Dear Michaela

Dear Michaela,

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.

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fullsizeoutput_10aeBut 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.

forever,

mom

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123 thoughts on “Dear Michaela

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  1. Hey Sharon, Random observation: I just noticed that the picture of Michaela in the circular frame (in the upper right-hand corner of the web page) is slightly different than the one usually shown of her. It looks like a very sweet picture. I would love to see it in full-size. The photo to accompany your next blog post, perhaps? :-)As for the old woman exiting the cemetery, I was actually thinking about that earlier today while reading a Psychology and Law article for school. It was taking about criminal liability for someone who fails to render aid and presented the hypothetical example of a man walking past a drowning person and neglecting to throw them a life-preserver. The man would explain his actions by simply saying that he “just didn't want to get too involved.” My first thought was that this old woman had done the exact same thing; she walked right past Michaela and neglected to throw her a life-preservor. It is unconscionable. And Georgia, with all due respect, that's not a judgment against the old woman herself. Just the regrettable course of action she chose that day. Anyway, Sharon, I wish you a speedy recovery, and join you in your hope that Michaela might one day see the community of love and support that you have created in her name. <3-Julia

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  2. Sharon, it is definitely not OK that she did nothing when she saw him driving and wrote his plate number down. For Gods sake, she could have given the police the number anonymously. There are plenty of ways she could have done something. I know from the bottom of my heart that I would lay my life down for ANY ones child. Regardless, of what could possible happen to me. It was selfish and irresponsible not stepping up for a child, not to mention disgusting and heartbreaking. PJ in Illinois

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  3. I have Michaela's Flyer on the wall in my office at work. Its positioned so anyone walking by, or into my office will see it. Anytime I have to drive down Mission BLVD, and I pass the market and the cemetary I feel sad and angry about all of this. An old boxing trainer named Cus Damato used to tell a story about a hero and a coward. They both feel the same, both are scared, and feeling hopeless. But its what one does that makes them the Hero, and what the other doesnt that makes them the coward. This lady could have been a hero, and its sad that she only saw the other side of the situation.I hope your feeling better Sharon, this flu season is a bad one!~ Rod

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  4. Just curious regarding that picture of the girl you thought could have been Michaela but how did they prove it wasn't her. I mean I know that a woman claimed it was her but did they have other pictures from that era that should the same girl? That pic looks alot like her and just cause someone claims it was them doesn't mean it is though.

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  5. Just cause they say it was doesn't mean it is though. Did you get actual proof cause that picture really does lookLike her. Just sayin.

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  6. not to be rude, but do u not know anything about the modern day? ppl will say that to put ur hopes up and they think it's funny. well sharon, I hope that was michaela and she comes home alive and unharmed ❤

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  7. Thomas I am not really sure what comment you are replying to there, but I think anonymous was implying that somebody might be lying in order for me to think it's not Michaela. In either case, I am completely satisfied that nobody was lying, and nobody was trying to be mean in any way.

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  8. Oh Thomas I remembered this story omg i live in Conklin!! I love how after Nick was found that you started helping people like Sharon! My friend Hailey actually forwarded that message to me about Michaela that you sent. Wow and Sharon I'm so sorry about your daughter I wish I could help you 😦 accept an e-hug from me and Thomas ❤

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  9. No, we want her to come home NOT be found, considering that could mean she's dead. Sharon I personally believe that Michaela will be the next Jaycee Dugard!!!

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  10. Yes Sharon that was what I was implying and I wasn't trying to be mean at all. Just sayin people lie all the time. Not to mention I feel she is still alive I mean no body noBones noNothing at all. She's out there has to be.

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  11. My heart goes out to you Sharon. I'm not a mother, so I can't begin to imagine. I'm not religious so I won't pray. But my heart and thoughts are with you.

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  12. Oh Sharon this just breaks my heart. No one should have to suffer the way you have. I hope you get a Christmas miracle that the bone is not Michaela's.

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  13. My prayers are with you everyday. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about you and Michaela. Being the mother of five I cannot imagine not know where one of my babies had disappeared to. I remember what you said about that last night you had with Michaela and it has changed me deep inside. I have a four year old little girl that will get up once in awhile at night. She comes into my room and brushes my arm gently. She has her pillow and blanket in her arms and she wants me to go lay on the couch with her. Before hearing your story I would take her back to her own bed and tell her she needed to stay there. However now I am more than happy to jump up and go lay down by her. I treasure every night that she gets me up. You have made me a more caring loving mother.Edelweiss

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  14. Oh Edelweiss, thank you for telling me that. The picture of your little girl with her pillow and blanket in her arms brings a lump to my throat. Those moments are precious. And I'm here to tell you now, having raised Michaela's four brothers and sisters this way, that they all grow up to be independent and don't want you to sleep with them anymore. (Although it is true that my youngest still likes to have the dog sleep with her.)Love to you both.

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  15. I think this is one of those times you just have give it to god or the universe or fate… The truth is what it it is and nothing can change that. Should the results not go the way your heart hopes for, I am certain Michaela will be there holding your hand, along with the thousands of people who love and care about you both.Sending you strength and love..

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  16. Oh Sharon,My heart just aches for you. I have checked on this page once a week lately, hoping for your miracle:) I have two boys, 5 and 4 and can't imagine in the slightest what you must go through each day not knowing.I tear up when I read your posts, I am praying for a miracle for you.Anna x

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  17. I think of you and Michaela every day, Sharon. Every time I sign into Facebook I steele myself wondering if you have heard anything. I think you are a strong, remarkable woman.Love and prayers to you.

