November is flying by! Already the baby shower for my son and daughter-in-law is upon me, and trip number one by my daughter and her husband from Oregon! How will I ever get the house clean in time, and is it even possible to wrap this box? Then at the end of November is not only Thanksgiving, but the same weekend is my grandson’s second birthday. I have no idea still what Thanksgiving will look like this year. It’s one of the sad things in life that kids grow up, partner off, and suddenly they are part of other families for the holidays. I will admit, I have never been a big holiday person, and I am definitely not the best cook in the world, so I can understand this. But for some reason it still gives me a twinge of teariness. Then Theo’s birthday will be a lot of work, but a large part of that work is not mine. Probably I will spend more time watching my grandson while his parents do the work and spend the money. This is the good part, guys!

In between those things is That Day. November 19th, the day Michaela was kidnapped. It is on a Sunday this year. I haven’t been to church for a few weeks now, so I guess it won’t matter that I miss it that day to go to the market to hang ribbons on the tree for Michaela. Last year I “cancelled” the anniversary. I went myself and hung the ribbons, but I made it a private family event rather than a public event, because making it a public event had for some years made me feel like I was running a show, made me focus more on other people and taking care of them than my own feelings. What I really felt like doing was lying face down on the ground there, at the spot where she was kidnapped, and melting into it. This is something I feel often, actually, this wanting to lie on the ground. But I never do, because it is just such an awkward thing, so I carry it around in my body, this collapse, this melting.

This year, I am not going to “cancel” it, meaning that anybody who wishes to come is welcome to. At 10:00 on Sunday, November 19th, we will meet at Mexico Super Market in Hayward, on Mission Boulevard, across the street from Chapel of the Chimes, and we will tie yellow ribbons on the tree and spend a few minutes just sending our love to Michaela. I’m not going to give a speech, because honestly after 29 years (!) I have run out of words. There is nothing new to say. Just, “Thank you for caring about my daughter, for all this time, after all these years.” If you do come, if you could bring ribbons I would appreciate it, because ribbons are expensive and after spending a year fighting cancer I am depleted. I usually cut the ribbons long so they will hang from the branches, but you are welcome to do what you want. And they don’t have to be all yellow. And if you can’t come, if you could hang a yellow ribbons wherever you are, I would be grateful, and even more grateful if you could send a picture. My email address is

I actually love the month of November. I love the sound of its name. I love the crisp chill that sets in and finally stays. I love the family holidays, and now I love it because my grandson arrived in November, the day after Thanksgiving in fact. He came a whole week early just to brighten up the month and make our holidays more exciting. I love it this year because we are celebrating my newest granddaughter, who will arrive next month. But November’s full moon is traditionally known as the Mourning Moon, and that is what fills me. It exists alongside the joy. It brings an ache, but it brings a depth. It brings the moment Michaela was kidnapped, but it also brings her last moments of innocent freedom. What a dichotomy that is, with the former almost making the latter a lie, liar, pants on fire. My baby girl, MY baby. How could someone think they had the right to take her? And yet they did. November is life, the giving and the taking. November is love, its heights and its depths, the joy and the deep deep grief. It is the deepening darkness on either end of the days.

Twenty-nine years. Where is my baby girl? They may have been able to hide her, whoever took her, but they cannot make her disappear from this world. I will make certain of that. I thank all of you, from all over the world, who still remember Michaela, who still love her, who hold out hope for her or simply hold her in your hearts. Thank you.

Michaela, I love you forever.



29 thoughts on “November

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  1. Blessed “November”….GREETINGS EVERYONE,Dear SHARON, In the midst of heartbreaking struggles and devastation you kindly share deeply personal reflections, illumination, inspiration, beauty and encouragement….as well as ministering books & inspiring songs. Your genuine expressed life experience writings continue to be deeply touching & have an empowering impact on my slow rising wounded spirit… and no doubt touch the countless lives of others.<3 Thank you, God Bless and ..Write On!P.M.R


