Michaela

Before anything else, I want to tell you all that I love you, and I am so very grateful for the love and support you have poured out to my daughter for all these very, very many long, long years. I want to tell you how much I appreciate your encouragement to hold on, to keep believing. I want to thank you for all the times you have told me I am courageous, because I have kept looking for my missing child.

And now I want to let you down.

I have Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer. I have no idea how many years I have left on this earth. I hate to ever say this, because my family occasionally reads my blogs, and I don’t like to upset them. When I was first diagnosed, my husband said, “we have beat this before, and we will beat it again.” I should have just left it at that. I should not have told him that barring a miracle or a huge medical advance (both of which I believe in!), it can’t be beat. Right now, I’m still planning on living until I am at last 92, but the fact is that I’m three months into treatment, and I can feel my known tumor, and it is not shrinking. I hope for the best. I expect the best. But I know the facts. And never mind the cancer, this puts me at high risk for covid. I take nothing for granted.

I count every moment of my life as precious. I know the things that are important to me. My family. My spiritual development. My contributions to the world. Peace.

Once many years ago I had a dream that I was dying. I was laying on the top bunk of my daughters’ bunk beds for some reason, and I was saying goodbye to my husband and kids. “Well, I’m going to see Michaela now,” I told them. “I’ll see you in 30 years.” At that point I started being sucked up into the corner of the ceiling, and I woke up.

In the week I was diagnosed with Stage 4 MBC, I closed my eyes, and I saw the shore of the lake on which I’d been meeting Jesus during the scarier parts of my treatment, and standing there was my mother and Michaela. I was still walking on the lake. They seemed to be waiting for me, and I told them, I can’t come right now. I have things left that I need to do, people I have to take care of.

It has been a long time since I have believed Michaela is still alive. And if she is not, I don’t need for her to be found. Wherever her body may have rested for these years, it is only her body, only a temporary residence. Michaela’s true self, her spirit, left long ago, and has found peace and joy not possible here. I don’t need a ceremony. I don’t need a grave. I had a remembrance service for her on the 30th anniversary of her kidnapping, and that is as much as I need. In fact, that anniversary remembrance almost brought me to the breaking point. I have been broken enough over the years. I really don’t want to be broken again.

I know it’s possible that Michaela is still alive, and if she is, I welcome her home with all my heart. But all our efforts over all these years have not found her, and I don’t believe they will. She would have to find herself. But I the meantime, when people encourage me to keep hoping, to keep imagining her coming home, it honestly feels like a stab in the heart. I know that none of you can imagine how it has been. Even those who have had children missing a long time can’t, because there haven’t been too many cases that have stayed as active for as long as Michaela’s has. There have been so many roller coaster rides, so many hopes that were lifted high and dashed to the ground. I can only tell you that each time, it almost killed me.

Now, I can’t take any more near death experiences. They are too real. There have been times in the last few years when I have suffered from a passive suicidal ideation, just not wanting to be here. It was actually during those times that the cancer I have now was growing. Now I have to stay as strong as I can, because I want to live. I want to see many more seasons come and go in this beautiful place where I have come to live. I want to be able to find my place in this community. I want to be here for my kids if they need me. I want to watch my grandchildren grow, and perhaps to meet grandchildren yet to come. I want to live, and I cannot afford to fall off that cliff into darkness again.

While Michaela was here, I told her that if ever she was sad or afraid and I wasn’t there, all she had to do was to look in her heart, and she would find me there. Now I find her in my heart, and she gives me courage. Not long ago, the mother of another missing girl from the Bay Area passed away from cancer, and I thought how sad it was for her husband, but what a joyous occasion for her to be reunited with her daughter. People talked about Jonbenet’s mother dying without knowing what happened to her daughter, but at that point, she knew. And at that point, it just didn’t matter anymore.

To paraphrase David when his baby died, “I will go to her. But she will not return to me.”

It’s been 32 years. This is what I believe.

I intend to do my best to carry on holding Michaela’s light up in this world. I will continue to write about her. As I’ve said before, my purpose is not to solve her case. It is to remember her. It is to keep her alive in this world by keeping her alive in people’s memories. I hope you will join me in this as you have joined me in searching for all this time.

