Wednesday, June 28, 2006

6/28/06 The Pouring Rain, Part III

It just couldn’t be true that those bones belonged to Amber. She couldn’t be gone. I felt as if I knew her after spending all these months with her family. Now I would never get to hear her laugh or sing. I would never get to meet her and see for myself why they called her their “pistol”. There would be no miracle for the Harris family.

I sat motionless, staring at the TV screen. I watched, but did not see. I listened but did not hear. From a distance came a noise that was not discernable at first. It grew louder and made its presence known. It was the sounds of the Harris family home; the sound of sobbing and of other angry, unbelieving voices. If pain had a definitive sound, this was it.

I remember very little of the rest of that evening. I tried to call their home later on, but could not get through. I decided that I would not go unless I was asked, in respect of their time of private grieving. I hoped and prayed for strength for their family as they entered into the new mystery of their daughter’s death.

I felt selfish that I had ever thought the body might be that of my own son, and it ended up being their daughter. They had hugged me and comforted me in the time of waiting, and when it had been revealed privately 2 days prior that the remains were female, Melissa told me that she was so happy for me. I was amazed at the depth of compassion in that simple and unselfish statement.

I had to work the next day. I somehow make it through, faking pleasantries throughout the day with my customers.

Some of our board members were able to make arrangements to meet early that evening and then pay a visit to the family. I prayed for all of us to say the right things and play some small part in comforting the family. I wanted to wave a magic wand and make it all go away for them. Who could even imagine something like this happening? It wasn’t a TV show, it was real.

I had been riding the roller coaster of emotions for weeks and I wanted off. I craved some semblance of normalcy, although nothing is ever truly normal in a household with an empty chair.

The next day, Sunday, was my younger son’s high school graduation. We were determined that his triumph would not be marred by these events. We had to switch gears from grieving loss of life, and celebrate his life. I was determined we would not speak of the events of the past few days. I vowed that the day would belong to Michael. After all, his life, since age 13, had been overshadowed by the loss of his brother. Considering all he has gone through, he turned out remarkably well; a fine young man with a warm heart and a zest for life. I fought back tears as the graduates marched into the arena, my son among them. I was so proud of him.

The sun came out that day and danced among the raindrops in my heart.

To be continued…………..


Anonymous Sharon said... how Michael has grown up since our meeting in 2004 for the taping of the Montel Show. How very handsome! Congratulations Kelly and Jim on a job well done and congratulations Michael on your high school graduation. Best wishes for great things as you commence your adult life.

As always, prayers for all of you and for answers to be granted soon regarding Jason.

And thank you Kelly. God has given you such a talent with words.

Most fondly,

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Carol said...

There is no finer example of positive love than to raise a child to be filled with a "warm heart and zest for life". You and Jim are to be commended, as is Michael for gathering those qualities from you. I am proud of you all. And Sharon is right.....what a handsome young man!!

Because you are so proficient with words, it is not always easy to read them without tears. But I do want to thank you for sharing such an intimate look into your being. Your strength and your faith makes you my 'hero'.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said, Sharon and Carol !! Good looking young man you have Kelly !
I too have to commend you for the strength to write the truth, from your own heart. This ability is a gift from God and it allows us to view the experience through your eyes and compassionate, sweet, loving heart.
Thank you for sharing your gift with all of us.
Much love,

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Judy said...

Warm feelings pour from my heart for you. My prayer is that you are comforted and strengthened knowing that what you do and the words that you pen are comforting and strenghening to those who know your pain.
This devotional I received today from "God's Daily Promise" says this much more plainly:

Bond of understanding

There is an immediate bond of understanding between people who have suffered similar hardships or losses. Parents who have lost children, widows and widowers, and families of terminal-disease patients, all find comfort and encouragement in the presence of those who have known similar pain.

Paul urges believers to see opportunities for giving comfort as both a way to share the comfort of God and to use their own experiences of sorrow for good. We rarely know why suffering or trials enter our lives, but we can know that God wants to do through our sorrow.

Kelly, you are an answered prayer in my life & so many others. Please keep up this awesome work. I sense the Holy Spirit with you and leading you. I'm sure your writing is from Him.

With hope, Judy
PS - Your Michael is mighty handsome. How proud you must be!

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Gwen Vatcher Temperton said...

Hi Kelly,

Have just read up on your site. My heart goes out to you, and it knows your pain.

My daughter Melanie went missing Sept. 21st 1988, at the age of 20.

Your nightmare is shared by my family also. I am also a Volunteer for the Missing Children's Network Canada, and a Support parent for project Hope.

I hope to meet you someday. God Bless you, and give you strength.

Gwen Vatcher Temperton

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI there. I am also a family member of a sister who has been missing since she was 14 years old. I have identified with your emotions in the stories. Kelly, you do a wonderful job of communicating your story. It is also helpful to someone like me who did not follow through with writing out my own story. Keep it up. I did write a few things early on, but she has been missing for so long now, (30 years) that it would not be feasible to recreate the emotions and trauma of those years. You will be so grateful later for penning your feelings and experiences now. I treasure the few memories I did record. I have followed your story through other avenues via the internet and maybe even chatted with you through some of these venues. I just wanted to let you know how much your blog has touched my life. Stay there and keep it up. It matters!! In Jesus, Joni

12:45 AM  
Blogger Kelly Jolkowski said...

Write to me, Joni. Tell me about your sister.

Thanks you all for the kind comments. It helps me to keep on fighting the good fight to know you're all behind me!

Gwen, are you from Canada then, as well as your daughter? My heart goes out to you.

9:57 PM  

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