Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey.
I have shared little snip-its here
and there in the past couple years.
Some of the same excerpts I have shared
with you have changed a bit
and others remain the same.
As the second round of revisions nears
completion and the next proof book
soon to be sent, today's excerpt
may vary (slightly) from the book
you will hold in your hand
this coming April, 2013.
Today's excerpt is taken from chapter thirteen.
Please share some feedback in a comment below.
Have a great Saturday everyone!
Exhaustion and grief consumed my heart, mind, and body. The physical and mental strain became an invisible weight on my shoulders. I was exhausted but unable to sleep. It was easy to get lost in the crowd. Once I passed a mirror, and my reflection mirrored the deep sorrow and emptiness I saw in my parents’ eyes. My attempts to hide my stress failed...
...As the parents or sibling of the missing, it is common to have cameras following you in hopes to get a break or the front-page byline...My parents strove to keep the cameras and media at bay throughout the case to protect me from their sometimes hurtful and painful questions...
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The righteous person may have many troubles,
But the LORD delivers him from them all;
My protection was not necessary. Mom and Dad calmly responded: “I don’t know how to put our feelings into words and I hope you never are in the same position.”
I remember asking my Mom, “How do you respond so calmly as if they asked you about the weather?”
Dad answered. “Each interview is an opportunity to have Heidi’s picture and information released to the community and beyond. Every time her picture and the phone number are seen, the more likely we are to find her.” I had a new appreciation and respect for my parents.
My parents’ rapport with the media, along with their ability to suppress their emotions was an inspiration to those watching. How did they do it? I envied their strength.
I felt shut out and excluded from the process of finding Heidi. I understood they lost a daughter but I lost my best friend and only sister. I understood their loss was great and could not imagine their pain or grief, but on the other hand, no one ever asks: “How is Heidi’s sister doing?” It is always: “How are her parents? I don’t know how they do it.”
I did not want to be leading a press conference, but at the same time, I wanted someone to understand. Someone to recognize me, someone to ask me how I am doing. Did anyone realize there is more to Heidi than her parents? I felt that if I acknowledged these feelings, I would sound selfish, unloving towards my sister, and disrespectful to my parents.