Can you believe it is the last day of March already? If you live in Upstate New York then you know the blessing of a winter we had this year. I only had to warm up my van and scrape the windows of ice a couple times. We only shoveled the driveway once with my uncle and our neighbor graciously dropping their plows each once. This is uncommon but because of this, there is a great chance of getting a couple days back over Memorial Day weekend. WooHoo!
Earlier in the week, I posted my first Vlog and invited you to post questions you have for me and I would attempt to answer them via Vlog. I did receive a few questions to get us started. The first came from Mags, “What do they think happened to Heidi?” and “What is your favorite food and Why?” I read her questions and could only smile because the first is a question we have heard many times since she was old enough to realize something must have happened to this aunt she never saw or met.
I didn’t bring up her questions and finally she spoke, “Did you see my questions? You won’t answer me when I ask so I thought you might if I posted it on your blog because others might be wondering the same thing.” Ouch, this is one sharp kid and has figured out her Mom’s wiring. I did chuckle at the likeness to me she was modeling in her boldness and creativity.
How can I not answer her question? With God’s help and much prayer I have answered via today’s Vlog.
"What do they think happened to Heidi?"
I know this picture is a little blury yet it is one big hug from my wonderful sister!
Oh my goodness, because of the heat from the Fire! As I walked through the door, my parents with sheepish grins greeted me on their faces. “A surprise for you!” I saw the bag but before I picked it up, I noticed the top my father had repaired for me. If I would have known the magic he was going to work there would have been a before picture. Oh my!
Thank you Dad! I asked him to fix the knob because the one on it broke and this is the masterpiece he returned to me. As if this wasn’t enough, there was still the white Staples bag to open.
Before opening the bag, I read a beautiful note from my parents:
April 3, 2012
We wanted to get this for you for the 18th anniversary on April 3rd in honor of Heidi and you doing the book in her memory. Hopefully your book will be published soon so you are ready to download to your own Kindle.
We were going to wait to give on the 3rd but you know me, couldn’t wait figuring you would have the weekend to enjoy and play with.
Love Mom and Dad!
A Kindle Fire with a $25 gift card for April 3rd!! This is so much better than an Easter basket full of black jellybeans and peeps!
I couldn’t get it out of the box quick enough. And the best part, it was fully charged in the box! Yes! Instead of the usual time of visiting at the kitchen table, I loaded Mags and the Kindle Fire into the van and we headed home. With many thanks given, we were off. My parents sat laughing at my five-year Christmas eyes and excitement and the shook their heads when I left them to come home and finish the setup.
It is amazing. The first thing downloaded was “Cut the Rope” and “Fruit Ninja” by Mags. I am most positive she is hoping this means I won’t ask to borrow her IPod Touch anymore since I can play the games on my Kindle.
The first books downloaded: the NIV Bible, The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin, and A Child is Missing by Karen Beaudin.
Once Ed gets home, we are off to 5 Below to purchase the accessories to keep the Kindle safe from scratches and me. Lol A huge and special thanks to my parents for once again blessing me above and beyond…It is my honor and privilege to write about Heidi and the way God has worked in and through my life as a result. You are the best parents ever!!!
I love you!
On August 21, 1993, my father walked me down the aisle to the shaking, cold, and clammy hand attached to my husband’s arm. My sister stood by my side as my maid-of-honor with jokes, tears, and encouragement every step of the way. Most of the photographs from last year’s remembrance blog series came from a pink album gifted to me by Heidi as a shower gift. Pages and pages of silly, serious, ridiculous, and plain funny shots captured of Heidi and I together from birth through only weeks before I became Mrs. Edward T. Buske.
This year my Mom, Mags, and I scoured the collection of photographs at my parent’s house for something new. We want you to “know” Heidi because she is so much more than a face on a poster…she is my beloved sister.
As the above photo displaced out of the stack and onto the floor I smiled when it landed on the floor. I remember how excited Heidi was to be the flower girl for Kathy’s wedding.
HOWEVER, the smile soon faded and a tear formed in my eye. Heidi walked down the aisle as a flower girl, then as a bride’s maid yet she will never be the bride. She was young, full of life, and in love, yet our Dad wasn’t able to walk her down the aisle. She never heard “Ladies and gentleman for the first time in history I would like to introduce you to Mr. and Mrs. …” no father-daughter dance, and no honeymoon.
There are times I could look at these photos of Heidi as flower girl, Heidi and I with Auntie M, or Heidi and I at my wedding and cry for the joy she was deprived. Yet when I see the longing and pure happiness on her face when she looked at her boyfriend, I am thankful. She may never walk arm in arm with her Daddy to the front alter to have her veil lifted and given to her future groom but she experienced love. She loved another and received this same loved in return.
