I’ve sat with a mother whose teenaged firstborn son vanished. We posted handbills and raised money for a private investigator and hounded the media to keep the story alive. Our families had been close friends since before his birth: On the day he was born, his dad brought the happy news to my parents’ house. My mother served the exhausted, overjoyed dad a hot meal. My dad and Mike’s dad smoked cigars in the garage to celebrate. I went into labor at the little boy’s first birthday party.
Nearly 15 years later, we still don’t know what became of Michael Negrete. When I hear of missing children, I think of Mike. I think of his mother. I remember her sobbing in my arms in the restroom of a nightclub that had offered space for a fundraising concert and auction. I can still see how she wiped her eyes and squared her shoulders, baptized in that fountain of grief, emerging strong and resolute in her determination to get her boy back.
And I wonder: Is not knowing your child’s fate even worse than knowing a madman has threatened to sell your child? No matter, really. Nobody wins a trophy for the biggest heartache.
My friend Deidra Riggs has wrapped words around the terrible abduction we finally learned of last week. I hope you will read her thoughtful piece.
Tomorrow we will celebrate. And we will remember the mothers of the missing. Will you? Will you take a moment in the midst of the flowers and brunches and sweetly clumsy handmade treasures to pray for the missing children of this world, and for their heartbroken mamas? Will you pray light into the evil gloom of stolen children?
I want to be part of the glimmer, not part of the darkness. Join me.