Like millions of people I have a personal Facebook (as well I maintain a Facebook page –  Missing People of BC Canada ). This past week I had several “friends” post a picture of our missing son Mike on their Facebook ….it was very touching that they would think of our family when there is so much going on in their own lives… I have joined many groups and pages on face book, many that have inspirational posts …. “There is a reason for everything that happens”  or “When one door closes another door opens” or my all time favorite “Don’t let the past hold you back; Your missing the good stuff”  — but none of this applies to a family that is devastated by the disappearance of a loved one.  It’s not really as if someone has died and yet many of the sayings of a deceased love one do apply to a having a loved one disappear…. “Missing you every second of every minute of every hour of the day” or   “I dropped a tear drop in the ocean, when you find it that is when I will stop missing you”  It’s all very confusing and it’s the unknown that makes it so hard stay focused some days, to make any sort of peace with your life. When someone you care about goes missing your life is altered forever. Things that should be important just don’t even matter.

We had moved in our house about six months before our son Mike went missing at age 25 from Kelowna BC.  To say we were consumed with locating our son would be an understatement. We both were only able to sleep with sleeping pills and we were constantly on edge waiting for any news to explain our son’s disappearance.  In the meantime a nightmare neighbor had moved in. We heard a few grumblings from the rest of the neighborhood but in all honestly in the state we were in a naked marching band with fluorescent red hair could have marched past our house and we might have taken some notice only to see if they knew where our son was. In the meantime our quiet neighborhood was being tortured by a raging angry drug dealer with no respect for anyone living around him. We heard the constant music, people coming and going all hours of the day and night, the fights in the wee hours of the morning, we heard the complaints from the neighbors but we were so wound up in our son’s disappearance it just did not register that this could be an issue. Six years later we were able to understand how brutal our neighborhood had become. We joined forces with the many neighbors and working closely with the RCMP were able to solved the problem of the nightmare neighbor. It was strange to be dealing with the RCMP about something other than our missing son. We have realized that life goes on no matter if your son is missing and know that we need to start standing up for ourselves again….although we continue to miss our son every second of every day.

This year I have made an effort to take better care of myself.  When you have a loved one go missing it’s hard to care about your own health and things like a well-decorated house or yard  seem so pointless. But no matter how you react to having a loved one missing it doesn’t change anything. When your loved one first goes missing you are consumed with finding them, you would sell your soul if you thought it would make a difference.  As time goes  by and there is nothing new you feel like a deflated balloon and its hard to get that air back again but  I remind myself daily that my son would not want me to whither away and become old before my time and yet it would be so easy to do exactly that…..

Some days the grief and frustration is overwhelming and just a song or a smell can bring tears to my eyes…but I have learned to cry on the inside most of the time. I have also become a master at smiling on the outside and screaming in the inside. It’s awkward for people when you are suffering with grief, not  many people will ask anymore if there is any news of our missing son, perhaps they can see just by looking at me that there is no new news.

It has been six years and seven months since our son Michael went missing. Every day I wonder if this will be the day we find out where our son is, what has happened?  I know that we may never find out… and sadly I also know we are just one of many families that are waiting for answers to their loved one’s disappearance.