Most of Heidi’s friends have married, started families and grown to see their dreams come to fruition. I’m thankful they include me in their celebrations and sorrows. I’m thankful some blessed me with the opportunity to watch them walk down the aisle. Heidi’s wedding day never came to be yet true love did. For this, I am thankful.
If you have lost a loved one ~ what is one thing you wish they could have experienced, done, saw, or heard before they passed away?
This isn’t our last “Walk with Him Wednesday” yet it is the last one in this year’s Heidi remembrance series. As I contemplated which items to share with you my journaling since our previous list I thought of something. I’m thankful for each of you. You have made the days leading up to the 18th anniversary more joyful through your encouragement, love, and prayers. Thank you!
The process of writing down all the things you are thankful for is worth the time and effort required. After you do this a few days it is evident, the energy necessary is minimal yet the reward…priceless. May your eyes be open to the blessings and provision of God today and each day.
Thank you for following this year’s “Heidi Remembrance Blog Series”. Your comments, emails, and notes are such an encouragement to my entire family. Earlier in the series, I invited you to email me photos of you and Heidi with a story if you were interested in sharing.
I have received a couple emails with personal stories that brought tears to my eyes from laughing and because of the generosity of my wonderful sister. Thank you for sharing. It isn’t too late.
If you have a photographic memory to share, you can still email me at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
A favorite memory I have of Heidi and I performing took place upstairs in my parent’s house, in our bedroom. We used the chair from the make-up table to reach the attic entrance so we could hang our curling iron cords from the ceiling. With the plug portion in the attic, we would gently let the attic door close. Once secure the curling irons magically became “microphones” and we were pop stars. Oh my goodness, we were lip syncing before Milli Vanilli was a thought. And we were good!
As I taped my first Vlog I had to chuckle. Heidi and I so would have been taping for YouTube and making videos if today’s technology existed in the 70’s and 80’s.
Below is my first Vlog. Today’s question for you: “What questions do you have for me?” It can be about my writing, the book, my speaking, or any other question you might have. Post your questions below and I’ll do my best to Vlog a response to you as we continue to remember Heidi this week.
April 3rd is one week from today…do you have a tradition or special something you do to remember your loved one when the anniversary of their death or disappearance is upon you?
I look forward to your questions and hearing how you remember your loved ones.
I invite you to participate in the survey below! Thank you!
Now the first Question: Do you remember what you were doing on April 3rd 1994?
My answer would of No, because I was not born.
The second question: Can you relate to Heidi’s family?
My answer would have been yes because I am part of Heidi’s family. The Reason I wanted to give you guys that survey is that I wanted to “Challenge” you. I wanted you to think about Family struggles and a day that you had something bad happen to your family.
Now on with the blog, I am going to be talking about my struggles with the case today.
Even though I wasn’t born, I am still affected. For, as I get older I get more information about the case and about my aunt Heidi. A couple of years ago I asked my mom “Did I ever ask about aunt Heidi when I was young?”
I remember, she told me “You asked about her, when you were 3 you walked me over to the picture of her and said who’s that?”
“Your Aunt Heidi.” Mom replied and that was the end of it. My mom wasn’t afraid to tell me who she was, and today I’m thankful for that.
So…moms and dads please be open to tell your children answers to their questions. Just use me as an example, If my Mom didn’t tell me I might not have written these blogs, or been there for some of my friends.
Feel free to share your memories in a post below. Thanks for reading Monday with Mags.
Editorial Note from Mom: You are all such an encouragement. Miss Mags has not been feeling well for a couple weeks now yet she said, "I don't want to let the bloggers down. They take time to come, I need to write." Sounds like someone I know? LOL Thank you for encouraging and uplifting us...we cherish each of you. :) Lisa
Today’s blog is a tribute to Heidi M. Allen and all the volunteers yet I can’t accept credit for the words written. They are contained within a pine frame beneath glass and below Heidi’s infamous missing person’s photo. The only evidence of who might have either written the words or wrapped then snuggly within the frame is the stamped on the backside of the photo.
“A Tribute to Heidi and the Volunteers”
I saw the lighted candles against the darkened sky,
I looked up towards the heavens and asked the question why.
Why we all had to gather together on this starlit night,
Choking back tears with all our might.
It was because our sleepy little town had been rudely awakened,
When we discovered one of its most beautiful flowers had been taken.
That a flower is kind and has such a caring face,
It’s simply not one that can be replaced.
We stood there as a town in one accord,
For the return of that flower we prayed to our Lord.
We sang songs of hope to help get us through,
Then back to our fire hall for there’s work we must do.
Our town works together with one united sole,
Pulling together we all have one goal.
To search for our flower until she is found,
And to bring her home to root safe and sound.
