Last night leaving the candle light service a voice said please give Patti's family our love and prayers, I thought but we are to be in Bellingham? I had to sit and look at the scheduled route again to be sure of what day it was and find my bearings; realizing I am glad I did. So, now came the hunt for a hotel because all day I knew we already had rooms booked for the next stop (I thought it was Bellingham)! We ended up lucky, checking in I was beating myself up, asking myself how could I overlook this stop or forget? It was then I felt the overwhelming task each year of the road tour, we are never short in cases to feature...then I got angry! Life sometime just is not fair, so much pain in the world I live in, but then I am gently reminded of all the kind moments, moments shared, all the special people I have meet, and I smile. This is what life is really about, helping others, putting someone's life before yours, I try to live daily to that standard.
Arriving at Patti's stop (very hard to miss), signs cry out from the road side begging for people to care, to look and to help! Their was lots of visuals, balloons, banners in life size and a tent. You could feel the love everyone has for Patti and the appreciation of our attendance. We had a good turn out, not one car that passed did not realize people are missing, to include other families who were there.
It bothers me because no matter what town or state, no matter what case the story from the families and loved ones is similar.....we need more help, no one will listen to us and the words most often heard, are the feeling of abandonment of their officials. I know deep down thats not always the case, but feelings are real and people have them, so they never can be wrong. The truth is that the police do care, however they are held hostage to their job requirements "do not get close" and they have to stay level headed, although I do have to admit compassion can go along was with those left behind to suffer a missing loved one. I think sometimes in a job or title of one, people loose humanity and commitment, that can be frustrating to loved ones a the missing, that surly needs to improve on so many levels.
We launched the balloons at closing of the event activities, it was different today, no one moved after they floated away. People lingered in the circle we had formed, looking to the sky, as if we all were searching for a sign of some sort. Many tears were shed, silent prayers being lifting up, but what stood out the most to me was the silence of the moment, I think even the media caught it on a personal note fighting back emotion. I recall a brief smile I had thinking someone who was not affected, got it. That is what the tour tries to accomplish, reaching those not touch, reaching those who have nothing invested in this circle, just reaching those out there.
Is always touches me to see how far those who love someone will travel and go for the missing person, climb that mountain, walk through rain, visit places they would never dream of and putting forth that actions to get a resolve. I know this tour reinforces that we are all on the same team and provides that glimmer of hope for most. I think about Bellingham, I get nervous knowing later today I will be once again on that mountain that Leah became lost on, I realize I am more invested in all of the missing than I ever thought 18 years old I would be. I say a pray for everyone in the circle and break myself away from the emotions of saying goodbye.