And Michaela, this excerpt is for you:
Honestly, I have come to the point of being able to live with this, with the eternally unsolved crime. I have never felt this driving need for “justice.” I’ve had concern for the safety of other children with a kidnapper on the loose, but I’m just not looking to punish “the monster.” That means pretty much nothing to me. The only thing I really want to know is what happened to Michaela, and the reason I want to know that is because I want to be certain that my daughter is not suffering right now, this minute, because if she is, I need to help her. That is my sole concern. That I why I keep blogs, why I reach out to her.
That, and the fact that whether she is alive physically or not, I want to keep her alive in this world. It has been almost thirty years, but people still know her, people still love her. They have not forgotten her. And that is important to me. I’ve said it many times, but Michaela was a bright and shining light in this world, and as long as she is not here to shine that light, I will carry it for her. That is the only thing I can do, and I will do it.
The investigation is what it is: a huge, tangled, complex beast. Unraveling it and taming it is the task at hand. For me, the task is different and it is pretty simple. It is to love Michaela, to remember her, to keep her alive in the hearts and minds of people around the world. At its depths, my task is to honor the gift that Michaela is to the world by offering it myself. The horror, the outrage, the thirst for justice or revenge, they are just not part of me. They are not why I am here. I am here for love, for faith, for purpose. I am here to walk this path on which fate has planted my feet, and always on that path I am holding my daughter’s hand and we are smiling at each other. Always, my heart swells with her presence.
I love you, Michaela.