Towns like ours are not hard to find,
Made up of people who are caring and kind.
When you pass through our town down Rt. 104,
Think of those people behind each door.
And please say a prayer that our town may go back to sleep,
And keep all of its flowers rooted deep.
Yes a flower was picked the other day,
Through our efforts it won’t remain that way.
And the words hidden on the backside:
Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, N7S 1 PC
A SINNER SAVED BY GRACE EPH. 2.8
GATERED IN THE NAME OF
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST MAT.18.20
MADE IN CANADA
A prayer from God has been hanging on my parent's wall nearly eighteen years and I never knew until yesterday when I took it off the wall to copy the poem to share with you. God is so good....
Within moments of Heidi’s disappearance the word started to spread. Some people heard it over their scanner, others saw it scroll on the bottom of their television screen, some were sitting in church when an announcement was made, and others received a phone call similar to mind…”Heidi is missing!” I don’t know how each person learned of Heidi’s disappearance or when they started to arrive but the outpouring of support has remained one of the things we have always been most thankful for.
Family, friends, Heidi’s coworkers, and the community started to arrive with offers to assist in the search. Entire families arrived with Easter dinner in foil to share with the other volunteers. So many searching within minutes yet no one could find Heidi.
It felt like everyone was involved and using the skills they were best at to aide in the search. Phone lines were hooked up. Food and drinks arrived with a multitude of hands to serve and replenish as the dishes were emptied. Copy machines and paper were donated with volunteers to start photocopying missing person flyers. Drivers arrived to take the printed posters to every business, rest area (even on the thruway), and wherever else they could think of. More phones and walkie-talkies arrived. Orange ribbons were made and pinned on each volunteer. So much to do yet God provided the hands and hearts to meet the needs, above and beyond.
An illustration of Ephesians 3:20 – 21
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
Others used their creative talents. Some made items and donated them to be used as a raffle to raise funds to support the search and rescue efforts. Others were works of the heart to bless the family. Sketches, wood burnings and even a quilt with Heidi’s photos on it as reminders of the beautiful young lady we all missed so much.
Today’s photos are a few of the works of heart. Ones that still hang today at my parent’s house as a reminder of Heidi but mostly…a reminder of the love, support, prayers, and concern expressed by so many when our family needed it the most.
One thing my parents, Ed, and I have always struggled with and probably always will is we weren’t able to say thank you to the hundreds, no thousands, of volunteers who sacrificed vacations, family time, and health to help in one form or another in the search for Heidi. Your love and dedication are thought of each time we remember April 1994.
Thank you all!
Woodburnings by Bob Grant - top in 1994 and bottom in 1995
Quilt by Lorna Manzer
A lot of people know about Heidi M. Allen, the eighteen year old girl missing from the small town of New Haven, New York yet by comparison, only a few “knew” Heidi. I enjoy my blog all the time yet this series is an opportunity for me to introduce you to Heidi, my little sister versus a one of the nation’s statistics of missing persons.
Heidi was scheduled to graduate from Bishop Cunningham Jr. /Sr. High School in Oswego, New York in June of 1993 but this did not happen. At the completion of her junior year in high school she had a choice to make. Either Heidi returned to Mexico High School or applied for admission to college a year early. Her decision reflected Heidi’s determination to move forward and reach her goals, a year earlier.
Due to Heidi’s exemplar academics and extra-curricular records she was accepted to Onondaga Community College (OCC) with some conditions. She accepted and strived to prove she would not only meet the college’s guidelines but would surpass them. Instead of riding the bus to school in September, she drove herself to her first semester at college. At the end of the first year, Heidi had high honors and received her high school diploma and recognition from the college for her stellar performance.
The following year she maintained high honors, worked full time and volunteered at the local elementary schools. In her free time (yeah right) she spent time with her boyfriend, Brett, her family, and friends. She was driven to be the best at everything she did. I believe it is genetic, great genes! I remember when she got her Word Processor and the hours it saved her versus using my electric typewriter. Oh my, what would she say as I sit and do my blogs via my laptop or netbook?
Heidi was scheduled to graduate in May of 1994 with the highest of honors. She had already started to interview for various places so she would have her new career set in place even before she walked across the stage for graduation. She worked so hard and was denied the opportunity to receive the college diploma she sacrificed and strived to earn.
The following year my parents received a telephone call from OCC to invite them to attend the 1995 graduation ceremony. My parents asked “Why?” The response brought tears to all of our eyes…”We would like you to receive Heidi’s diploma on her behalf. She worked so hard and proved it was possible not only to start college a year early but also to excel with the highest of honors earned.” Mom and Dad dressed to the tee left to receive their youngest daughter’s college diploma and it hangs at their house still today.
