This morning I did a search on a few key words, hoping to find that our press release last week garnered at least one tiny mention in local news. So far, nothing. But it did lead me to read back over a few articles from the early days of our search, and reading those were a bit surreal.
In one, my Dad was quoted as saying "My fingers and ears are sore from communicating non-stop," and the article said "indeed it appears that he, family and friends have left no avenue unturned in their fervent hunt for their loved one, a hunt they believe will be successful." In another article, I was quoted as saying ""We're never going to stop looking for him," she said. "We'll keep searching til the day he's found, whether that means they find him alive or find his remains." My mom had similar quotes, with the added impact of being a mom searching for her son.
During that time, though we had to beg for coverage and help, we found it. We were fortunate. But now it's been almost five years, and the quotes would be much different. Very few people ask questions about Austin, and it's very seldom we talk about him. It seems as if all there is to say has been said. We no longer have large scale searches every weekend and spend our weekdays hanging flyers and knocking on doors. The areas that family and experts alike think to search have been searched and cleared, it's no longer likely someone will see his face on a flyer and remember seeing him.
Today's quotes might be different, but have no doubt that the same belief that we will be successful in our search is still there. Our timelines have shifted- we now know it may be years more, instead of the days we initially expected. For some of us the belief of what we'll find has been shifted.
The world moves on so quickly and we so often expect people to move on- but hearts don't heal as fast as the news changes, and not all stories can get wrapped up in a bow. I read a post from the mother of a missing woman who has been gone 8 years next week, Elsha Rivera. She's raising money to put flyers out to the Fort Worth, Texas area where she was last seen, and hoping to get media coverage. She was asked yesterday why she's bothers. She bothers because her daughter is missing. She bothers because her grandchildren miss their mom. She bothers because someone likely did something to Elsha, and that person is still out there to hurt others.
The more I think about it, the more I'm glad that people don't just move on. I'm not sure what our world would be like if love was so shallow. Love is deep. Thank you God for that.
Check out Elsha's story today.