And to Michaela, wherever you are, I love you forever.

mom

20 thoughts on “Michaela

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  1. Sharon,
    I am so surprised to hear your diagnosis. If it was anyone else, I’d worry more but I know what a strong person you are and you will get through this. I myself have had cancer twice and not a day goes by that I don’t worry about it coming back. My daughter just turned 17 (my only child) and I worry more about not being here for her and missing out on her life. I know you can relate. I am a worrier … I’m obsessed with worry. All my doctors have told me not to worry about the cancer coming back because my worry/anxiety is going to kill me first. Not an easy task to stop worrying.
    I have never met you but you have been gracious enough to reply over the years to a few of my messages/comments. I appreciate you more than you’ll ever know. I can’t imagine the pain you’ve gone through in your lifetime. I’ve prayed every night for Michaela and you since I heard about her disappearance. I’ve prayed that she is found safe and sound and you can breath again. Your last message sounds peaceful when you talk about Michaela. Realizing that if she is no longer on this earth, she’s in a better place, at peace. I believe your peace will give your body what it needs to heal and recover. I will keep you and Michaela in my prayers. I wish there was something more I could do. Please take care of yourself 💗
    Debbie Julian

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t said it often, because a lot if people don’t understand, but I would rather Michaela had spent the last 30 years in a better place than she would have had to endure here. There was no happy choice.

      If your doctor told you not to worry then don’t. I had stage 3c, already technically considered metastatic. I finished treatment in September 2017, and this lump was already there by the next June, so chances are the cancer never went away. Worrying only helps if it motivates you to make healthier life choices! And don’t be worried about bothering your doctor if anything worries you. It took two years for this cancer to be diagnosed, and I am quite mad about it.

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      1. Dear Sharon,
        I’m beyond sorry about your diagnosis. You are one of the kindest humans I’ve ever known (from afar) and all the years I’ve followed your sweet Michaelas story I’ve always been haunted by the split second she was there and then gone. A mom of two daughters, this has been my biggest fear. You have been a champion for your daughter and if she is out there she will find her way home, thanks to your nonstop efforts to find her and help her come home. But in some ways I can understand how you say that her having been at peace is a better option.

        I hope and pray you beat this and stay here much longer because we need people like you, lights of warmth and hope. I will keep you in my heart and my prayers always and I will never forget your beloved Michaela. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My dear Sharon, I can understand the pull from both sides. While you have been given way more than your share of challenges on this earth, you have given all who follow you hope and direction during difficult times. I agree with you regarding sweet Michaela. I prefer to see her surrounded by peace and light, knowing she is with those who love her.
    Fight this battle with all you’ve got, we never give up. No matter what, you are surrounded by love. Our love will help buoy you up. Always here for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sharon, I have been reading what you share for a long time. Before I found your blog, I thought of Michaela all the time. I am dedicated to remembering her in this world. When I was sixteen I was fortunate to get my first and only sister…..they let me name her……Michaela. You have taught me so much through your blog. I am grateful that you are here, that I got to know you in some small ways. I love you dearly, I can honestly say it. My heart is with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Continuing to pray for you and look forward to the bible study, your posts and all your plans coming to fruition! You have a lot left to do❤️…. I often think of how you have said Michaela will just brush off her earthly life and refer to it as a small thing that happened…. that is SO how I feel about eternity in general. All the suffering people go through will seem so minute by then— brings me comfort💕 Thank you for all you do!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sharon I truly ❤ from the bottom of my heart pray and believe 🙏 you will live to be 92 years old. Michaela is already a shining star 🌟 still rememberd by complete strangers even though its almost been 32 years since her abduction. If she is with her creator she has been in peace for almost 32 years. If she is still alive I pray 🙏 that her creator help guide to the direction that is the best for her.

    Sincerely
    Zahra

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ❤️you are an amazing woman and a great mother and grandmother, Michaela will always be in our minds and hearts we will never forget about her. Over here in Holland also, in my heart ❤️ her story will never be forgotten, she will live on in all our hearts and thoughts..

    Big hughs from Monique (Bollie Smit)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I just want to mention, in keeping with the post above, I request that you don’t post messages requesting information on the investigation. I just am not in a place to deal with those. Thanks.

    Like

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