Typically our high school and college diplomas collect dust in a filing cabinet after we finish photocopying them for applications but Heidi’s is displayed in the beautiful frame it was gifted to my parents in. This symbol of perseverance and stature are displayed amongst photos and other displays of Heidi’s impact and connection to our community.
Heidi overcame obstacles in life. What obstacle are you facing today? Is there one thing you could change to help you not only get over this trial but to leap over it with grace?
Syracuse tips off at 7:15 this evening. The majority of Upstate New York will be seated and ready, with enough blue and orange that the children in the home will wonder if the sun is setting within the living room versus over Lake Ontario. If Heidi was here, she too would follow suit and probably have the household accessories to host the neighborhood game night pizza party. I can hear her “Game time!” and the festivities would begin.
As the basketball players run up and down the court, take time-outs, listen to their coach, and play as a team. I never thought finding a publisher would be easy yet I never imagined how extensive the process is. I couldn’t do it alone, I needed a team.
As the Sweet Sixteen hit the floor and I smile at the email in my inbox today I am encouraged. I started this blog in July 2010 after attending my first writer’s conference. With writer’s duffel bag packed with items I thought would be important: my “emotional-vomit first draft”, a snip-it to read, paper, pens, pencils, journal, and a hunger to learn. Without a coach to train me I thought I had everything I needed to start this journey to have Where’s Heidi? The Search Begins published. Yikes, boy was I wrong!
BUT the best part is I was introduced to key players on my writer’s team today, at this conference. I don’t think any of us imagined the impact we would have on each other’s lives or the friendships that would be born. I left home with the support of my family and returned with an overwhelming amount of information, new friendships, and a HUGE to-do-list before the school year started. The first thing I did was establish this website and my blog. I spent the remainder of 2010 crossing things off my list but each time one thing was removed; another was added thanks to the teammates I had met over the summer.
Then it happened. In January 2011 I heard from a publisher who expressed interest in my book. I was shocked, amazed, and overwhelmed. She said, “…I'm not accepting submissions right now, but I want yours, so please remind me of that when you send it, if you send it…”
I didn’t know how to respond so I emailed my coach for guidance. Her response, “…Pray about it and see how the Lord leads…” In November, I submitted my book proposal for consideration.
I hadn’t heard anything back until today!
Yes, today, nearly fourteen months after the initial inquiry and three months after my proposal submission. Oh my gosh…Thank you Jesus!
Each day I check my inbox and pray, “Lord will today be the day?” but this morning in my journal I prayed “Lord, thank you for the gift to write. Could I please hear something from one of the publishers? Am I in your will?” As I opened my email during my lunch break my eyes widened like the tiny tot receiving their first Christmas morning bicycle. I was speechless then anxious then bummed because my husband, parents, and daughter agreed when a response came we would all be together when I opened it. It was 12:15 p.m. How could I wait until after 4 p.m. to read it?
I picked up the phone and called my parents. Mary is still home sick so she was there but Ed was on the road. My parents put the phone on speaker and I told them about the email. So much excitement, I can’t remember the last time we were giddy with April 3rd around the corner. My only concern is Ed because he was on the road but instead of waiting I asked my parents to put the phone on speaker and then I clicked, open.
We waited, and waited. Mags shouts “Can’t it load any faster?” The anticipation and excitement growing with each second. It probably didn’t take nearly as long as it felt but then it was open and I started to read with shouts from the phone, “Well? Well? Just get to the yes or no part?” Then in the last paragraph, I read words that brought tears to my eyes.
“If you are looking for a traditional publisher, I wish you the best – your story is worth telling. If you are interested in having me partner with you in publishing your book…Our whole model is changing to fit the ePublish program…”
I had watery eyes, needed to pick the kids up from lunch and go to Art class. I called Ed in between and he was so excited and not angry with me. He only laughed, “I knew you wouldn’t be able to wait.” Hmm…guess he knows me better than myself. I love that. I’m so blessed and excited and inspired. I prayed this morning and He is such a loving God, He answered this morning. Wow!
Are you wondering the decision?
I’ve emailed the publisher back. First and foremost I thanked for for making my day. I also expressed my desire to have Where’s Heidi? The Search Begins published where people have the option of either hard copy or e-reader. Since this offer was only for an Ebook, I have declined at this time. I truly want everyone to have access to this book, so we will wait.
There are still a couple publishers considering the book and we've waited nearly eighteen years for Heidi, so I can wait to hear from the other publishers too. Although we didn't accept this offer at this time, what a blessing to have received it.
This A glorious day today and I’ve never felt so joyful all the way to my bones so close to the anniversary of Heidi’s disappearance.
A special thanks to my writing team. You guide, lead, cheer, and critique in this game as I seek publication. I am a better writer and speaker because of you all. Hugs to my team!
