I was thinking about this blog this morning, and my letters to you, and why I do it. I have gotten to the point where I bristle when people want to talk about your case. It literally sends bad feelings up my spine. No surprise, I guess. It will be thirty years this year that this has been going on, and I hate it. I hate every bit of it, everything about it. I hate the false hopes and the banging of my head against the doors. I hate it. I am done trying to figure out what happened, to put together puzzle pieces from a dozen different puzzles, all jumbled together. There are a lot of very nice, caring people who are still obsessed about, or at least interested in, your case, though. They think that with the practically nonexistent information available to them, or me, that we should be able to figure it out. Well, they can’t, and I can’t. The police have all the tons and mountains of information and they haven’t figured it out, so we sure as not are going to do that based on the few measly leads that have managed to find their way into the media and onto google.
I just don’t want to hear about it anymore, because it is too hard. I told investigators this a couple of years ago, after the last deep, hard fall: that they should tell me when they have found something, but I don’t want to know until then. It’s kind of an iffy thing, because sometimes I get angry because I feel nothing is being done on Michaela’s case because nobody is talking to me, until I remember that I asked them not to tell me about it. It is just an Uncomfortable Situation. It is a little bit of hell on earth, and I have roasted on that pit for far too long.
Yet, Michaela, I am still “looking for” you. Although the case may be woven into that fact, however, “solving” it is not what I am looking for. I am not looking for the kidnapper. I am not wanting to know what happened. I have to tell you the honest truth, Michaela, if you are not alive, I am not sure I actually want to know that. The thought of it all starting up over again chills me. I have loved the media over the years and the usually wonderful people working in it, but I dread that exhausting spotlight. This is all I really want to do: I want to hold you in my arms and love you. That is all. That is the beginning and the end and all of the middle. If you are alive out there, I am “looking for you” by reaching out to you, so you know you are not forgotten, that you are still deeply loved. I try to keep you updated on family news and events, at least as much as I can while maintaining privacy for your brothers and sisters, because I want you to feel that you know what home is. I personally hate going to places I have never been before. I want to feel familiar with the landscape. I want to be able to picture the door I will walk through, and have an idea of what awaits me on the other side. And I want you to feel that you know, should you decide to come home, what you will be walking into.
Anyway, I am having surgery next week. There was a time when the whole idea of surgery terrified me. Just one year ago this very day, in fact, I remember walking down the hospital corridor past the doors to the surgical floor on my way to my own surgery, and almost passing out at the thought of what happens behind those doors! But I’m not afraid anymore. I had three surgeries last year, and as dumb as it sounds I actually got to kind of like the procedure. I remember after the second surgery I woke up soooo happy. I felt like I was emerging from some kind of a party and ready for more! My procedure next week is scheduled to take from four to eight hours, and I will be in the hospital for five days, so it is a bit more challenging than last year’s surgeries, but I am still feeling pretty positive about it. It is surgery, however. My husband mentioned last night that he was not looking forward to it, and I asked why, thinking it was the long hours in the hospital waiting room he was dreading, but he said something about dying on the operating table. I told him I am not going to do that, so he doesn’t need to worry, but I have decided that when I finish this blog I am going to hop on over to the Neptune Society website and get a membership. And I thought about a few other things also that I should do. And one was writing to you.
I have been remiss in keeping you updated on family news recently. It’s not really my fault. I’d have blasted all this with front page headlines if it had been my choice. But remember your baby brother, Robbie, the one you held in your arms, the one whose picture you drew, dressed in his striped pajamas? He was eight months old when you last saw him. Now he is a great big man, 6’3″ he claims, although I am sure he is 6’4″, with dark hair and a thick beard. (For those who are hunting for people on the street that they think might be Michaela, Robbie is an object lesson, because he too had that fine, pale blonde hair as a child. This is proof positive that nobody has any idea what Michaela would look like today.) He has grown up to be a private sort of person, and married a wife who feels the same way, and I try to respect that. However, your baby brother Robbie now has a baby daughter of his own. Baby Elara was born on December 26th. I sadly have only been able to see her once, the day she was born, because right after that the Nasty Flu hit our house, and is still hanging around as a lingering cough. That is not something you want to expose a newborn to, but she spent a week in NICU because she had breathing problems at birth, so this is especially true with her. So I don’t have a lot of photos except for those Robbie has sent me. Nevertheless, I can tell you that she is adorable. And honestly, I could see you when I looked into her face.
But anyway, what I am telling you here is that if you hurry home there will be a cuddly new baby for you to hold!
Other than that, life goes on. Everything is in flux here, for me anyway. I expect a year of change this year, because change has become a necessity, but I have no idea which way that wind will blow. I will be relieved to get past this final surgery and be free to rebuild my life. And my self. Learn this one thing from me: it is never too late to reinvent yourself. This is true for you, too, Michaela. If you are alive, even if you have spent the last thirty years living in the worst of circumstances, you have a whole new life ahead of you if you choose. Where you have been, what has been done to you, what you may have done, does not define you. Let me remind you, that you were born with a light that was bright enough to light the world even in your absence. And do not doubt, you have love and support enough to accomplish miracles.
I will check in here, one way or another, after surgery, just to let you know I am still alive. Maybe not for a couple of weeks, since I won’t have my computer in the hospital. But I’ll be back!
I love you, baby girl, forever and ever. Remember, I am always in your heart. When you walk into a dark room, if you reach out your hand, I will always be there to hold it.