As the twentieth anniversary of Heidi's abduction approaches, so does an array of other things. Emotions, memories, fears, regrets, grief, and that state of confusion. The last time I felt this way as an anniversary approached was in 2004, the weeks leading up to the ten year mark.
Ten years later, facing a double decade anniversary, I' still asking the same questions ~ Where is Heidi? Why Heidi? Will we ever find her? Will my parents know the answers to these questions before they close their eyes and leave this earth? Will I have to hear my parents give me a message for Heidi when they take their last breath, "Tell her we love her but can't wait any longer." like many of my other family members.
I honestly thought it was a mistake on April 3, 1994 because kidnapping "doesn't happen in New Haven, New York"...but it does. Abduction and kidnapping are not specific to one area, socioeconomic class, or race. It doesn't discriminate. This is real...Heidi is missing and we may never have the chance to give her a proper burial. We may have to wait until heaven to know where she is but then again, God is a gracious and merciful God.
Someone knows where Heidi is and what happened to her. Thankfully, organizations like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Center for Hope, NamUs, and the LostnMissing strive to help find the missing and never let a cold case go cold.
The missing are someone's son, daughter, sister, brother, niece, nephew, mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandparent, or friend...to name a few. Most of the above organizations utilize volunteers to create posters like the ones on today's blog, manage websites and social media, provide support, and disseminate posters and information to continue sharing the missing child or adult's image, case, and law enforcement contact information to the public.
In addition to the organizations themselves, there are family members of the missing who are bonded together because of the loss they've experienced. Mary Lyall, The Center for Hope, http://hope4themissing.org, refers to this as "The club no one wants to belong to but are thankful for when it happens to you." (This is a paraphrase, I may not have it exact) The message is there though, when tragedy hits your family, you need someone who understands without words the journey and emotions you are experiencing.
It is the bonds with other family members that can connect us with either a new organization or person, that can help share your missing loved one's case, story, photograph, and contact information to share tips. An example of this is when I met Laurie, her sister Rose Marie Gayhart, missing since March 1995. Laurie introduced me to Diana Trepkov, forensic artist, http://www.forensicsbydiana.com/, the woman responsible for the updated age progression illustration of my sister, Heidi M Allen. Diana completed this last year and graciously lets our family, law enforcement agencies, news media, and missing person organizations use this to provide an idea of what Heidi might look like now.
As you can see, while a loved one is missing, there are different things we must continue to do while we pray, wait, and keep our loved one's memory alive. For the next few weeks, as April third quickly approaches, I must continue to face the emotions and buried feelings. I don't do this for me, I do this for Heidi. Similar to those walking for those who can't, I must write and speak for those who can't...and for those who need to know there is hope. A hope for tomorrow and something better, on an eternal level, not just for today or tomorrow.
Thank you for remembering Heidi and all of our missing. Will you share today's blog with your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and anyone else you can think of? Who knows, your share might be the one that provides the tip to the police that solves Heidi's case and brings her home.
Feel free to download the above flyers and disseminate them in your area.
Both are created by the angels at the LostnMissing.org
A special thanks to them.
April 3, 2014 = Heidi M Allen Missing 20 Years
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323