I’m have a few pages left of Ann Voskamp’s, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to LIVE FULLY Right Where You Are. When I started to read I thought I could read it in a couple days yet her exquisite and precise style draw me in. Her words captivate my heart and leave me thinking, reflecting, and actively seeking Him. I’m thankful for not one, but two friends sharing this book with me. It is such a blessing.
In keeping with the “Heidi Remembrance Blog Series” I will share items of thanks as it pertains to my sister BUT with a different twist this week. The worst day of my life to this point is still the day Heidi was kidnapped. I spent years living in darkness with the facade of happiness on my face. I’m a better wife, mother, daughter, friend, and person since this terrible day. Today’s list represents the eucharisteo (thanks) I give to God since Heidi’s disappearance.
I’m forever changed and the new and improved Lisa because of this tragedy. How has the tragedy in your life strengthened, changed, and improved your life? Please don’t misunderstand, I would of loved for life to go as Heidi and I planned it out as children and young adults but this wasn’t the way it turned out so I choose to look for the eucharisteo and let God fill my heart and face with True Joy.
Extra time with Heidi
Searching…only for Heidi
See with new eyes
Recognize gift of time
Lost one sister…God returned seventy times seven
Learned to trust
Forgiveness –given and received
So many lost and searching
A heart for Him
As I try to let loose
Experience life to the fullest
Never know if these are the last words spoken
Make sure others know I care
To say “I love you”
To hear “I love you”
Hope…now and forever
Realization…one never knows
A favorite part of this blog series for me is finding photographs to share with you. This has become a family affair and the memories triggered from one snapshot create conversations taking us back in time. My mother is so wonderfully organized and this makes the process an easier task. I pull open the drawer, find the “Heidi” tab and start looking.
I found today’s photos and thought “Ugh, I remember this day. Why would anyone want to remember this?” and then it dawned on me the lesson hidden within these horrific photos. Our time on Earth is only a snapshot in itself and we need to cherish each moment.
In 1993 on her way home Heidi looked down only for a second to change her radio station before CRASH! Mom and Dad’s Oldsmobile ran into the back end of a tractor hauling a manure spreader. The driver of the tractor was my cousin Terry. I honestly don’t remember where I was when this happened. The only thing I remember is seeing the car in the yard when I pulled in the driveway. I couldn’t pull in the driveway quick enough, put the car in park and get in the house. Mom and Dad were sitting at the table.
Oh no, not Heidi. No. As if reading my mind, “Heidi is okay; she is in the other room and is very upset.” I started to walk out of the room before I heard, “Lisa, stop, there is more.”
“Was someone else hurt?”
“Terry…” and their voices fade
“What?” the only word I could utter as I stood in disbelief.
Mom and Dad explained what happened and then I became angry because we were taught not to reach for anything while driving. Oh my, the arrogance and lack of empathy bubbling from me was terrible. I’m ashamed. I apologized to my sister later. The thought of losing her, and my cousin all in one accident scared me so much. I let anger replace this emotion momentarily. As I started my “You knew better…” tirade, do you know what my precious younger (and more knowledgeable) sister said to me?
“Lisa, I’m okay. Terry will be okay. The car, tractor and spreader well that is another story BUT I’m okay. Calm down. I’m okay.”
Instead of comforting her when she needed it, she instead had to comfort me.
I apologized for being a monster her response, “You can’t help it. It just comes naturally for you.” With a smile so big on her face. I hugged her so tight and didn’t want to let her go.
“Ow…you know I was just in an accident.” Laughter erupted and then she told me what happened.
She was right. The car, tractor, and manure spreader were totaled yet she and Terry walked away from the accident with minor scratches. Gram said, “It isn’t there time.”
I don’t know what I would have done if Heidi and/or Terry would have died that day. I can’t imagine the impact on our family BUT I do know this – God had a plan and purpose for each of their lives and He wasn’t ready to call them home.
Who knows, maybe one of the students she worked with in the Banana Splits program life was changed because she volunteered? Would there be children raised without a mother because someone else was working that fateful Easter Sunday on April 3, 1994? Would we have had as many wonderful memories and times together that last year if this accident hadn’t occurred?
Of course we can’t answer these questions, only God knows the answers. BUT God knew Heidi and Terry both had more to do. We all face tragedy in our life and if the Good Lord gives us another chance, we need to smile and trust Him because He knows the best is yet to come.
None of us could have imagined that in less than year Heidi would be kidnapped and truly gone from our lives. I personally didn’t understand the importance of a relationship with Jesus until a decade after her disappearance. I’m thankful for the Hope I have. I’m thankful for the extra time with my sister and the gift God blessed us with…one more year to make memories.
Have you taken advantage of the second chance God has given you? Feel free to share.
