9/28/07 A Family's Joy
A Family’s Joy
by Sandra L Soske
Joy can be a two-edged sword. It’s sharp and most painful. It also gets the work done.
After more than thirty-one months of fear-defying concern, anger, alternating between acceptance that I may not see her again and anger that she may be deliberately staying away, my missing person has made contact.
I haven’t seen her yet. She’s not making those all important telephone calls regularly enough for me, but I guess knowing she’s alive and not in a pauper’s grave should have me jumping up and down for joy.
I am somewhere in between jumping up and down and quiet relief.
And I have to give credit where the credit is due. I didn’t find her, but the help I received from www.ProjectJason.org and founder, Kelly Jolkowski, and from Team Hope, a National Center for Missing & Exploited Children organization, did the deed for me. Those all important flyers should be out there for every missing person, child and adult, in our great land.
I have made so many contacts in the past two months. I’ve “talked” with three Kelly’s, swapped emails with many people, cried with family members and friends until they probably don’t want to answer the phone. I had to relive the terrible not knowing part of having a close missing person whom you love and miss desperately. I’ve had to talk to people and give them secrets that I’d rather have kept hidden. I gave a mouth swab for DNA, and dealt with various levels of assistance and frustration from Law Enforcement personnel.
But it did the job! Megan saw her poster at WalMart. And at just two weeks under twenty, she was pretty uptight when she saw it. She wasn’t a missing person, or so she says. But it made her realize there was family out there that believed she was.
And that might be the most important aspect of this. Megan understands (I hope she does) that she is loved, missed, that her family is there for her in good times and bad. I could write an entire essay on family, but the heart of it is understanding. I want that to be my mantra in this, and for all family members in our situation.
I called family and friends first. Then I emailed Kelly, Vicki, and Susan. And again, Project Jason’s Kelly Jolkowski is the best. She is never too busy, too impatient, too anything. She was and is the lifeboat on my stormy sea. Without her I wouldn’t know about NCMEC, and then wouldn’t have “met” Vicki and Susan, talked with Kelly Bennett of the National Center for Missing Adults. All of those women are stupendous!
And as for Megan…
Well, she says she wants to visit. She says she’s trying to grow up. I have to let her go. I have to let those negative feelings I have fly away across the stormy seas I’ve lived with for so very long. She is alive, safe, and maybe still my little girl in some small way. I can’t wait to see her.
Are you watching those Missing Persons boards at WalMart? I may not like shopping there, but I do bless them for those boards! Use the internet. My pastor suggested beginning a daily blog on MySpace (for example) that your loved one might see – and understand. Donate generously to the cause, for this is a cause. If we can donate millions to other worthy causes, let’s get Missing Persons on the news.
And now, my legacy. I don’t want any family anywhere to go through the uncertainty of not knowing where their loved one(s) may be. I hope I am up to the challenge. And Team Hope is answer for me. I will join other volunteers in October in New York to see if I have the right stuff. I want to bring back to my family, to Megan, the love and understanding those women have given me.
After all, that sullen-looking teenager or unkempt stranger next to you at the WalMart Board may be a missing person.
Post Note: Megan and Sandy have since been reunited. Their relationship is on the way to being mended.
We are glad to have been there for them and made a difference in their lives.