My dear friend, Madonna lost her mother over four decades ago and still has few answers about her disappearance. About a year ago, I wrote Bring Annita Home to ask for your prayers and solicit donations to the search effort. Quite a lot transpired over that year, but the piece below gives a very brief update.
My heart breaks for Madonna and her brother who still long to find their sweet mamma, but that resolution will likely have to wait until they meet the ultimate authority. The man responsible may have taken his secret to his grave, but it will not stay there for eternity.
While at the CUE [Community United Effort] conference this past weekend the question was asked, “What is the legacy of a missing person?” More times than not the main thing remembered is the circumstances of the disappearance or the things that were going on in the person’s life immediately prior to their disappearance but the true nature of the person is lost to all but their immediate family. As I sat and pondered these things I asked myself what I wanted my mother’s legacy to be? This is what I have come up with.
As of this day, March 20, 2017, the day that would have been my mom’s 70th birthday, my brother Leonard and I have decided to suspend our search efforts. We have pursued every avenue of her case and both feel that without those left alive that know the truth coming forward or the miraculous appearance of her remains there is nothing more we can do. This is not a decision we have come to lightly and not one we reached alone. We have sought the opinion of experts in law enforcement and in the search-and-rescue world, we have argued, cried, and prayed about it and both feel this is what our mom would want.
We don’t want our mom to be remembered for how she left us but what she left behind. I begin with my younger brother Leonard. He is a successful business owner and a proud veteran of our United States Air Force. He and his wife are both volunteer firefighters. Lee has 3 grown children who are also successful adults. Lee also has two beautiful grandchildren, one who carries on the name of our mom. He is a man of integrity and passion and a hard worker, good friend and wonderful brother, a man I know my mom would look upon proudly.
As for me, I think she would be proud of me too. She would have loved arguing with my husband Jeff and spoiling my 6 children. She would have joined me in crying tears of joy over the beautiful daughter-in-law I have. Mom would have been thrilled to see her granddaughter who looks so much like her. So from now on if and when you think of me, Lee or our mom I ask that you not think with sadness at how she went missing and was torn from our lives at such an early age but in how well she impacted our lives in the short time we had with her and how we now live on to bring honor to her name.
Please add Madonna and Lee to your permanent prayer list and intercede for them to find peace in this decision.
…and that’s the view from My Front Porch.