God works in amazing ways…
will you let Heidi slide into your heart this year?
Is there someone in your life you need to reach out to?
My challenge to you today…pick up the phone,
a pen or pencil, or send a text
to someone who needs to know
the impact they have on your life.
Don’t wait until tomorrow,
extend words of encouragement
to the people in your life.
Reflective tonight…Mags picked out this song for you.
What do tractors and a silver Monte Carlo have in common, and how do they relate to Heidi? Read tomorrow’s blog to find out.
Pastor wrapped up his stewardship series this morning. It has been a powerful message over the couple months. So often when clergy start to preach about “stewardship” the congregation duck tapes their wallets and purses closed while making the statement, “It’s that time of year again.”
Thankfully God has brought us a down-to-earth and Godly pastor who continues to both challenge and grow himself personally and shares these experiences and truths with us, his flock. Pastor’s message emphasized the importance and blessing of stewardship in our lives. To be a steward is more than giving a certain percentage of money to the church. It’s an opportunity to give back to God some of the blessings He has given you. This ranges from money, time, resources, and your security blanket. Each person’s blanket resembles something different.
How does this have anything to do with my beautiful sister and this remembrance series? I didn’t think it did too much until this morning as I listened to pastor wrap up. Pastor challenged us to release our security blanket, give it to God and trust Him to care for it. As I thought about the one item I held with white knuckles I shook my head yet the same thing continued to return to the forefront, my daughter.
Heidi’s disappearance has made me a stronger woman in some regards yet more vulnerable in some aspects. In the past seven years I have learned to accept both good and bad from God, to lean on Him when nothing in this world makes sense and to trust Him who is incredibly able to do above and beyond my imagination BUT the one thing I continue to struggle with is my beautiful daughter.
She is an answer to prayers and we are so blessed by her. She is strong willed, stubborn, and ready to grow up. I remember thirteen and I was ready to conquer the world and knew it all too but there is one big difference between then and now…my parents fostered independence and opportunities to open my wings, even if they knew I would crash and burn. Lessons I needed to learn, ones that couldn’t be told but only experienced.
Whether Heidi would have been kidnapped or not does not change the magnitude of love and concern we have for our daughter. But it does affect “my” willingness to gift my daughter the same opportunities to challenge, fail, learn, and ultimately succeed through the trial and errors of being a teen.
Why? Why can’t I trust? How come my knuckles are so white from holding on? Will I be able to release the tension? Do I have the strength to let her go…Is Mags the one thing I hold so tightly that I’ve missed the stewardship portion of my role as parent? The answer to all of these is simple…I can’t do anything without Him who gives me strength!
As my heart beats a little faster my knuckles aren’t as white. With God’s strength, the Holy Spirit’s conviction and the love of Jesus in our hearts and Mary’s…we loosen the grip. With constant prayer, faith, and His strength…I trust Mary to her Heavenly Father a little more today, tomorrow, and into eternity. Satan took Heidi and God will protect our Mary…
Happy St. Patrick’s Day my wonderful readers! Were you able to get out and enjoy the sunshine today? Thanks for the prayers, Mags is feeling better and looks to be on the mends. We celebrated with a shopping trip for new sneakers. We are going to start running together after school. I’m not sure if it the idea of running or the fact my teenager wants to spend time exercising with me that brings me the most joy. Both are wonderful and a blessing and will prove to bring both physical and relational strength.
There is a lot of celebrating and dancing of the jig in heaven today. I can see my Gram, great-aunts, and aunts dressed in green with their Irish garb toasting their mugs in recognition of this joyous holiday. I will admit it is the first year I didn’t wear my sparkling bright green leprechaun outfit and shed some of the sparkles as a trail for the kids at school to follow in search for a leprechaun, unbeknownst to them…it is me. I love elementary school.
One thing we learned at a young age was the nature of a leprechaun. They are sneaky little beings, out to play tricks on those who cross their paths. So next to April Fool’s Day, today is one of family pranks. My mother is reigning champ for the best pranks with my darling sister wearing the princess crown. But one year I snagged that Tierra from their hands and enjoyed every second of it.
My sister was famous for taking extended showers until there was no more hot water in the tank or time for anyone else to even attempt a cold one. My mother might say “If you took your shower when you got up instead of waiting, this wouldn’t happen.” Yet I can’t hear her with my fingers in my ears singing, “la la la la la la la” TeeHee
I love to get up in the morning, before the family invades the silence and don’t feel I should have to rush to accommodate the younger sister, no she should have asked, “Are you done loafing around and taking your time to wake up? Would you like to shower first?” BUT no, instead she ran to the bathroom when she heard me getting my clothes and waited until I reached the door to SLAM the door in my face, laughing from the other side. I did eventually learn to shower in the evening, but I was a slow learner.
