For the first time in 47-days the Santa Clara County Sheriff had something new to report. They were looking for, no, wait, they found the 1999 red VW Jetta with a black hood and sun roof that they believe is connected to the abduction of Northern California teenager Sierra LaMar. They haven’t disclosed how long they have had the car, who owns the car, what they found inside the car, or the results of forensic testing that has been conducted upon the car. Obviously, this is a good thing because the Jetta may finally lead us down the path that will result in Sierra’s recovery. However, if you are Sierra’s parents Steve and Marlene or her sister Danielle, things are a bit more complicated than that.
Human nature demands that you keep hope alive until proven otherwise. Sierra’s immediate family has been holding onto a thread of hope ever since she disappeared on March 16. They have played out various scenarios, trying to figure out what really happened that cold, wet Friday morning. Inevitably, those scenarios end with one resolution: that Sierra is rescued alive, is reunited with her family, and is able to put her affairs in order and lead a productive and happy life. Now, cold reality may be staring in their faces. Perhaps something entirely different went down. Perhaps the end game will not be as they imagined in the silent hours of the predawn morning.
This creates high anxiety. Not the kind of anxiety you feel when you might not get to the airport on time, or you might not get the promotion that you feel you deserve. No, this is anxiety that my beliefs, my dreams, my God and my prayers will supernova if this doesn’t play out the way that I have demanded these past months. This is anxiety that physically vibrates your body and incessantly pings your brain like a jagged pinball until some truth at long last reveals itself. It invades your fitful sleep, causes your feet to sweat and makes you want to fall down on your knees and banshee scream at the moon. But you don’t scream at the moon: at least not when others are present.
It has been a long, difficult slog to this place. The community has been magnificent, the media has been consistent, and the cops are working overtime. But at the end of the day we go home to our families, our homes, and our lives. We eat, sleep and awake renewed.
Not Marlene, Steve or Danielle. They aren’t eating right, they haven’t had a full night’s sleep in nearly two months and their consciousness have been dominated by one thought and one thought only: find Sierra! They need our help and support as they need each other. But what do you have left emotionally if every fiber of your being has been focused on one point? Not much. I know, because I have been there.
We all want to be there for those we love. We want to support and encourage them in their time of need. But what if those you care about the most share a common crisis that is so over the top that you cannot calculate the enormity of its impact? You stand there alone, emotionally naked, sweating between your sheets at night and shivering as the morning dew evaporates in the breaking dawn. You are spent with nothing to give back. You simply embark on another cycle of the living nightmare. You hope as you despair. You laugh so that you will not cry.
Will the red Jetta reveal more truths in coming days? Let us hope so, but let us also keep this family in our thoughts and prayers, because they need us now more than ever.