Last year as I started to prepare my book proposal for “Where’s Heidi? The Search Begins” the Lord placed this book on my path. I read the review on Amazon and thought, “This is similar to my book, yet different because she focuses more on her sister’s actual case with her life interwoven. I can list this.” I also started to follow her blog and eventually we made contact with each other.
In remembrance of Heidi’s disappearance, my parents presented me with a Kindle Fire, the first book downloaded – “A Child is Missing”. I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t buy this as soon as I found it yet after reading the last few chapters, I know there was a reason for me to read it this past week – only God would have known my mindset and thought process this Easter season.
Karen writes, “I begged the Lord, “Please, God, let me have a forgiving heart, one like Yours…I prayed not only for them to be caught and justice to be served but also for their souls and their eternal destination…I didn’t wish for anyone to spend eternity there (hell), even if I though they deserved it. God gave all of us a way to avoid what we truly deserve…” Yes, yes! This is exactly where I am in my journey – learning to pray for Heidi’s abductors, learning to forgive them, and the birth of my sequel to “Where’s Heidi?”
I devoured Karen’s book in less than two days. She writes from the heart and shares an honest account of the difficulties involved in life when your sister has been kidnapped or murdered. Karen was only fifteen years old when her sister was abducted, raped and brutally murdered. Her parent’s grief required Karen and her siblings to take on leadership roles in her sister’s case. A role I’m not sure I could have done at the age of twenty-two, when my sister was kidnapped.
I lost my one and only sister but Karen writes about losing her sister and then her brother. As if this pain wasn’t enough, she watches her father lose an agonizing battle to cancer and then her mother decides she can’t take it anymore and commits suicide. Yet not all this tragedy traps Karen in darkness.
“The tragedies in my life had taught me never to take anything for granted; the lesson was engraved upon my heart. I knew from experience that the ones you loved could be taken away in a single moment…In time I learned to cling to the loved ones I still had and make memories with them that would last a lifetime. Would I forget the past? Never, but I thanked God for the ones that He’d left behind. I’d cherish the time with them, look to the future, and deal with the past as best I could.”
Karen’s faith and honesty are inspiring. She could have retreated behind closed doors and said “I’ve had enough” but she didn’t instead, she reminds the reader, “Silence is not the best way to deal with a crisis in your life.” Instead, we need to trust God and lean on Him. Karen worded this beautifully…
“If I could take it all – the sadness, the hurt – and put it in a box, lock it, and throw away the key, I would. I was tired, so very tired…During this trying time, I turned to Scriptures for guidance…Being on alert every waking hour was exhausting…My life included a strong faith in God. With Him, life’s journey is difficult; without Him, it’s almost unbearable.”
In addition to her role as wife, mother, and author – she is an advocate for other families waiting for justice. She continues to use the energy fueled by loss to help others and be a catalyst for change. Thanks to Karen and her family, New Hampshire now has a Cold Case Unit and her sister’s case (among others) has been reopened due to the bill they lobbied for.
“My family may never see an arrest in Kathy’s case, but it will happen for some other family, and we will rejoice with them. Our fight was not only for Kathy but for all those who still wait for justice.” Karen Beaudin, A Child is Missing
I highly recommend this book to any sister dealing with the loss of their sibling. This is an authentic account of our journey…searching, praying, and waiting.
To order a copy of Karen’s book:
(Or click on the book cover (top) for a direct link)
To visit Karen’s website:
(Or click on the photo (below) of Karen on the railroad tracks for a direct link)
To follow Karen’s blog:
(Or click on the photo (middle) of Kathy, Karen’s sister for a direct link)
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323