Saturday, August 13, 2005

Goodbye Tamika

I never knew you, Tamika, but I did want to thank you.

I received the news today that you were gone from this life. I knew before this day things that gave those who loved you not much hope that you were still with us.

One would think we would then be prepared for the news that the man who took your life had been arrested for his crime. I don't think anyone can ever be prepared for news like this.

It took away the last shred of hope to which we still clung. Hope that you had somehow survived, hope that perhaps your were recovering and would come back to your loved ones soon. That hope is gone, as is the angelic light that shone from your face.

That light may be gone in this place, but it shines on forever elsewhere.

It was at the end of June 2004, when I started conversing with your family as they struggled with your disappearance and at the same time, were learning about the many things that needed to be done to help bring you home.

Once they discovered you were absent from their lives, they all sprang to action, like soldiers to a battlefield. They quickly took their places and the roles appropriate to their skills and talents. Everyone worked tirelessly to bring you home, even through their tears.

I started conversing with your aunt Rebkah in July of 2004. I'm sure she never expected that she would need to use her public relations expertise to help find you. She fought and fought and never gave up the battle to get national media attention for your case. I knew if anyone could climb the insurmountable hill of media coverage for missing minorities, it would be Rebkah Howard.

Why? Because she loved you and trusted in God's timing and providence.

She and I were like two ships sailing under a dark sky. We were going the same direction, but just in different lanes. It was often quite turbulent in these waters, and the relentless waves of apathy swept over us, night after night.

When your aunt conquered one mountain, she started back up another. In the past few months, she broke ground for media coverage for missing minorities.

USA Today was one of those major media outlets to stand up and listen to her. They published a story about you, and followed up with a story about the lack of media coverage for missing males. We were included in that story.

Quite a few people asked me how I was able to get in USA Today. I tell them that I did not get in the USA Today because of my own actions. It was because your aunt did not just tell those who would listen your story. One of the other stories she told was our story, which in turn tells the stories of many.

Because of that article, my own son's photo was shown on the Fox national news several times. I was given the opportunity to speak about what we do and about Jason's story. The article also spawned several talk radio show interviews, in which I was able to share our cause with all who would listen.

And this all happened because of you, Tamika.

Your aunt says that the stories about your disappearance are now sometimes stories about the lack of coverage for missing minorities. It's almost as if you were the "poster child" for missing minorities.

Did perhaps your death to this life serve as a springboard to wake up the media in regards to the uneven coverage of missing persons?

I know there is a purpose to everything, and sometimes a purpose we do not quite understand or comprehend. Was this your purpose?

Just as your aunt & I were like two ships in the night, so are you and my son. I find it a miracle that a person who is not even with us could have such an impact on lives. Everything we share is in my son's name, and is done because of him and because he disappeared. It is a bittersweet pill to swallow.

Of course, we don't know what happened to Jason, but Tamika, if you should see him where you are, could you please tell him we said hello and that we love him?

Thank you, Tamika for your life, your story, and the opportunity it has given to countless others, including my own family.

May your own lovely voice be heard along with that of the angels.

To read more about Tamika's story, please see the website


Blogger Michelle said...

Oh Kelly, what a beautifully written tribute. Thank you for laying down all the perfect words.

The "last thread of hope" is gone, I had so wished she would somehow be found alive and well. However, I am grateful that the family can now move to a new place for their grief. And perhaps find justice, and a small measure of comfort.

Rest in Peace, dear Tamika.

10:48 AM  
Blogger WriteWingNut said...

I can't stop crying over this. When I saw the headline of this post, all of the air went out of me and all I could do was look at it in shock.

I interviewed Rebkah for my news story on Project Jason and felt so helpless for her. I prayed for Tamika's (and others) safe return every day. My heart is just so broken and so I can't imagine how her family must be feeling. God bless them all with strength, peace and comfort.

3:49 PM  
Blogger MyExcedrin said...

R.I.P Tamika

Remember This:

Love: Be sure you give plenty of this to your loved ones while they are here.

Better Off: Once a loved one is gone.. You will see that you was really better off knowing them the little time that you did.

Death: It will happen to everyone so live everyday like it is your last.

2:20 PM  

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