6/19/06 The Pouring Rain, Part I
In some ways, this rain actually began last October. I remember with clarity where I was and what I was doing when it started. I was in Lincoln, attending the 5 year missing day event for Gina Bos. I was called to go on stage and give a brief talk. I opened my mouth to speak and the only word I wanted to utter was "No.". At that moment it hit me like a ton of bricks that the next time we would face this annual date, it would be our 5 years, too. Needless to say, whatever I said was not what I planned, and I doubt it was effective.
'No" meant that this couldn't possibly be happening. It objected to the surreal life that was now ours. Surely we could not be at the 5 year mark. 5 years is much too long to be surrounded with this mystery, like a cloud hanging over our daily lives.
"No" meant that rather than having this empty hole in my heart that Jason should be here with us. Like a thief in the night, his life was snatched from us, depriving us of whatever might have been in his life: a celebration of his college graduation, a move into his own home, his marriage, and perhaps even the birth of his children. So many things can happen in 5 years. It's a half of a decade!
"No" wanted to snuff out the past 5 years and have him back with us. It tried to demand that he be safe and sound and that we hear his voice and his laughter once again. "No" wanted another hug and was even willing to settle for one that was brief in contact.
All of the "No's" did not change anything, however. Time kept marching on and us along with it, like reluctant soldiers off to war.
Spring came and brought flowers in the way of blessings, but it also brought reminders of our situation and the possibilities. It almost seemed to be timed in a certain interval. In early April we learned that one of our longer term cases was found deceased. We'd worked with Jeffrey Ben's family since the early days of Project Jason. He was about the same age as Jason, and had been missing for 5 years. In mid-April, we were told that Lorne Boulet, Jr. was also dead. At the end of April, it was the family of Shay Eisenhardt who received the answers that none of us want. She, too was dead.
On May 11th, human remains were found in a park north of Omaha. Authorities would not tell us that we could rule out those remains as having belonged to Jason. The media swarmed over the home of Amber Harris, a 12 year-old girl who had been missing since the end of November. We assumed they did because her case was well covered in the news in recent times, and ours was not. There was a rumor that the condition of the bones would lead one to think the remains were much older than what could belong to Amber. The media didn't know anymore than we did. No one was talking.
We had grown close to Amber's family throughout the past 5 months as we provided our services to them for their missing daughter. Now we both waited and wondered. We hoped the body did not belong to anyone we knew. We hoped that perhaps it was an older homeless man whose family had either died or lost touch, so that no one would be hurt from the answer that was to come. Sometimes I would hear rumors that sounded like it could be Amber and then the next day I would hear something that sounded like we could not rule out Jason. It would be a week before we knew the answer.
The rain continued to pour.
To be continued......................................