Many commented here on the blog, to Facebook, and on Twitter too. One person mentioned the idea to plant a tree or something to remember and honor Heidi. This is a great idea, so great, we started this in 1994, the very first year she disappeared.
My parents say their yard is a living tribute to the people they love. There are transplants from my grandparent's home. Trees planted at my parents as a birthday gift to Mags or I. Mom has different flower gardens on the property, each with its own name and memory behind its creation. We even have "friendship trees", we planted both with our foreign exchange daughter before she returned to France - one at my parents and one at our house.
I've shared some of these tributes in blogs over the years. But to highlight a few of the exhibits of love, hope, and remembrance for my sister, Heidi M Allen, read on.
Each year we each save our Easter lilies to plant in the garden each Spring. A reminder there is hope and miracles waiting to blossom with each new day.
Some are in my parent's garden, some in mine, and others up in the Heidi Remembrance Garden located at the intersection of State Route 104 and 104b, the last place Heidi was known to be alive.
Something positive and beautiful in a location that could be dark and depressing.
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ." Colossians 2:6-8
This magnolia tree was planted in 1995, a year after Heidi's kidnapping. another illustration of strength and beauty. While it may appear a green bush this time of year, in the Spring...it's color and beauty will take your breath away. When this tree is at its peak for flowering, is the very time we are at our peak for evidence of hope.
"The desert and the parched land will be glad;the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”