I arrived at the San Antonio Airport less than two hours before the start of the banquet so once Crystal and I exchanged hugs and tears for finally meeting, we tossed my bags on the back seat, and headed to the hall. After unloading the car, opening the packages I shipped from New York, and helping finish with the set up. It was time to transform from the nine-hour traveler and into their evening's speaker.
A quick outfit changed in the ladies restroom reminded me of my high school sports, changing in the stall after a game and before the dance. I laughed as I maneuvered within the tight space thinking, stalls must have been bigger in the 80's. Or maybe it is I've grown a touch, LOL. Moving on...
Since Crystal and a couple others setting up for the banquet still had to change too, I plugged my curling iron in at the back of the banquet room. With a giant gold Christmas bulb ornament as a mirror, I let the pony tail down, added a few curls, some make up, and surprise, surprise...a refreshed woman appeared. Sweet Tina captured this moment on film, I so can't wait to see it. You know I'll share it when once I have it.
For the families of the missing, or the family grieving the loss of a loved one...holidays are difficult. Each year the Heidi Search Center (HSC) in San Antonio decorates a tree, each family of a missing person brings in a ornament and places it on the tree in memory/honor of their missing loved one.
This year was no different. After revealing age progression photographs done my Miss Lydia, Crystal invited families to decorate the tree. Once all the ornaments were placed, we made a circle, joined hands, and said a prayer for our missing loved once, for those in attendance, and all grieving a loss during this holiday season.
With the tree decorated, there was a time of fellowship for the families. Although many tears were shed, the feeling in the room was one of encouragement, remembrance, and hope. And this my friends, was only the beginning of our evening together.
Part I of the message I shared: Help
Some of you may know or remember Rick Benningfield, he was the search and rescue expert from your center at the time.
Rick brought more than a cowboy hat and boots to New York with him – he brought energy, determination, and the HOPE we NEEDED.
He was a HELP: using his training & experience, he:
-calmed, reassured, and comforted the family
-assisted, guided, and trained the law enforcement
-a mission and desire to help others.
The center has equipped each of us to HELP others – listen to the verbs in their mission statement. “Mission Statement: The Heidi Search Center, Inc. assists families, communities and law enforcement agencies in the recovery of missing children and adults at risk by advocating community awareness, facilitating search and location efforts and offering assistance and referrals to those with missing loved ones nationwide. Provides community outreach programs to effectively protect and safeguard children from abduction and exploitation.”
Let's follow their example, live out their mission statement, and help those around us.
Tomorrow's blog will introduce you to WHO you can help,
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323