Happy Birthday, Please Come Home
Kathy Holloway remembers her daughter’s Sweet 16 birthday party. She wishes she could return to that time and place once again. It would, after all, mean that she would be with her daughter, Jennifer. Instead of those happy lyrics, Kathy’s would be “Happy Birthday, Please Come Home”.
It’s Jennifer’s birthday today, but there won’t be any singing in Kathy’s home. It’s the second birthday since Jennifer Wix, now age 23, along with her daughter, Adrianna, disappeared from Springfield, Tennessee on March 25, 2004.
To have lost one person you love in this ambiguous manner is painful enough, but what about two? What happens to a family when something so devastating happens?
Kathy’s answers to those questions are brutally honest.
“My entire life has changed. My former career has ended. My other children do not have the Mom that they once had, and my husband does not have the partner that he had to share his life. I get emotional and have trouble interacting with small children. It is a challenge to hold my job. It is very difficult to handle the pettiness that is associated with the public in my work.
None of the family is the same. There is a certain amount of division. Some want to move on and act as if it is just another day, and others are completely absorbed by what is happening.”
There are other frustrations and fears that tear at Kathy’s heart.
“Jennifer has no resources to live, and a small child to care for. There are suspicious circumstances surrounding the days prior to her disappearance and the people who were the last to see and talk to her. There was also a very heated argument and confrontation.
I do not believe that Jennifer ran away. I do believe that someone harmed them. My greatest fear is that I will die and never know what happened to my precious girls and that they will never be found and that justice will never come to the ones that harmed them.”
Kathy had received a phone call from Jennifer that was frightening. She could also hear Adrianna crying in the background. That would be the last time she would hear her girls.
Little Adrianna was the light of Kathy’s life, but Kathy doesn’t want to say “was” anymore, she wants to say “is”.
“When you look into Adrianna’s big blue eyes you can't help but love her. Her eyes are magical! She has a little wagon that one of her baby dolls came in, each day she would ask Mimi (her nickname for Kathy) to pop corn for her to put in a bowl and haul in her wagon around the house. At the end of the day her wagon would be loaded down with all sorts of snacks! She and I would snack from her wagon all day! Of course, she had to feed the snacks to me!
When I think of her, I first see her beautiful eyes and her smile that can light up any room. There is so much that I want to share with her. I miss her in my life so much!”
In order to bring Jennifer and Adrianna home, Kathy needs an aggressive detective who will not give up easily. She needs a person who will thoroughly investigate those last days before Jennifer and Adrianna disappeared, and the people they were with. She also needs to help and cooperation of everyone in the community, and the media.
Kathy also needs for people to understand what we go through. Perhaps if everyone did, we wouldn’t have to ask for help.
“Put yourself in our shoes, just for five minutes. Have you ever had a child hide under the clothing rack in a store, run ahead of you towards traffic, or have their school bus run late bringing them home? Imagine that feeling that you had then as the feeling that you have everyday, from the time you open your eyes until you are finally able to close them at night. When you tuck your child in tonight, imagine them not being there when you go to wake them in the morning.....now freeze that moment...........that's it, everyday, all day, over and over.........”
I have been with Kathy on this walk since nearly the beginning. We have never met in person, but have spent numerous hours talking on the phone.
Where there once was a woman who struggled to get through the day, there is now a woman who has become a fighter.
Kathy writes on her website: “I am trying to make sense of why that people, speaking in general terms, do not seem to care what happened and do not want to "get involved". To those people, I say, if this can happen to my children and my family, it can happen to yours.
Just imagine what a difference that could be made by people uniting and standing up to the murders, abusers, pedophiles, rapists and abductors. We have to stand together in order to make a difference in our communities. I urge anyone who is interested in standing with me to at least try to make a difference, contact me, please!”
Kathy has launched national media campaigns and writing campaigns to state officials, begging for help with the case. She has worked tirelessly the keep the girls’ name in the public eye with her website, local news media, prayer vigils, a balloon release, a public concert, posting and mailing flyers, and attending public events. There is also a billboard on I-65 South, just north of Nashville.
Kathy tells me she wants to make a difference, even if it isn’t for Jennifer and Adrianna.
Jennifer’s Sweet 16 birthday party is a memory precious as gold to a Kathy.
“What a wonderful, magical day this was! We gave Jenn a surprise birthday party, and all of her family and friends were there. There was lots of food, cake and ice cream, and a bonfire to set the country mood. Everything was so beautiful, but especially this young lady that stood before me all grown up looking!
Everyone brought Jennifer wonderful gifts, but to her the best gift was having everyone around her. Jennifer loves being with her family and friends. She is very rooted in her family and community. This is where she likes to be, with the people that she loves. That is why that I just know that if she were able to be here for her birthday, she would be here. I have very little doubt about this.
I wish that it was possible to go back. I would go back to that Sweet 16 Birthday and mold it into my memory so as to never forget one second. I pray that we have the chance to celebrate Jennifer's day with her again.
My birthday wish for my precious daughter is that wherever you are that you have peace and happiness and know that you are so loved and missed.
Happy Birthday, Jenn!
I love you,
Kathy’s Website: http://www.missingwixchildren.homestead.com