Saturday, July 30, 2005

Two Sides to Every Story

They say there are two sides to every story, and indeed there are. I had never had something quite like this happen in my experience in communicating with the families of the missing. Obviously, I cannot share who I am speaking of to protect both sides. In the end, we all just want the safe return of the missing persons.

I was on the phone all night long, until quite late. Each of my three calls was over an hour in length.

The first call was to the wife of a missing man, gone for two months. She needed to speak with someone who KNOWS, someone who understands the "not knowing". Fortunately, she does have a loving, supportive network of family and friends, something that some of our family members do not have. That is sometimes not enough, as these family members need to know that what they are experiencing is normal, even though this entire situation is not normal at all. Like I told this woman, "Nothing is ever normal again."

Recently, I had a conversation with a woman who had never once spoken to a person who understands the "not knowing" in the eleven years that her son has been missing. That just shouldn't be. Even though she had loving friends and family, only someone who is going through this can relate to the various stages and emotions when a person you love is missing.

Like the Mastercard ads, these phone calls are "priceless" to the recipients. I certainly wish I had someone who "knew" to speak to in the beginning.

Call number two was to a woman with a longer term missing son. She decided she did not want to report him missing because she thought that was the best thing in her particular case. I explained to her that because of privacy laws surrounding missing adults, that organizations such as ours cannot help unless there is an active missing person's case on file with a law enforcement agency. If she changes her mind, she knows where to find me.

While I was on call number two, a frantic sounding email came in from the mother of a missing youth. I called her immediately when I was done with the prior call.

There are two young people missing together. There are two conflicting stories about these young people and why they are gone. In the end, the truth will prevail, but the most important thing is that they are found. If the emailer's story is correct, then we must trust in our legal and court system to do the right thing when they are found. If one of them needs protection, then we hope that person gets the help they need. I also hope that the actions of these impulsive young people will not mar their plans for the future, as they both have great potential. Let's pray on this one.


Blogger szuchzoo said...

It is now almost 2 yrs since this incident. I found the "kids" in Canada in August 2005. They are still together and yes, the law did protect the young girl. The young man is in college and the girl will start in the fall. There sometimes are happy endings.

10:07 PM  

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