|The ribbon with writing on it is
from me, Michaela.
In just a little more than a month, Michaela, it will be the twenty-six year anniversary of the last day I saw you. This is a horrible, horrible day. It’s a day when I don’t know what to do, or what to say. How can I honor you, how can I reach out to you? What words are left after all these years? After Jaycee was found and the Hayward PD was searching to see if the man who took her might have taken you as well, I was called on to do a lot of interviews. From before the crack of dawn to after the sun went down in the evening day after day after day I was being interviewed, and was being asked the same questions over and over and over again. I was so completely and totally exhausted that to overcome the glaze in my mind and my eyes and to give the answers one more time, as though it was the first time I had ever given them, required almost more than I had. But I did it, as best as I could, and it was a good thing, because those who had forgotten about you suddenly remembered, and those who had never heard of you came to know you, and to love you.
|Your sisters, Michaela, hanging ribbons for you.
From left to right, Ariel, Libby, and Johnna.
The faded ribbons on the tree are left from years past.
And this is good, Michaela, good for my heart, and good for you, because I want you always to be remembered. If I can do nothing else, I want to keep you alive in the world by keeping you alive in the minds and hearts of people. It is good because the more people remember you, the more people there are praying for you. But most of all it is good because the more your story gets out there, the more it is on the news, the more it is shared by people on social media, the greater is that infinitesimal chance that you might see it, and remember who you are, and know that there are people who love you, now and forever, and who are looking for you still after all these years, people longing to open their arms and welcome you home, people with love to pour over whatever wounds you have suffered in these years in which you have been stolen from us.
|The big guy at the back is your baby brother, Robbie.
Left is your sister Johnna, and right is me.
How can I say it so that it can be understood? How can I say it so the message will be loud enough to reach across the years, the miles, the hurt? I don’t know, Michaela. I just pray that you will hear, or if you don’t hear me, that you will hear God whispering to you, reminding you of who you are, and where you come from, giving you the strength to come home.
I love you forever, my child. Please, come home. If you should happen to be in another country, you can contact the U.S. Embassy. If you are in the UAE, as several leads have said you are, just click on the tab above labeled “How to Get Help” and there is information about how to contact the embassies there, as well as in Mexico, where other leads have pointed. Wherever you are, there are numbers you can call, both from outside the country and in the United States.
I am posting some photos from the anniversary last year. I cannot tell you how deeply I long for those to be the last anniversary photos ever taken.
With all my love always,