Sierra LaMar – Experiences From A Volunteer Member Of The Search Team
The following is part three of six that I have written regarding my experiences in the last several months as a volunteer member of the search team looking for Sierra LaMar. My goal is to keep the keep this story alive, motivate the current volunteers and new volunteers to continue the search efforts to bring Sierra LaMar home to her family and friends.
PART 3 of 6 - Just Like Taylore / Another Toll
Just Like Taylore
My 14-½-year-old year daughter Taylore reminds me of Sierra. Taylore is cheerleader, about the same age, weight and height as Sierra. When I observe Taylore in all the things that she does I can’t help from thinking that if Sierra was here she would be doing the same things, just like Taylore — hanging out with girlfriends, texting to her friends continuously, communicating on Facebook and having her friends over for endless sleepovers during the summertime.
I don’t know why, but I sometimes feel guilty that I have my daughters at home but Sierra’s family does not have her. Out of the blue I will often think of this and it makes me feel sad, sometimes even angry, but I always feel fortunate. I will often give Taylore a big hug and think that the only thing she wants to do is what all young teenagers that age want to do — I am sure Sierra would be doing the same thing right now if she were here.
I remember waking up one night in bed and thinking to myself, “I know where I am. I am in my bed and it is 3:15 in the morning. Taylore is in her bed, my other daughter Brooke is in her bed, so where the heck is Sierra right now?”
I often feel guilty leaving my daughters for part of the day to go out on a search, but they are always very supporting and have they never complained about not being able do something as a result of me being gone for most of the day on Saturdays. Several of the volunteers as well as the BAMs are the same people each Saturday and many of us are starting to become close friends. A few of us are now calling the searches “missions” as if we are all going on some kind of bombing run in Afghanistan.
In mid-July two local counselors attended one of the Saturday morning prayer sessions prior to a search. The word is getting back that some of volunteers are starting to feel an emotional impact because of the ongoing searches, no additional clues and no Sierra. The counselors announced to all of the volunteers that they were there to support any volunteer that wanted to speak to them. My first thought was, “I thought I was the only person that was feeling rather consumed by the situation.”
My thoughts can sometimes feel rather consuming thinking about this missing young girl, but I can’t really put my finger on specifically what it is and why. I can be driving home from work and at the drop of a hat I get really emotional about the situation and before I know it I have tears in my eyes.
Around Friday morning I often start to feel anxiety about going on another search. I normally have thoughts like, “Okay, should I go this Saturday or not? What if I don’t go and they find her and I am not there? I want to be there if something happens.” Normally the answer is yes, I am going.
My feelings about an upcoming search are all over the map. I often feel sad about going but sometimes I am actually excited, then I think to myself, "Is being excited really an appropriate kind of feeling considering the situation?"
Recently I sent a text to my girlfriend telling her that I was starting to get that Friday anxiety feeling again and I needed her words of wisdom, she replied back with the following text which was exactly what I needed. “Thank you for the confidence that I have such wisdom. The only thing I can say is that you are doing more than looking for this girl. You give people hope that, in contrast with the horrible act committed against her, there are people like you, who are willing to give so much of themselves for others and who are not afraid to roll up their sleeves for their human fellow. That is really generous and brave of you. Just keep thinking that. I admire you for it.”
I am a big Rush fan (Canadian Rock group). Their new CD came out a few months ago and it is always the CD that I listen to in my car Saturday morning en route to the Search Center. My Saturday morning routine normally starts off by checking any news via Google regarding Sierra, stopping by the donut shop for the girls then Starbucks for coffee and to check and see if someone took down the Sierra LaMar poster. I travel the back roads to the LaMar Search Center while listening to my new Rush CD with the windows down and the volume up way too loud.
My mind is somewhat spinning….I wonder where we are going this time? What will it be like? Will we be in poison oak? Will we be going to Coyote Creek again? How many volunteers are going to be on our team? Will I be with the BAMs? Is this the day we are going to find Sierra LaMar? Will a good number of volunteers show up? Are people wanting to stop coming out? Just like Pavlov’s dogs would salivate when they heard the bell ring, when I hear my favorite Rush song no matter where I am I can’t help from having a few tears come out. It is rather strange now the human brain works.
I find all of this rather interesting since I did not know Sierra or her family. I have met Sierra’s father Steve LaMar several times but not her sister Danielle. I purposely had not met Sierra’s mother Marlene until Marc Klaas introduced me to her in mid-July. It has always been very difficult for me to approach her at the Search Center and because of this I feel rather guilty.
Stay tuned to Patch for part four of this blog series on Monday.