This website, and the blog it features, has grown and grown and grown through several blogs I have kept over the years. Only recently, however, have I figured out what it is all about, why I am here, and why I do this, pouring out my heart and soul our for the world to see. This is the story of that discovery.
My original blog was Dear Michaela. I lost that website because of difficulties with google, and my own stupidity. Fortunately I had begun this one before that happened, and I have actually imported every single bit of my Dear Michaela blog into Seekers Road, so it is still here.
For those who are new here, Michaela is my daughter, my firstborn child, and she was kidnapped at the age of nine, in a witnessed stranger abduction on November 19, 1988. She has never been found. As of this writing, in May 2020, her case is still open at the investigating police department in Hayward, California.
I am going to begin by letting you all know that I think Michaela is most likely not alive. But I don’t know that for certain, and because I don’t know that, I will continue to reach out to her. I believe that if she is alive, there are only a few people who can lead us to her. There are people out there who know what happened, who have known from the beginning, who are associated with the case or the kidnapper in some way. But they have been there for a long time and have not chosen to help. I think right now that the only person who can save Michaela, if she is alive, is Michaela herself. So I reach out to her. I let her know that we still love her, that nothing that has happened to her could make us love her less. I let her know that I love her, that I have open arms and a safe place for her. So I write for her, so that if she is out there, my words can blow to her on the wind, and even if she is in a position where she can’t come home, she will at least know that she is forever loved.
What I am not here for is as a resource for web sleuths. In fact, I honestly wish that all that activity would cease. I wish people would quit doing podcasts about Michaela. I wish people would stop posting theories about her. Nobody knows enough about her case to do so with any accuracy. They just go over the same old leads that have appeared in the media over the years, while the fact is that the leads in this case overflow five filing cabinets, and most of the promising leads have never been revealed to the public. They also like to fill out the story with fluff about our family, what we were doing and thinking, and that is completely incorrect. You cannot pick nuggets here and there from my blog and put together a picture. I don’t even provide you that information, because I try reasonably hard to protect my family’s privacy, and I wish others would do the same.
Two years ago was the 30th Anniversary of Michaela’s kidnapping. We celebrated it with a remembrance that was very meaningful to me, but it left me in the deepest depression, really not caring if I lived or not.
Today, I have reached a place, after almost 32 years, of relative peace, and even joy, and this is something that is so precious to me, I have to guard it like the treasure it is. At the beginning of this year, I moved with my family, including two of my children and their children, from the San Francisco Bay Area to a small town in western Iowa. I used to have a view others envied, of San Francisco and the city. Now I have a view of my yard, and the yards of my neighbors, all joined together in an absolutely gorgeous display of nature, and it is so much more beautiful than the view I had before! Being here in this peaceful place has just fed my soul in a way I didn’t even know it needed.
If you want to know all the publicly available information about Michaela’s case, this is the only source I actually recommend, both in accuracy and in its respectful presentation by Danelle Hallan. If you want to share Michaela’s story, please share either this website, or Danelle’s youtube post. I also keep a Facebook page for Michaela, if you are interested in following. If you are looking for news on the case, however, you will likely be disappointed, because I don’t release details of the investigation that have not already been put out in the media. And if you want to tell us what we should be doing to solve the case, you will just have to take my word for it that the investigators have been on top of it. My primary motive in this blog is not to find Michaela. That is the job of the investigators, and if you have a lead you can contact them at 1-800-222-3999. My primary purpose is to honor her, to keep her alive in this world by keeping her alive in people’s memories, to shine her light for her while she can’t, and to reaffirm for her and the world my love for her.
This is a photograph taken with my daughter on her wedding day in 2017. I am wearing a wig, because I had just finished chemotherapy and my hair had not grown back in. My daughter created this particular picture, with the Survivor, because at that time I was an official survivor of Stage 3C invasive lobular breast cancer. But as it turns out, I’m not a survivor after all. I may yet live a very long time, but just these past weeks, I have been told that the cancer has returned. I have metastatic cancer in a tumor I found above my collarbone in 2018, which was just diagnosed when my new doctor in Iowa said I should have an MRI.
Metastatic cancer is treatable, but it is not curable. I have no idea as of this writing what my prognosis is, because I am waiting to have a PET scan to see whether the cancer is confined to this one place above my collarbone, or whether it has spread to other sites. If you read blogs posted in the last half of May, I explain more about what this all means, and when I get all the information, I will post the prognosis as well.
Why am I here
There is one thing I know for certain about Michaela, and that is that she was a bright, shining light in this world. I originally started writing blogs not only because she was missing, but because I felt that as long as she was not here to carry her light, it was my job to do that for her. Sometimes I have done this well, and sometimes the really hard emotions have carried me away. It has been 32 years, and I have gone through a lot of things during those years, some really, really hard things, some hard things not even to do with Michaela. I have evolved personally so much that I have not been sure who I am from time to time. I have been angry, I have been sad. I have been self involved, and I have been selfless.
But honestly, it was just a couple of years ago that I realized just why I am here, doing this, keeping a website and writing blogs. I was sitting at a coffee shop with a friend, and we were talking about Michaela, and what had happened, and why. Specifically we were talking about Michaela’s kidnapping, and what impact it may have had on my faith. Honestly, I don’t struggle at all with how God could allow this to happen. But as I was talking to my friend, I heard words coming out of my mouth that I had never thought. “I can see me sitting with Michaela,” I said, “some far day in eternity, and we will be talking about her kidnapping, and we will kind of brush it off, like ‘oh that,’ because it will be such a little thing, what we endured will be so insignificant in the perspective of eternity, because we will be able to see all the lives that have been touched in one way or another, by what we have been through, and our suffering will be meaningless compared to those things.”
As I approach yet another hard thing in life, I can’t help but think about all those who have gone before me on this particular journey. I can’t help but think, “Well, if they could do it, I can do it.” How exactly it helps, I don’t know. But it does give me courage. I have even thought about people who have died, thinking, well if they can do it, I can too. After Michaela’s kidnapping, I thought that perhaps my entire purpose in life was to stand on top of a mountain, raise my arms in the air, and yell, “Hey, if I can do it, you can do it!” And honestly I have learned so much along the way. I have seen this quote in various places, original source unknown, but it pretty much sums up my reason for being here:
Tell the story of the mountains you climbed. Your words could become a page in someone else’s survival guide.
I can tell you now that the very bottom of the bottom line is that suffering becomes something you can accept when you can accept the fact that everything that happens does happen for a reason. It is all part of the great unfolding of a plan that transcends our existence. The key is learning and accepting that this “reason” may never have anything to do with you. It may have to do with a person or people you have never met, will never know in this lifetime. I know how hard that is to accept. It’s not something you can tell yourself and you just believe it. I remember whenever I read anything to do with Buddhism, my immediate reaction was to bristle, because I didn’t want to become a part of a whole. I wanted to become the best me that I could possibly be. The ego was just so strong. But now I get it, not because I read it, or decided it was true, but because it evolved within me, largely out of this vision of my conversation with Michaela, which arose spontaneously over a cup of coffee. It’s not all about me. It is not even all about Michaela. It is about eternity.
So anyway, that is why I am here. I don’t think anybody would be here reading my blog if it weren’t for Michaela, so everything I have to give I give through her. I hold her light, and I hope it shines on you and grows ever brighter. Thank you for being here.
With the greatest of love,
Sharon Murch, May 24, 2020