  2. I personally hate November because it is so rainy, cold and dark here. Well, I could say this is a cold country. You would feel the difference immediately. But I also feel like when November and the whole winter have turned to spring, all the trails and moments of that time are gone, vanished. When that dark and cold season ends, and the nature wakes up here again, last November seems so unreal and misty.If something tragic or life-changing happened, it's like in March it still matters, but it feels so unreal and I have to remind myself that it actually happened.There are no words to say why God allows bad things to happen to good and innocent people. But one day He will give you an answer about Michaela. Praying for good answer of her been found, and this painful story would have a relieving and happy ending, and a fire starter to a new and better one. And you can even have a happy November again, which you haven't had for too long. I will tie a ribbon on the 19th and make some hope go with the wind.Emilia


  3. Once again your beautiful writing brings your spirit clearly to heart. The hope that, as you state, you MUST hold on to, the inner conflicts, the deepest of aches that no one can truly understand but God, and the anger that cannot be denied. Remember that you are never alone, nor is Michaela, wherever she may be; you are both much loved.


  4. Sharon, I've thought so many times about your continued suffering, I've thought about the fact you never get “closure” (whatever that really means) but I've never thought about the fact that you haven't even been able enter into grief because you still have hope. Can grief and hope coexist? Cindy


  5. Off-topic but deeply touching! Though filled with heartache You kindly posted about a wedding fundraising campaign some time back for a young woman you knew with Cancer .I viewed today that $12,000 was the goal and a generous. $14,111 was raised! abc7 NEWS VIDEO of Cherise and Erik’s WEDDING shows the wish was met in a tender and beautiful way <3…” Bride's wish comes true, despite cancer battle “ … ❤


  6. p.s .Question about the wonderful wedding verification news link I just posted. May 5th was when you posted on Michaela’s FB about the young woman with terminal cancer & her last wish for a wedding. Do you have any CHERISE health or life experience updates to share with us???Prayer Intercessor


  7. Judging from the photos, the wedding was beautiful. It was untraditional, with the bridesmaids and groomsmen in basic black with brilliant color accents. Cherise is still undergoing therapy but hanging in there. I know her only distantly, but she just touched my heart. I have posted a couple of other fund raisers recently. One was for a ten year old boy who has been in the hospital in a coma for I think three weeks now, cause unknown but thought to be a brain virus, and another to help pay the funeral expenses of a young man killed in a car accident when a big rig lost a wheel and it hit his car. Neither has reached its goal. I know I always feel as though I can do so little it doesn't matter, but if each of us did that little that we can do, mountains would be moved.


  8. Your Concern, Efforts & Love Matters! I very much appreciate the heartwarming Cherise update. I recall at the time prayer started it was thought there would be a short amount of time on earth left :*( and the wedding day was pushed forward. Now 6 months later you kindly report she is “ undergoing therapy but hanging in there” !!! Very blessed news ❤ I will include the grievous issues the two other families, who are personally known to you, are tending with:*( I would like to do a special intensive Prayer Vigil (as was done for Baby Will) for the 10 year boy in a coma. May I please have a first name? or first and last name initials.?


  9. Nicholas” what a special name! Wiki describes why:” Nicholas or Nikolas or Nicolas or Nickolas is a male given name, derived from the Greek name Νικόλαος (Nikolaos), [ The name can be understood to mean victory of the people.”I will begin preliminary Vigil preparation today and do an Intensive tomorrow. Over 20 years ago I was told by a Neuro Surgeon I would pass “in a short time”. Intercessors stepped in & petitioned on my behalf. Since then, living by Mercy one day at a time, multitudes of impossible seeming situations like my own have been Vigiled for. Many have gone to Glory surrounded by immense love -following series of blessings to the patient, family and loved one’s. The majority of others have risen to be a living Sermon In Shoes.


  10. Vigil continues….(Isaiah 53:1-5) …..”He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.¶Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Spirit Rain Down (worship video w/ lyrics


  11. Im happy your going public this year. I understand when you didn’t. I also run out of word’s and a big part of that is there are just no word’s. I think of that man. Is he alive is he very old… Has this been a family rumor for year’s you know that one crazy uncle or something. I think about when we are gone who will go to the tree. Everyone will, with that will one of his family member’s put some pieces together and come forward? I pray so. Maybe they are waiting for him to die…. His face is out there we know who he is of sorts. Sharon you know your like a mom to me and hearing of your cancer terrified me! To our sweet baby girl please know there is nothing that has happened that you cant come to your mother and be safe. We will never stop praying we will never stop searching…

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  12. Sharon, I am glad that you have a lot going on this month as it will keep your mind occupied. I know you will still feel the pain of losing Michaela but at least you will be with people you love. I believe all the activity will make it a little easier for you. I know how you must dread the month of November.