Oh I have digressed, back to the day I achieved the almighty status of “Prankster Queen” for a day. After a typical morning of Heidi racing me to the bathroom and locking me out, I took matters into my own hands. Today’s photo demonstrates the prank of all pranks (to that date) and the transferring of the crown.
With an entire role of masking tape depleted and giggles subsided…I waited. When the door opened I snapped picture after picture. Heat spilled from the bathroom but not from her shower, she was mad. All I could do was laugh and take more pictures. Although she didn’t speak to me the rest of the morning but by the time she got home from school, she was laughing and ready to “get even.”
Life with Heidi was fun. And a side note, we had the coolest parents in the world. Notice the teen posters and signs bordering the door – this is our upstairs hallway. And who is on that poster but Kirk Cameron, hmm. You rock Mom and Dad! Sorry for not appreciating that sooner about the spillage of teen drama in the hall. Love ya. Lisa
Birthdays are cause for celebration as we blow out the candles atop the cake we make a wish or two. As Heidi giggles in anticipation for her candles to be lit, do you think she was contemplating what her wish might be? I don’t think so either. At the young and innocent age of three I am sure the only thing she was thinking, Can I lick the frosting off the candles? Or I wonder what Mom and Dad have in that big box in the corner?
What about my parents, what thoughts might be running through their heads? Are they focused on Heidi’s giggle, the multiple off topic conversations, the other kids pushing and teasing each other, or my Gram trying to regain control so we can light the candles and sing? I don’t know but my parents were thinking then but could only imagine based on my prior experience when Mags was three.
The same is true when it comes to the loss experienced by a parent when their child goes missing, is killed, murdered, or dies before them. Thankfully I don’t have any prior knowledge to help make the association yet even if I had – it wouldn’t be the same as my parents. Ken and Sue Allen are as unique as Heidi. Each missing person is an individual and their family unit has similar facets. No missing child case is the same, no situation is the same, and NO ONE can understand how my parents or any parent of a missing child feel.
Some might empathize or imagine how it must feel yet even other parents of the missing will tell you, each case and each parent’s emotions are different. God didn’t make us cookie cutters of each other and neither are the cases associated with our loved one’s disappearance.
I asked my parents “How did you feel?” and there response after a distant and empty stare made me regret asking. “Lisa, I don’t know how to put it into words and we hope you never know.” Silence…
Celebrate life! Don’t wait for a birthday because we are not guaranteed tomorrow or even a moment from now. Make sure your children know how much you love them. Let your brothers and sisters know how important they are to you. I pray to never have an inkling of how my parents feel but their honesty help me to know how I can be praying for them and other parents.
I lost my one and only sister, my friend on April 3rd. Mom and Dad lost a part of themselves, one they haven’t been able to replace. Nothing can take the place of a lost loved one yet Hope to see our loved ones in Eternity is mightier than the loss.
Will you take a moment to watch today’s video? These children have blown out their candles, made wishes, and wondered what was inside the Elmo wrapped box in the corner before their youth was taken from them. Their parents didn’t know when they got up that morning that they would never see their children again…do your kids and parents know how much you love and appreciate them? What if tomorrow doesn’t come? Celebrate life…share your love.
“LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered—
how fleeting my life is.
You have made my life no longer than
the width of my hand.
My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
at best, each of us is but a breath.”
We are merely moving shadows,
and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth,
not knowing who will spend it.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
My only hope is in you.
Yesterday as I dropped my daughter to my parent’s in the morning we were greeted with one of the most beautiful sunrises. Mary and I paused to enjoy this breathtaking sight. In spite of not feeling well she paused and said, “Wow, I needed that.” I assured her God knew. We all need a beautiful SonRise to encourage our hearts and minds.
Each year as the anniversary date of Heidi’s kidnapping approaches my moods seem to swing quicker and in a variety of directions. Do you have a similar situation when such dates come upon you? Sometimes I don’t mean to snap, make a face, or respond the way I do. Most of the time I am thinking about something else and don’t even realize I made face, sound, or shook my head. The people around me either think I am nuts or a miserable person. My apologies to you all, I try to keep my focus. Honest.
I stood in the drive for a few minutes, closed my eyes and thanked God for loving us enough to bless us with such beauty. Just think, if a sunrise like this can take our breath away…oh the beauty and joy of heaven.
Heidi disappeared early in April yet there were no spring flowers blooming. Mud and snow blanketed the earth like a patch quilt across the pastures. We weren’t blessed with the beauty of the sun but instead with snow. Damp, cold, and bitter snow that mirrored my inner most thoughts – damp, cold, and bitter. Why Heidi? Why? What kind of God takes such a hard working and innocent young woman?
