I shall never forget when my youngest child, two years old, came up missing for a a couple of hours which seemed like an eternity on Easter morning in 1978. As a mother I was frantic, called the police, had the neighbors out searching, dragging the lily pond, only to find him hiding asleep behind a door. Hopefully we both learned our lessons that day which is to say we cannot watch our children close enough because we never know when there might be a kidnapper hiding around the corner or even out in public waiting to snatch a child.
I have a friend whose daughter was kidnapped right out of their home after the family went to sleep. Fortunately she was found the same day..
According to a recent study every 40 seconds a child goes missing somewhere in the United States. There are more than 460,000 missing children each year. Of those missing children, almost 1,500 of them are kidnapped.
I recently heard on the evening news of two young children, from different families, who were separated from their parents, while out in public, and found within hours by total strangers who helped them to be reunited with their parents which leads me to tell a story of a young girl who wasn’t found for eighteen years.
Jaycee Lee Dugard, a kidnap victim, author of two books, had her second one released on July twelfth, two thousand sixteen. Interviewed by Diane Sawyer, she said “there is life after something tragic happens. Life doesn’t have to end if you don’t want it to. It’s all in how you look at it. Somehow, I still believe that we each hold the key to our own happiness and you have to grab it where you can in whatever form it might take.”
Jaycee was snatched in 1991 when she was eleven years old while waiting for her school bus with her stepfather in full view but out of reach.
She was held captive in their backyard for eighteen years before she was discovered on August 26, 2009. She gave birth to two daughters by the time she was in her early teens. With only a fifth grade education she home schooled her little girls who are now in college.
In addition to writing two books, there was also a television movie made of her life.
She is a survivor of the highest order which shows the strength of the human spirit but not many stories end this way!
When asked by Diane Sawyer, in her first television interview, why she had such a nice complexion she quipped “I didn’t get out in the sun very much.”
Having grown up in an orphanage I too, have my story and I endeavor to make the public aware of what often goes on behind closed doors so we won’t blindly support lost causes.
I speak for those who have no voice?
As an activist I’ve used my writing to cope and to somehow make a difference in other people’s lives. I know that Jaycee is trying to do the same thing by sharing her story.
It’s not what happens to us but how we grab hold of it and work it into the fabric of our lives.
We each have a story — we have burdens that we may be afraid to share but it is only when we begin our journey of openness one day at a time — timid — frightened — scared — that we remove the shutters that hide our fears and we are able to embrace each other.
One way of sharing is by writing. I dare you, the reader, to pick up your pen and write your story.
The famous motivational speaker, Anthony Robbins, said “a life worth living is worth recording.”
Stories make a difference. They help us connect to each other as well as leaving a legacy for our families.
From the richest to the poorest, to those in-between, our emotions are our common bond and our stories help each other survive because there is therapy in writing.
Just as there are no two snow flakes alike, there will never be another you.
Share your story for victims who can’t be heard!
A childhood is too precious to be stolen!
Contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org