One week from tomorrow will be the 28th anniversary of Michaela’s kidnapping. It will mark 28 years since I stood in the doorway and heard her say, so cheerfully, “I love you, mom.” That beautiful smile on her face, so happy to be able to go to the store with her friend to get some goodies. Completely unaware that she was on her way to meet the most horrible destiny. And me too, unaware. I stood in the doorway, holding Michaela’s eight-month old baby brother, watching her ride down the street until she got to the corner and turned out of sight.
I don’t know if you can possibly imagine how much I don’t want to think about this, how much I don’t want to feel the feelings I have. It is a hell beyond measure.
For years now I have held a public remembrance to tie ribbons on the tree next to the parking space where she was kidnapped, And every single year I have hated it. Oh, I appreciate the love of the people who come. But I hate having to talk, when I really have no words to say. People come, and they try to comfort me, but they can’t. Sometimes I have to comfort them, and I can’t. I am spent. I am exhausted. I am broken.
So this year there will not be a public remembrance. I know it’s probably “cheeky,” as my British mother would have said, but in spite of that I do want you to please remember Michaela. I would like you to, wherever you are, tie a ribbon somewhere, It can be yellow or pink or purple or whatever color you would like. You can tie it on your porch, your tree, or the rack that holds your coffee mugs in your kitchen. Just think of her and say a prayer. And if you could send me a photograph of the ribbon, I would be very grateful. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and Michaela’s facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/MichaelaJoyGarecht.
I understand this sounds selfish. I seem to get an inordinate amount of judgment from people these days, mostly over the way they think the investigation should be conducted. I’m just going to tell you all now, if you think you know what should be done with the investigation, or if you for some reason doubt that they did things they should have done in the beginning, tell the investigator. His email address is email@example.com. Not a single reader of this blog has any conception of the depth of the investigation. I can’t deal with it anymore, and I think I am going to stop publishing this stuff on my blog because it exhausts me, and because it is NOT the purpose of this blog. This is not a web sleuths site. This is a blog that I write so that if my daughter is alive out there somewhere, perhaps she will see that she has not been forgotten, that she is loved very dearly.
But I do want everybody to remember Michaela. I want everybody to love Michaela. I want everybody to pray for Michaela. I want everybody to spread this blog far and wide in hopes that if Michaela is somewhere in the world, she will see it. And let me tell you, Michaela is worthy of that love. She was one of the kindest little girls you could ever hope to meet. She was good to others, she was loving, she was sweet. So you can love her with abandon. She is not her exhausted, broken, and sometimes just plain cranky mom. She is good.
I thank you for understanding. I thank you for loving Michaela.
And Michaela, if you are out there, I will be remembering you, on November 19th and every single day of my life, I love you, baby girl.