As promised I am starting a new series for this week. Today is "Daylight Savings Time", for most this is a sign of Spring coming. I think of this too yet since my sister's disappearance ~ the act of setting the clocks ahead, springing forward or celebrating the onset of Spring has taken on a new meaning.
Heidi was kidnapped on April 3, 1994 ~ which was Easter Sunday AND daylight savings time. In our family and extended family - we all mourn or remember the anniversary differently with different dates or events affecting us more than others. Some years all three have occurred within days of each other while years like 2011 cause them to be seperated and often, extend the pain in remembering 17 years ago.
Out of respect to my family I will not name who experiences the following yet want to share a little bit of how the three markers of remembrance effect us each differently:
April 3rd: This is the calendar date of Heidi's disappearance. This is the date stamped on missing person's flyers across the country and beyond. This represents the date included in all law enforcement reports and media coverage. A date with power as some of my family don't leave their house or associate with the rest of the world on this date in memory of Heidi. A friend of the family shares this date as her birthday, since Heidi's disappearance first things of Heidi's kidnapping when she thinks of her birthday. I struggle with this also and am always thankful when it doesn't fall on a school day so I'm not writing the date continuously throughout the day.
The setting of the clocks: A celebratory act welcoming Spring back to Upstate New York that triggers tears and grief. I have family members who still today, seventeen years later, that can't spring their clocks ahead due to the pain. They have someone else do it for them as if the time hasn't changed. This aspect doesn't bother me as much as the other two yet when I hear "Don't forget to spring ahead tonight" it causes me to stop and reflect - I miss my sister.
Easter Sunday: A day of celebration as our Lord and Savior rose from the grave to fulfill the Scriptures yet a holiday stirring up the raw emotions of the Easter ham never shared with family so many years in the past. After accepting Christ as my Savior in 2004 I experienced the closest thing to a joyful Easter I had since my sister had disappeared. I personally find the holiday the hardest - holidays have always been a big deal in our family. Everyone gathered at my grandmothers (aunts, uncles, great-aunts, great-uncles, 1st, 2nd and 3rd cousins, and friends if they happen to be visiting) for a day of laughter, "discussion" and fellowship. There were egg hunts, Easter bonnet competitions, coloring & activity sheets (from all the teachers in the family), sports on the television and cards. Thankfully the Lord blessed me with a large set of in-laws who gather on holidays as this makes it so much easier, yet Easter Sunday is still difficult.
Our series for this week is "Springing ahead" to remember Heidi in this first of three markers - reminding us it has been 17 years since she went to work, never to be seen again.
This simple act of daylight savings time is natural yet can be upsetting because it is the visual and tactile reminder of Heidi's kidnapping seventeen years ago. Yet on that fateful morning, it was a saving grace and blessing from God. He used the changing of clocks to help witnesses remember exactly where they were or what they were doing at a certain time because they had to pause and set their clocks ahead.
Life is about moving forward. I spent the first decade following Heidi's kidnapping living in a fog - lost. While the clock and dates moved forward I was stuck perpetually on April 3, 1994. Thankfully with the help of a student I learned there was hope, healing, love and strength to start moving forward. I found a "spring" in my step as I started to truly live and enjoy life.
While daylight savings time is the first of three things triggering remembrance - it is also one full of hope. We don't need to live, struggle and stress in the present because there is hope in the future. We only need to accept it and spring forward into an Eternal glory.
This week I hope to share ways to spring ahead in joy and celebration as we all remember Heidi together.
Does the changing of the clocks bring back a particular memory of that day to you?
Is there one you want to share?
Let's keep Heidi's memory alive - her case in the forefront as we transition towards the 17th anniversary of her kidnapping.
Thanks in adavance for sharing your memories...you can always email me too at email@example.com if you prefer. Noah trusted God and moved forward...le
1 Peter 3:20b - 21
"In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ..."
Yesterday's Writing Accomplishment: family fun and revision while at a basketball tournament
Today's Writing Goal: blog, type up notes and revisions hand written during yesterday's game
Tomorrow's Writing Goal: join the judges of the Oswego Reading Council's annual writing contest for the 1st round of judging and then to my Memoir Writing Class! Yeah!