  13. Dear, Sharon May this November bring your child back into your live. Hello Sharon I wish I could join you for the 29th anniversary of Michaela’s kidnapping.I will be with you guys by spirit. I know how tough it is for you especially, because Thanksgiving and all the family gatherings without your first born child.So glad to hear that dispite your busy November schedule you will go to the kidnapping site of Michaela. Michaela you are a really special girl and have a special place in your mother’s heart.Sincerely, Zahra


  14. I wish I could attend the anniversary but I cannot. I live too far away. I will be thinking of Michaela on November 19th as I have for many years.


  15. All the juxta poses and contrasts that novemebr brings. Its incredible. I hope your grandchildren will have everlasting health and experience happiness more than sorrow. Your family truly deserves the best. This November 19th i was planning on lighting a candle for michaela and say a prayer. I will do that but i will also tie a yellow ribbon around my wrist for the day, and maybe hang one on my doorpost. Lots of love and prayers coming your way from the middle east- Lebanon.

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  16. Sharon, No one can possibly fully feel how sad you feel for Michaela. But others like myself know what heartbreak is. I am the mother of two grown children. a boy and a girl. my daughter was born the same year as Michaela 1979. She has 4 lovely children which are or were my heart. I had always been very close with my daughter but I could see little by little that she was pulling away from her brother and I. (I am divorced) She knows how very special the kids are to me. They were my whole life. A couple years ago she started not answering my call or texts etc. I drove to her house a few times (she lived an hour away) to see the kids. she let me in but was very cold. I have no idea why and she would never say. I treated the kids like gold and she knew it. I noticed she starting changing after she got married. I know her husband has a lot to do with it. Well to make a long story short, little by little things got worse until I finally gave up. I would send the kids cards, letters and gifts but never heard a word back. So I just stopped sending stuff. I found out a month ago that she picked up and moved to North Carolina. I live in Md. She never told me or her brother. Her daughter, my granddaughter will be 16 on Nov 25. I had planned on getting a necklace for her with the diamonds from my wedding band. Now I cannot because I have no idea what her address is. I just don't understand. I know the kids have asked about me because we all were so close. They loved me so much and may daughter knows it. She commented once that she thought they loved me more than her. Anyway my point here is I know how you feel when you are missing Michaela. I haven't seen my babies in 4 years. Missed out on so many things. Now that they have moved I may never see them. I know having a kidnapped child is much worse and can't compare but heartache is the same no matter what the circumstance. Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I am sad everyday and feel I don't have much to live for. Nancy


  17. Nancy, my heart truly goes out to you. I can feel your pain. I even know bits of it as my kids have grown up and moved away, have married and have melted into new families, and are just not here for all the holidays, and other days. When my first granddaughter was born, I left the hospital sobbing. I am sure people thought someone had died rather than someone just having been born, but I was just broken hearted because she lived so far away I knew I wouldn't be able to be part of her everyday life like I longed to be. I know these are not as extreme as what you experience, but I think every mother who has ever lived has felt at least a twinge of what you live with, and understands the devastation you feel. I have been reading a book, and I wonder if you would try an experiment, and let me know if it changes anything, and that is rather than focusing on the grief of your separation, allow yourself to feel them as present and feel the joy of their presence. I know it sounds hard, and maybe dumb, but it can't hurt. I do have to say, though, that it is nothing at all like what I experience with Michaela. My primary grief is NOT that I miss her. It is that my daughter suffered unimaginable things, and there was nothing I could do to save her. It is that she might have spent her entire lifetime in suffering, might still be suffering today. It is nothing at all like missing your children or grandchildren.


  18. You write the way I feel people live… it’s beautiful and heartbreaking and keeps me coming back to check in and once again say a prayer that you get answers and justice for Michaela. I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving. I’ll be thinking about your baby girl Nov. 19th and sending her and you all my love.

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