I looked into his face and said, "No, nothing is too much for you. It is never too much time or too much effort to care for this innocent little baby I love so much. It is my privilege."
I feel that way about you, too, Michaela. Wherever you are, whatever you have been through. I could never stop loving you, could never say it's too much. What becomes too much is your missingness. I know that's not a word, but I have just coined it. What becomes too much is my utter helplessness in the face of your missingness. I can't find you. I don't know where to look. I can't make other people do what I think should be done to find you. I cannot help you.
Twenty-seven years, six months, 14 days at this point. All that time of all this helplessness in the face of the worst possible thing that could happen to me, that my child is suffering. And I can't help.
If you are out there, Michaela, and you can help me, please do. Please remove the missingness, remove the questions and the wondering and let me know where you are, and that you are okay. If you can't come home and don't want me to try, that's okay. If you don't want anyone else in the world to know, I won't tell. Tell me our family code word if you remember it. Tell me something only you and I would know. Tell me that you are alive, that you are okay. Tell me if you have children! Leave an anonymous comment here, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your missingness doesn't become easier to bear with time. It becomes harder. It reaches the point where I want to put my head under the bed covers and not come out, where I was to exist in the gray lands where I deny my feelings because they are too painful, where I kill of my imagination, because that is the easiest way to make sure it doesn't wander too far down the painful paths. If I can't help you, Michaela, can you please help me?
I love you forever,