With the 20th anniversary of Heidi's kidnapping around the corner, my parents and I brainstormed something new I haven't blogged about in the past during the weeks or days leading up to April third. As we looked through some of the pictures scanned, the above sign triggered the idea for today's blog.
Mom shared about talking with the family and volunteers at the Sarah Ann Wood center and how they used "Why?" as common question, this provides media with a catch phrase to associate with an individual case. Mom liked the idea of using a question and started the "Where's Heidi?" phrase. Dad painted the above sign and put it in their front yard for all to see. A declaration of love, hope, and determination from the parents of Heidi M Allen, one of America's missing, and one of New Haven's own.
Before my parents knew it, t-shirts were ordered to ask the same question, "Where's Heidi?". Flyers were created and the media picked up on the momentum and started using it with their coverage of Heidi's search and rescue efforts. It's amazing the way one idea and thought can blossom into something bigger and so meaningful.
When it came time to title my book, we couldn't decide. I had a few that I tossed around but none really jumped out at me. One night while sitting at a Syracuse Chief's Baseball game I had an idea for a title so we called my parents. Little did we know at the time, they had come up with the very same title, written it on the pad of paper to share with me when we called later that night. Once we realized it was the same title, we knew it had to be.
Mom liked "Where's Heidi?" in April of 1994, and since we are still asking the same question today, it fits. My parents find the title of the book, Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey, hopeful because the first time Dad wrote it with paint on a piece of wood he hoped it would help bring Heidi home. When I placed it on the cover of the book, with the subtitle One Sister's Journey, I hoped it would encourage, inspire, and help others overcome loss in their life. God used two little words twenty years ago and each year since to share hope with others.
It's sad to still be asking this question, two decades later, but there is also something else that remains...HOPE. We, Heidi's family, friends, community, and neighbors prayed and hoped for Heidi's return in 1994 and will continue to do so until this question is answered.
Heidi M Allen, Missing and never forgotten!
We never thought we'd still be asking the question today,
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323