Once home I thanked God for His protection and bringing us each home safely. As I caught up with my husband and daughter of their day's events. While I was out my daughter finished her French project (which includes a page and photos of our beloved French daughter/her sister, Coline - big hugs to her). In addition to our surviving family, she also included my beloved sister, her aunt Heidi.
In her search for a photograph she came across the age-progression photo below. It took my breath away. Would Heidi really look like this? I don't recognize her. This isn't my sister -- or is it? I was overcome with emotions. Maybe it is the sinus/cold headache keeping my defenses down or maybe, just maybe - I never imagined what Heidi would look like today. I'm thankful our daughter found the photo yet wasn't prepared for its impact on me.
I've been the family contact/manager for Heidi's NamUs account for over a year and in the past six months have been included as the family contact for her NCMEC file. When Heidi and I dreamed of what we would be doing when we were older and married I never said, "I'll be you case manager if you ever go missing." I'm thankful we planned playdates for our kids and to continue our Thursday afternoon mall dates - one thing I truly miss. A Thursday afternoon with my best friend and sis!
My beautiful sister's age progression photo: