Thursday, September 15, 2005

9/14/05 Back to Lubbock

The 13th was also not just another day for a family we know. It marked 14 months since Jack and Vicki Wilkerson last saw their daughter, Jennifer.

We told Jennifer's story in part II of a two part series entitiled "The Lovely Ladies of Lubbock". Joanna Rogers' story was also told. We then went inside a SAR organization with the ladies from USART who search for Joanna and Jennifer.

Jack shared with me an update in the form of a letter he wrote to thank several of the helping organizations, including USART, who recently travelled back to Lubbock once again.

"Hello All,

Today makes 14 months since Jen disappeared. We received a call from Dana Ames this morning letting us know that the body of a woman was found in the landfill in Lubbock, but they were confident it was neither Jen nor Joanna Rogers. She called back within a matter of hours to confirm that while the body was a white female in her late 20's, that it appeared to be a recent homicide, and they are pretty sure it is not her. (It wasn't) We knew, of course, that the likelihood was small, but there is that moment where your heart seems to disappear while you process the information.

On Labor Day weekend, URSAR team, along with members of TRUSAR and their cadaver dogs from Dallas and Houston, went to Lubbock and searched several more sites of interest. Nothing was found to further the investigation, but several possibilities were eliminated.

Something that I have been thinking about for a while really struck home recently. I was thinking about how much the search teams and sheriff's department give up in their efforts to help people like us. Surely there are things people would rather do on long weekends like Labor Day than tramp through fields and gullys in the west Texas heat, yet they always show up when needed. I am so in awe of that selflessness and generosity, particularly now when I feel so selfish in my need for answers for my own life. I realized, though, that it isn't just them that give of their time and lives, but also the wives, children, families and friends who lose their loved one's company while they are gone. I wish there was some way that I could let each of them know how much it means to us. The best I know to do is tell each of you; family, friends, volunteers (and your families as well), that Vikki and I will be forever greatful for all that you have done for us, and the love and support you have given.

Thank you,
Jack & Vikki

This letter and the selfless efforts described within are exactly the kind of loving actions that helps families like the Wilkersons and like ours to keep on going another day. I also want to thank all involved for giving these families the gifts of hope and awareness.

May God bless you and yours abundantly.


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