Ramblings from my heating pad

Sorry I have not written in awhile. As I mentioned previously, there are some things going on in Michaela’s case that I can’t talk about until they are wrapped up, and for me it is often easier to say nothing in these times. But this morning I am stuck to my couch with a heating pad due to a presumed pulled muscle in my lower back. And because I seem to have a kind of a contrary nature, the state of having to sit on my couch with a heating pad instead of doing something is making me frustrated. If I had to do something, I’d be wishing I could sit on my couch. Having to sit on my couch I feel bored, whereas if I had to do something I’d be wishing I could have the time to sit and write, or read, or catch up on some series on Netflix.

So anyway.

As far the investigation goes, awhile back, after the episode with the bone from the Linden well, I told our detective that I just didn’t want to know what was going on in the case, that once they had wrapped something up they could tell me about it, and what they did or didn’t find, but that I didn’t want a blow by blow of what was happening. Those three months that I spent waiting for a DNA identification to be performed on that bone were soul destroying. Even though I had spent the previous 24 years living with all the questions and possibilities you have with a missing child, spending three months holding my breath, waiting for identification on a bone, was torture. I was planning memorial services in my head … or more accurately, I was fretting over them with no plans whatsoever. But even more, I was wondering how I would be able to pick up the pieces and go on with life afterwards. Even now, a couple of years later, just writing those words brings tears to my eyes.

But I think I am more ready now, if That Answer comes. There are certain other things converging, almost like a perfect storm, and I acknowledge that life simply will not go on like normal if I receive That Answer. For awhile it will stop. It will change. But nevertheless, investigations on 26 year old cases tend to move with the speed of molasses. There are so many current fires to be quenched, and if this case has waited for this long it can wait a day, a week, a month, three months, right? Well, yes it can. And that is all well and good as long as I am not aware of it. When I am, however, I think it would be good for those who are stirring the molasses to trade places with me mentally. And yet, I concede the timing to God. There are some things yet to happen perhaps, before I am ready to receive the answers.

This is my grandson, a close-up of his face at 15 weeks.
He has his left hand resting on his chin and his right hand
behind his head. I am in love with this little face.

New life is coming into my family this year … into my home, in fact. My daughter is having a baby in early December. This is not my first time being a grandmother, but there are a lot of firsts about it. My oldest son made me a grandmother, but I think it is a little different when it’s your daughter. Daughters just share more of their interior lives, at least in my experience. And my son lives far away, while Johnna lives with me, so I am always available for that sharing. Plus she is young. She is 21, not a teenager or anything, but still she faces challenges from being a young mother.

Johnna’s husband, Kane, is doing a “Baby Daddy Podcast” with his own father (Baby Daddy Podcast on Itunes). Coincidentally, David had Kane when he was the exact same age that Kane will be when this baby is born. David recognized that there are unique challenges to being a father at age 20, and decided to do this podcast with his son as a way of brokering the conversations on these difficulties, and sharing with others in this position. Honestly it has done a lot to simply revolutionize the ideas of all those people whose response to the news of the pregnancy was some variation of oh-i’m-sorry, as is indicated in some of the comments on the various websites. (Baby Daddy PodcastBaby Daddy Podcast on Facebook) If you choose to listen to this podcast, just be prepared for honesty. And also know that I dearly love this young man and that he is an exceptional human being.

From the very start, I encouraged Johnna to start a blog about her experiences as a young mother. Of course I think it’s very therapeutic to write and share your feelings, but … well, being pregnant at 21 can be kind of lonely as you have to grow up overnight, while everyone else stays the same. In blogging, vlogging or podcasting, there is the possibility of reaching out to others in the same position and making contact, and then perhaps everyone is a little less lonely. I have hopes this will happen eventually, in some format.

Just a week ago we got to see the baby on ultrasound. We found out that he is a little boy, and we got to watch him move. His little hands seem enamored with his face right now (“oh, what is this? a cheek? a mouth? my skin is so soft!”) I have a 3-D ultrasound picture of that little face, and I have to say I am enamored with that face also. I don’t see an alien or a lizard creature as some like to characterize it. I see a lovely little face, and I personally think he looks like his dad.  🙂

But anyway, I get to be a part of this wonderful unfolding of a new life, and it is beautiful and it is scary, and it makes us sigh with happiness and yet it also makes (me anyway) weep with the fearsomeness of love. Watching my daughter form these bonds of love with her husband and her child I am … well, I am just deeply touched.

Life affirms life. Love affirms love.

