Miracle in Ohio

This has been the most exciting week in a long time in the world of missing persons.  Not only did a long time missing loved one come home, but three came home.  Alive.

It’s unbelievable.  Astounding.

A miracle in Ohio.

Media outlets all over the country are following closely, and are looking for families of missing persons in their area to interview and comment.  So in addition to these three women and one child (who was born during their captivity) coming home at long last, many of our loved ones are being seen again.  Families who have had their missing loved one gone for years, and forgotten by most.

My feelings were mixed at first.  My first thought was actually that if it was my sister or daughter, I would wish that she had been dead instead of enduring the torture and pain of ten years of imprisonment from a monster.  I would have more heartbreak than joy, because of all they have faced.  I’d have more guilt than peace, that I hadn’t been able to rescue them somehow.

But to the families of Amanda Berry, Georgina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight, while there are likely years of healing and struggle ahead, I have to believe that they are simply thankful to have them home.  Thankful that they can begin the healing process.  Thankful that their long search is over.

There is a new child to welcome into the family, there are new members of the families left behind.  There are losses to process, like Amanda Berry’s mom, who some believe died of a broken heart.  There is so much to process.  And there are questions for law enforcement to process, such as why there was never effort put to finding Michelle Knight.

For the rest of us- those with a missing loved one who pray and hope for the day when we have answers, so much hope is found in their story.  Miracles do happen.

I pray that this leads to others being brought home, from the additional media and attention.  But please, don’t forget us and those like us next week or next month when this is old news.



Please remember:

Joshua Bryan Smith Missing since Nov 4, 2000
John Rowan Missing since Feb 23, 2001
Sheena Dayle Johnson Missing since September 11, 2006
Bryan Lamar Allen Last seen May 31, 2012
Tammy Willis Missing since August 12, 2012

No Complaints

No complaining unless you have possible solutions to offer. That statement jumped out at me like it was a neon flashing sign. I was sitting in a cold room, trying not to cough incessantly and get more awake. But that statement by the speaker made me immediately think of so many people we’ve met in the missing person community.

We’ve met mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, spouses, grandparents and friends. All ages, races, socioeconomic groups, religions…. all are impacted by missing people in their lives. But it dawned on me this morning that I’ve very rarely heard these people complain.

They could complain about their bad luck, their lost days, the choices made by others that put them here, law enforcement needing to be pushed, too little media, too little help, or so many other things. But they rarely do. The people we’ve met won’t take the focus away from their loved one and put it on their own problems.

Instead, they make solutions. They bring resources in on their own for searches when police won’t or can’t. They hold car washes and yard sales to raise funds. They seek out other families many states away for support they can’t find local. They spend many hours researching and learning new tactics. They go places they shouldn’t. They choose to celebrate holidays, even when there is a hole. They love those still here.

When they must complain, it always seems to be in an effort to push forward. These are people who take their complaints and turn them into law changes that effect us all. They train to search to bring hope to families. They advocate for those who can’t speak for themselves. They hold hands and offer hugs to those dealing with the first days of a search.

They encourage and inspire me daily. Yet I still complain about traffic and coffee and another hundred things that don’t matter. What if we all truly lived the no complaining rule? Wow, what could happen.

(www.jongordon.com for info on the speaker that inspired this post. You can also find Jon on Facebook and Twitter)

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