Sunday, June 3, 2012

One Year Later, A Family Walks in the Rain

Between nightfall on June 2, 2011 and dawn on June 3, 2011, Robert, Charlene, and Rebecca Spierer's lives changed forever, along with those of countless relatives and friends.

Lauren Spierer, daughter, sister, and friend, disappeared (this Indianapolis Monthly article provides a detailed timeline of events between the disappearance and now).

Prior to June 3, 2011, Robert, Charlene, Rebecca, and Lauren shared a figurative umbrella of family togetherness. Even though they may have been distant physically, there was always the phone, email, texting, all of the ways most of us remain connected these days.

Photo credit:  Free Digital Photos

After Lauren disappeared, I joined the social media community in blogging, vlogging, and tweeting in support of her family.

Lauren's story stood out to me because (among other things), she is the same age as my nieces and shares the same heart arrhythmia (Long QT Syndrome) that caused the death of my sister in law (and a condition that several of my family members have).

Why support this stranger? Why her when there are so many people missing? Of course I hope for all missing persons cases to be resolved. From the beginning, though, I have felt an uncommon connection to Lauren and her family. I am pretty sure if things were reversed, they would encourage me to keep hope alive and would pray for a resolution to this nightmare. If they wouldn't, I have seen over the past year that so many people, from every faith tradition and all walks of life, would.

When I was wracking my brain to figure out what to write about "One Year Later," our priests at Holy Comforter Episcopal church sang the song "Take All The Lost Home" at a gathering last night. Some of the lyrics spoke to me about Lauren, especially these:

"Talk all the lost home
remember their names
Their journey is yours friend..."

"Walk close by the children
and learn their refrains
and leave your umbrellas
while you learn to walk in the rain."

One year later, I still pray daily that the Spierer family will no longer have to walk in the rain, deprived of the comforting umbrella of closure, knowledge, and the Lauren-ness of Lauren.

"Looking back is incredibly sad, but going forward without answers is impossible."
                                                                                                            -Charlene Spierer

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