A Long Time Ago in a Place Far Away.........
The father of this child had written a lengthy journal that chronicled everything from the time of her disappearance to the discovery of her body, to the arrest and conviction of her killer.
I started reading the journal and could not stop reading it. I read it as often as I could over the course of the next few weeks until I had finished it.
At that time, I had no idea of the personal tragedy that I would go through many years in the future. I paid no attention to missing people in the news and had no idea that such a problem existed. I think I was like much of America, believing that it happened only to an occasional victim of kidnapping I saw on the evening news.
I was so touched by this man's story that I felt compelled to email him. I was very surprised to get a response, as he had become a well known missing children's advocate. I was sure he was too busy to respond to emails from passerbys like me who had nothing more to offer than an "I'm sorry".
For some reason, I printed and saved that email response. I just now reached into the file where I kept it, and sure enough, it was there. It was dated June 30th, 1996. Five years later, I would know some of the horrors that this loving father experienced.
Now, nine years later, our paths intersect again, and instead of me reaching out to him with a kind word, he reached out to me to help with my missing son, Jason.
Because of his kindness, Jason's photo and information will be shown on the Nancy Grace Show on Friday, August 19th. The show airs on CNN Headline News at 7pm CST, and repeats at 9pm and 11pm. (subject to scheduling changes)
The little girl who was taken from her father all of those years ago was Polly Klaas. Her father, Marc, started a foundation named after his daughter which will help protect children for generations to come, http://www.klaaskids.org/ He also founded http://www.beyondmissing.com , an important resource for parents and law enforcement.
This is just one of many stories, that when looking back upon them, it becomes clear that I was being prepared for future events.
Thank you Marc, for sharing your private agony with us, so that we can understand and desire to reach out to others, and thank you too, for helping my family.
That is also what this blog is about.
In the "Miracle Worker", doesn't Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller's teacher, lament: "How can I reach her? How can I make her understand?"
Am I reaching you, the reader, and helping you to understand?