So what else? One of the more recent things that has been going on in Michaela’s case is that there is a young woman I asked investigators to check to make sure she is not Michaela. Now you have to understand, this young woman is quite a bit older than Michaela. Her eye color is hazel and not blue. She was raised in a family and was not a victim of the kind of things human trafficking victims are. She has no memories of me, or of our family, but she does have memories of another life, another family. She remembers not being interested in boys until fourth grade, so she remembers that time, but fourth grade is when Michaela was kidnapped and she doesn’t remember anybody from Michaela’s life. So you might ask me why have her tested, and this is a good question, but there was just enough mystery that I told the investigators that I would feel better with a definitive answer. And for various reasons, this has dragged out just long enough to become torture for me, because this young woman wanted me to form a bond with her, and I have refused, and refused, and refused again. There is, after all, no real world evidence that she is my daughter, and I just don’t have the emotional wherewithal to open myself up to that kind of relationship with someone on that basis. I just cannot. And in my heart, it feels as though it would be dishonoring to Michaela to even think of filling her place with someone who is not her. And this has made the young woman unhappy, has made her say that she is not going to get tested, that she is “withdrawing from the situation,” because if I was actually her mother I wouldn’t have rejected her. And honestly, she is probably exactly right about that. If there were any real inkling that she was my daughter, I would have jumped in with both feet, and I acknowledge that. And yet because I don’t know I have to leave it open, and I have to insist on somehow someday some way getting a final answer. So in the meantime she accuses me over my refusal to bond with her and ends with, “But what if I really am your Michaela?”

But this episode also has prepared me to be better able to accept the truth, if it is That Answer. Living as the mother of a missing child is a special kind of torture, like walking through a life where people keep planting mines on the path in front of you. It is a place of particular vulnerability that forces you to take protective measures, and I am so weary of it. So just ever loving weary.

Well, I wandered from my heating pad for a bit so I’m going back now. Thanks for visiting with me!

And Michaela, wherever you are, there is one place you will never leave, and that is my heart. I love you forever, baby girl.


10 thoughts on “Ramblings from my heating pad

Add yours

  1. Ms. Murch,I have followed Michaela's case for some time now and I can't even begin to place myself in your position at this moment. It is difficult to find the words in which I wish to express my support for yourself and your family except to say that I wish you all the very best.It's wonderful that you and those close to you are also in the midst of some happiness with the impending birth of your grandchild. A new life entering your own is always exciting and joyful!I'm sorry that things between you and the young lady you mentioned have taken such a disappointing and stressful emotional turn. It appears from what you wrote here that perhaps she is seeking something from you that she is lacking in her life, which could explain her reluctance to submit to testing. It seems to me that someone wishing to establish a true bond would show interest in knowing the truth. Then again, I have admittedly never been in this position myself, so perhaps I am out of line for even speculating.All the best to you and get well soon.


  2. Hi Sharon,Your writing as always blows me away!This young lady seems to want more than emotional bond from you–its baffling. I'm with you on this one.Hope you feel better!SR Mom


  3. So if I am understanding this right the girl/woman believes she had another life. Maybe she is another child who was kidnapped. Has this been looked into? Obviously she is not Michaela.


  4. I hope that you get answers soon! I'm sorry for that situation with that young woman, it sounds stressful. I wonder if this woman was kidnapped at an earlier age than Michaela was. It seems that a child who was close to 10 years old when they were kidnapped would have full memories of their real family.I know that when Jaycee was recovered, she remembered everything and everyone and was able to answer all of her mom's questions correctly from the get go.


  5. No, I don't think the young woman was kidnapped. She was in a car accident and a coma at some point in her life, and has some memory loss. But by other memories I meant that she had memories of the family she knows to be her family. There is no indication of having been kidnapped at any time by anybody. There are some things that are just coincidental, but I would not want to get 20 years down the road and realize that Michaela had been here and I'd walked past her. Nevertheless, we will know the answer soon.


  6. Dear Sharon, My memory fails me if I have previously shared this with you or not. When I was a senior in high school I became pregnant. Being so young & having no family support I knew I was unprepared for motherhood & placed my child for adoption. Back then, there was no such thing as open adoptions…They were still very much closed. One or two agencies in the country did semi open.. However semi open adoptions were so new at the time, they literally scared the shit out of birth families, adoptive family and quite frankly the adoption agencies and adoption lawyers. Back then even if your child should died from SIDS or at 16 in a traffic accident, birth families typically don't notified. If my child is still alive she would now be 23. Over the years I can't count the number of girls who have contacted me claiming they are my daughter & they are 100% certain they are truly her yet refuse to get tested. Most of them, you can tell simply by looking at them there is no earthly way they could possibly be mine. Unfortunately there are literally thousands of people in the world who prey upon birth parents claming they are “your child.” Some of them honestly believe they are when “you” know in your own heart it simply isn't true as much as you might want it to be. Some of these girls.. I think it might be mental illness. One of the girls who tried it with me, at the end she tried telling me “She was doing me a favor!!” In her mind, if I thought she was my daughter, I would be so over the moon happy I would stop looking & just “instantly” start having a mother/daughter relationship with her. The thought never crossed her mind, for mothers like me, a DNA test is a must! PERIOD end of story. It never crossed my mind people would do this stuff to the parents of a missing child.I understandably realize our situations are drastically different. As a mother, my heart feels for you.. No mother should ever have to go through the experience of having a missing child then someone claiming, pretending or trying to be your daughter and not having the decency to go do a DNA test. To me that is simply cruel. Heck, you think if it really were her, she would want to know 100% as well. Just my thoughts.I hope you enjoy your summer. Maybe even get a mini vacation. Megan =)


  7. Megan I am so sorry for what you have been through, and I do hope you find your daughter. As for this particular girl, I think she is sincere. And she has submitted to testing now so we should have the answers soon.


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