Sierra’s search center was buzzing.
Today was productive, though it has almost been a month since Sierra’s disappearance. Over 300 volunteers came ready to search. Brian, armed with new search assignments, successfully dispatched 34 search teams to Morgan Hill.
It was a cold day, but the sun shined bright. If Sierra’s nearby, I thought, at least it isn’t raining.
Today may have been productive, but not easy. The month milestone is approaching in two days. That means 31 days of unanswered prayers. 31 days without Sierra - a month too long.
We are people of milestones. Together, we celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, engagements, weddings, promotions and graduations. Then there are those who are tied together by milestones of a darker kind – deaths, tragedies, kidnappings, murders and abductions - dates that are forever branded in your memory.
For Polly’s family, October 1. Our family, May 27. Now, for Sierra’s family, March 16.
At points throughout the day today, I found myself angry and disgusted at the monsters that have imposed those dates upon us. Those days will never just pass by without notice. For Sierra’s family, March 16 will never be just another day.
One reporter said to me, “I heard there were over eight families here who have gone through a similar situation. Can you tell me about them?” I was almost paralyzed by that question – where do I start?
We are connected by milestones of tragedy – ragged, pained threads that bind us together. Given the choice, we would have much rather lived in ignorance with our families untouched and our loved ones unharmed but here we are.
As the month milestone approaches, I pray for all the strength in the world for Marlene, Steve, Danielle, Rick, Ashley, Connie, Keith, Sierra’s cat Chester and the rest of her family so they may find solace in each other on April 16. I pray for persistence and leadership for the volunteers so they may continue their efforts as time continues. I pray for safety for our search teams.
I pray for Sierra, for her life, her warmth and her safety. I pray that one day we will celebrate another milestone – the day she returns home to her family.