I’m Back

I’ve been absent here for a bit.  Some of you know that when there’s been a bit between posts it’s usually because I’m struggling with how to turn junk going on in our lives into something positive or sharable here.  It’s a bit different this time, with a conscious decision to give myself time to get through some stressful stuff and come back later.  It felt good.  But I also missed writing.  So here’s what you missed. 

 

The CUE Center for Missing Persons does an annual event called ‘Road to Remember’ that helps raise awareness of missing person cases, most of whom haven’t had as much attention as they need.  Monica Caison and her crew travel for about 10 days, on a loop that starts and finishes in North Carolina, but covers several states with multiple tour stops each day. 

 

Though the tour was coming through Florida this year, we decided not to host a stop.  In truth, we don’t need more awareness for Austin, we need more searches. 
And though we want to help with awareness of missing persons in general, and specifically of the families in Jacksonville we know with a missing loved one, this year the amount of work it would take during a very busy time wasn’t a good tradeoff. 

 

But then Austin was named as the tour’s honoree, right about the same time that my mom confirmed her job offer that would mean moving away and likely starting her first week the same week of the tour.  When the date/time of our tour stop was given to us, it also fell two days before I left out of town for a week, a day when I was being requested to travel to another city, and on a weekday afternoon when we wouldn’t have the help and support of the people we could normally count on. 

Super.  {eye roll}

But I managed to stay in town that day and made it work.  My mom managed to put off her start date a week. My fabulous aunt came in to town to help us too.  It happened.

 

For the record, I hate these events.  I like thinking, I don’t like feeling.  I like taking action, not looking back to remember.

 

Though very few people attended, we did meet our one goal.  We actually exceeded it.  We hoped to get just one news story about our missing shown, and we had one story air three times, showing the names and faces of many of our missing in the area.  We also had another story shown multiple times, again with many of their names and faces shown.

 

So, I guess after all there was progress and there was action.  It was a good day.

I spent the next 10 days immersed in a busy work week of travel and catching back up with my boys.

 

But I’m back after the craziness, and happy to be sharing with you again.

Hope you’ll stick around.

rally

Searching for the Lost

search truckToday, in many different places, a search is being organized.

Searchers are packing their things and their dogs and their tools.

Search leaders are scouting where the teams will search just past daybreak tomorrow.

Why today?  Well, because it’s Friday and these are volunteers, most who also work full time jobs and care for families.  So today they prepare, and tomorrow they search.

Because on the weekends, they become heroes, searching for the Lost.

Today, they are bringing HOPE to a family.

Today, that family prepares their heart for the weekend of not taking a breath while they wait.  Wait for what they fear.  Wait for what they long for.

Today, we pray for both.  For searchers heading out, and for families getting ready.

Today, that family isn’t ours.  But it will be again one day, hopefully soon.  And though this is repeating itself all over the country today, today my heart is with one specific family, and one specific group of searchers.

Today, pray for them with me.

For a look at what a family goes through during a search, read this post. 

 

When the path becomes difficult, that’s no reason to give up. In fact, it means you’re making real progress. The mountain becomes more rugged and steep the closer you get to the summit. Keep going, keep climbing, keep making the effort, and soon you’ll find yourself reaching the top.

 The challenges you encounter are unquestionable proof that you’re making a positive difference. Make use of those challenges, not as an excuse to stop, but rather as a platform from which to push forward.

 For the greatest achievements come in response to the greatest challenges. When the going gets rough, you are most certainly in the presence of profound opportunity.

 When there is much that must be done, there is enormous value waiting to be created. Step boldly forward and claim that value.

 Whatever may come, whatever may seem to block your path, choose to keep moving. There are truly magnificent rewards just on the other side of your persistent efforts.

— Ralph Marston

The Case of the Missing Rooster

I’m a funny gal.  Don’t believe me, just ask me. I like to laugh.  I don’t think I take things too seriously when they’re meant to be funny.

However…

Photo Credit: Eden Kendall

This week, in “fun” there is a search on for a missing Rooster.  I was listening to one of the 10 radio stations I flip between (I like virtually all types of music) and heard a DJ lamenting the loss of her rooster.  She asked all the “what if” questions of what she could have done differently to have not had him leave.  She mentioned possible sightings of him hitchhiking.  She discussed him like he was part of her family.  And yet, this wasn’t even a pet she had lost and was really looking for help to find.  It was a stupid attempt at humor.  And of course a radio promotion used to promote the station and give away some free stuff.

I was bothered by it, and as much as I wanted to laugh it off,  I just couldn’t.  I didn’t even really want to write about it, knowing people will read and think, “it’s just a joke, lighten up.”  But if you know me, you know I laugh easily and am not easily offended.  This was just different.

Missing someone you love isn’t funny.

It isn’t a joke.  And it’s not okay by me that more people shared the photo of the missing Rooster than shared the photo or news story of Rosemary Day, a young woman missing from our area for two years yesterday.  Two years of her family searching, missing, loving, longing.  Two years of wondering if they’ll ever see her face again.

Have fun.  Laugh.  Enjoy life.  But remember those who can’t.

News Coverage on Rosemary Day

 

Hope, Far and Wide

Next week will be nine years since I sat at the memorial service of a young man, beyond thankful that my husband had just returned home safe from the middle east, just in time for the birth of our son. That young man was killed in Iraq and was part of my husband’s battalion, NMCB 133.

I told his mom that I’d make sure my son knew of hers. I didn’t know him, but knew somehow that having others remember him through the years would be important to her. I’ve held true to that and again today told Drew about Wayne Bollinger and about what it means to sacrifice.

Today is dedicated to those who didn’t return home, but I remember most those who haven’t even had a body come home. Those are the ones I can now relate to the most, and think about those families tonight. The ones who can’t organize searches, can’t walk where their loved one last walked, and have little hope that someone will step forward with answers. There are over 83,000 of these today. Over 83,000 who are still remembered and missed and not home.

Sometimes as families of missing we get discouraged, but even those missing for many years on other continents come home sometimes. This year alone, 36 service members have been returned home to their families, to finally bring answers and healing. The earliest lost among them was in 1943. Read about them here.

There is real hope for us all, no matter the timing, no matter the answers. Here’s praying for answers sooner than the 69 years it took the family of Radioman 1st Class Harry C. Scribner, U.S. Navy. But today I’m thankful for the reminder that hope should never be lost, and for those who have given us the freedom to have true hope.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

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