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  18. I agree. There would be two sources of comfort in a positive result – the knowledge that Michaela is not suffering and that she may on some level be there for Sharon. Ahh…there's just nothing to say. I write, I delete. It's just so sad. Sending you strength and courage, Sharon. Cindy

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  19. So true Sharon! I don't know any teenagers who still sleep with their mommies! 🙂 I slept with both my babies and still sleep with my three-year old for half of every night and I cherish every minute. As long as everyone is getting the sleep they need, all is well. Cindy.

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  20. Sharon, read that the bone with mitocohnrial dna didnt match your exhusband, Roo. but it has significant resemblence to yours? and herzog and “Jason” possibly shermantine might have killed youngsters.

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  21. What you read is incorrect. They were not able to extract a full DNA panel from the bone. From what they were able to extract, there were some matches to my DNA, although they were not uncommon — kind of like having O positive blood. There were no matches to Michaela's father. When they cannot to a regular DNA panel they use the mitochondrial DNA instead. This is more precise, and is passed only from mother to child.

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  22. So I guess this most likely Michaela's bone :[ sooooo sad at least she's not in pain anymore and does the bone tell the cause of death?

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  23. Anonymous,no more than your Drivers license tells your IQ. I suggest you read through the blog. Nothing has been discerned yet and Sharon has not updated us otherwise.

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  24. Herzog is still a major suspect in the case. The results have not yet come back on the bone, and in the meantime the investigators have been looking into Herzog in other ways. But yes, there are about six other people considered to be top suspects whose names have not been released.

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  25. Just to echo what Julia said – I check your blog every day for news, and pray daily for you and Michaela. What a lucky girl she is to have such an amazing Mom. XoJulie

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  26. Same here, I check your blog several times a day, for news or new blogs… How are you doing Sharon? It must be very hard when it getting closer and closer to find out?I feel anxious and restless some how, my nerves is kind of “outside” my skin, and I pray that this is not Michaela. I also pray that you and your family can deal with this in a “good” way, I pray for peace for you all. But I cant stop hoping that Michaela is out there, alive and well, and I wish for her to come home…Love from Åsa in Sweden

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  27. Sharon, just before all of this news broke regarding the bone fragment, you had been given information indicating that Michaela could be in the UAE. If the current tests come up negative, will you continue to pursue that line of inquiry? Maybe this is too much for you to think about right now…if so, I'm sorry. Cindy

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  28. I saw this article on the acquittal of the 13 people accused of the disappearance of a girl in Argentina. The article made me sad, and it reminded me of course of the girls here in the States that disappear. The only thing that gave me hope is it appears that at least some people in Argentina are upset by the corruption and the injustice of the verdict. It is unfortunately baby steps to make progress for change. And some days I get overwhelmed when I think about how powerful these syndicates are. http://news.yahoo.com/argentines-shocked-verdicts-sex-slave-trial-191140523.html

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  29. I thought it was oddly phrased myself, impersonal, like something that might be left on a websleuths page or something, rather than on her mom's blog. But perhaps I am just overly sensitive.

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  30. I don't think you're overly sensitive. I thought it was strange for two reasons. First, because it was so impersonal, and second, because normally when someone says they feel bad about something, they feel somehow responsible for it. Sometimes messages just don't come across as intended. This one struck me as unlike the rest of the messages we read here. Cindy

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  31. Sharon-I am praying for you and Michaela this Christmas season. Your blogs are powerful and I wish so much for you to have peace and comfort. I hope we meet someday, Diana

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  32. Dear Sharon, I grew up in Stockton, California and remember when this horrible incident happened. There was a rash of child abductions in a short time-frame if I remember correctly. My own son was a was 14 months old when this happened–it terrified me needless to say. I now live in Louisville Ky. I remember seeing the man's face who took your precious girl ALL over the news in the artists/police sketch of him, and i remember all the deep ugly pock marks and deep deep acne marks the police sketch showed on his face. Herzog did not have acne marks, nor does Shermantime. The bastards that the are, they both have/had nice smooth skin. The man who took Michaela did not. He had horribly acne scarred skin, deep acne pock mark scars do NOT go away…EVER. Maybe fade a little, but never completely disappear. There is no way Herzog and/or Shermantime could get rid of those scars for pictures and television cameras, (even with plastic surgery, those scars look waaaay too deep, but i doubt that is something those monsters would have tried to improve anyway) not if his skin really looks like what was portrayed in the police sketch. Anyway, I am not trying to bring up painful memories for you, just trying to point out an obvious characteristic that you may very well have already noticed yourself no doubt and give you a little hope that maybe that bone fragment may not be your beautiful baby girls bone. God bless. I will keep you in my prayers. Sincerely, Paula

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  33. Thanks, Paula, but the eyewitness said that Michaela's kidnapper had severe acne, “like boils.” Severe acne is a very common side effect of methamphetamine use. Nor does that kind of acne always leave a mark or scar. My younger son had really severe acne when he was in high school, but now his skin is perfectly smooth and clear. So I definitely can't discount Shermantine or Herzog based on this. Unfortunately, there may be other factors which will prevent them from being eliminated, even if this bone does not turn out to be Michaela.

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  34. If you feel comfortable to tell us, please do. Is there something, other than the bone, that could implicate them? other than the “right” time and area?Dear god, I hope not….hugs

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  35. I'm not saying that Tim Bindner is responsible for your daughters disappearance. I just want to know, is it true that Tim predicted that Michaela would be the next to be kidnapped? That he sent Michaela letters?Tim Bindner sounds like a guy who wants to do good things, but he ends up doing more harm than good. Which he doesn't mean.

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