The answer…it wasn’t God!! God did NOT take my beloved sister. It took me many years to understand this. God is loving, compassionate, and our friend. I spent more than a decade blaming Him, unable to view Him as anything more than the very person responsible. I would like to tell you this concept came to me the second I accepted Jesus as my Savior. Not!
I felt a peace, love, and sense of hope instantly yet the lessons learned came in time. His time…only enough truth to digest for each particular moment. I’ll admit at times I didn’t think I could go another day but then I heard my Gram’s voice, “God will NEVER give you more than you can handle.” It was obvious God believed I was stronger than I did. Then one day it hit me, “I” can’t do it…only in His strength. Ah…the aha moment every teacher prays to witness.
Is there a day that goes by I don’t miss my sister? No.
Will I ever forget my sister? Never.
Will I forever praise the God who loved, healed, and lifted me up? Yes.
Will I share this with others? Yes.
I can’t tell you the type of woman, wife, mother, daughter, or friend I would be if Heidi hadn’t been kidnapped yet I know I’m stronger because of our loss. Heidi was beautiful and brought a smile to anyone she met. How could you not just love this face? In His strength and time…I will see my sister again and we will celebrate the best sister day ever.
“‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death’ or mourning
or crying or pain,
for the old order of things
has passed away.”
The past few Wednesdays I have been sharing some of the things I was thankful throughout the previous week. As I planned this “Heidi Remembrance” blog series I knew I didn’t want to stop sharing the things I was thankful yet I didn’t want to leave the series on these days. The Lord woke me in the wee hours of the night with the solution. To list some of the things I am thankful for as they relate to Heidi. A novel idea, eh? Go God!
Without further adieu, some of the things I’m thankful for when I think of Heidi:
*September 14, 1975, I became a big sister
*matching outfits…even though 4 years apart
*happily married parents
*a sister to share secrets with
*a sister to get into trouble with
*running in the back lot
*playing freeze tag in the pasture
*she enjoyed life
*“Tower of Power”
*loved to run
*liked a challenge
*beautiful – inside and out
*sister day on Thursday
*“Midget” but grew
*friend to many
*my one and only sister
*told me “You’ll have a daughter one day”
*Never gave up
And neither will I…this blogs for you Heidi!
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Hi! Thanks for joining me and my family as we remember Heidi M. Allen, missing since April 3rd, 1994. As the 18th anniversary of her disappearance fast approaches we are constantly reminded of how many people remember. You remember Heidi, you remember where you were when you heard the news of her disappearance, and you continue to remember the family in both thought and prayer nearly two decades later.
This past weekend I spent the day at the Cicero Sacred Heart Craft Show. I met a lot of people and many shared their memories of the day Heidi disappeared. Yesterday a dear friend of the family, who doesn’t usually talk about Heidi or her kidnapping because it’s so upsetting, shared where he was and who told him that first morning. God continues to use your memories to inspire and provide hope for us, the family. Heidi will never be forgotten with so many of you holding her close to your hearts and in your prayers.
We are fortunate in our family for a multitude of reasons. We are surrounded by friends, neighbors, strangers, and a God who loves and provides for our needs without question. And sometimes before we knew it was a need. Another area we have been blessed are with the hundreds of family photos to sort through and stir memories of our childhood through today. I hope you will enjoy watching Heidi grow from the beautiful little girl in today’s photo to the amazing young woman she was when she was kidnapped.
Thank you for caring, thank you for remembering, and thank you for your prayers!
If you have a snap shot of you and Heidi and would like me to share it on the blog between now and Easter Sunday, email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can’t guarantee I will be able to use them all but I will do my best. If you have a story or comment you would like to include, please send that too.
Let’s remember Heidi together and share all the memories we have.
How many times have you depended on your aunt, or aunts? I depend on my aunts all the time. I have five of them. They’re all different – short or tall but they’re all my aunts, no matter what.
Not all of us have met our aunts but we all have someone who is like an aunt. Today I’m going to talk about one of my official aunts, one of my special aunts: Heidi Marie Allen. I call her “Aunt Heidi”.
My whole life I’ve heard people say to me and others, “You/she looks so much like Heidi.” And this is a compliment but I like being me and not trying to live in the image of someone I’ve never met.
That’s what I used to think but now I know why some people act weird when they see me. Maybe I make them remember or maybe they’re just shaken. Even though I look like her on the outside, our personalities are so different. (Based on what my Mom has told me)
I like theater ~ she liked sports.
I like to play on the computer ~ she liked to run.
I like boys ~ she liked boys.
My point is that you can be the same but different. Enjoy your day. Enjoy the next two weeks. And by the way Mom, great job on your speaking yesterday.
See you in a couple weeks,
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323