The phone woke me out of a dead sleep, and because I could not just jump up and get it, I let the machine pick it up. When I got up I listened to the message, slowly trying to let what I was hearing sink in.
“I know where your sister is.”
The message was short, but it said everything I needed to hear, still how did I know the person on the answering machine was being serious? I really did not know, all I had to do was go with my heart, and my heart was telling me I at least needed to look into this.
Lord if this is real, if Heather is still alive, please lead me to her. It’s been a long time, but I am not ready to give up yet.
After I dropped Gracie off at preschool I took the tape from the machine over to the police station, I had something more to give them now. Lately I had been coming in with no answers, and only questions, nothing other than the journal, but the journal was not leading anywhere. All I could do was pray this phone call did.
I waited for what seemed like an eternity to me, for the officers, and was finally able to hand them over the tape. They promised to let me know if they heard anything more, and I told them if the caller contacted me again I would let them know.
When I got into my car, I sat there for awhile, once again my mind going back to my sister. This time I was going back to when she had went with me to go get my license again. It had been months since I had been behind the wheel of the car, and now with a car equipped with hand peddles, I was going to drive again.
I’m a little scared Heather.
I know you are, but you are going to get through this. I know what driving again means to you.
I do too it means more freedom, and I do not want to have to continue looking to you to help me with everything.
I don’t want that for you either, and its not because I don’t want to help you. I promised you I would be with you throughout this.
I know and you have.
I feel as if I could have done more Melinda.
You’ve done plenty.
I was brought back to the here and now when I looked at the clock and realized that she would be out of school in less than an hour. I had lost complete track of time, something I was doing far to often lately. I needed to pay more attention, I felt as if I was failing Gracie, my mind was so wrapped around that phone call from earlier.
When I got to the school Gracie was excited to show me her latest artwork and to tell me about the Bible Story she had heard. I loved the fact that she was going to a Christian preschool because I knew that she would carry the values with her all her life. I knew some children strayed, but I had a feeling one day Gracie was going to be doing great things for the Lord.
“Auntie Mini I had fun at school today.’ Gracie said excitedly, crawling in the back seat, and fastening herself in the car seat. Something she had learned to do over a year ago, because even then she had seen some things like getting in and out of a car were not easy for me.
“I am glad you had fun.” I told Gracie.
“We learned some more about Jesus too.”
“ That’s wonderful.”
“ Jesus died for us huh Auntie Mini?”
“Yes he did, but he lives in our hearts.”
“I know, we learned that in school today.”
Lord thank you that Gracie can find comfort in you, I know she deserves this, she deserves you, and she deserves her Mom, but right now since she can not have her Mom I am glad you are helping her through this.
“Gracie I am proud of you.”
“I love you Aunt Mini.”
“I love you too honey, and you are a very good girl.”
“I want to be good.”
“I know you do honey, and you are.”
Gracie was not quiet four, but in so many ways she was wiser, than some adults. I could see the Lord’s love shinning through this little girl. She carried so much love with her, and I was proud of her, I could not have been more proud of her had she been my own daughter.
I did not know where I would be without Gracie in my life, sometimes I felt my little niece was my only link to sanity. Especially when I thought to how much I was missing my sister, how a large part of my soul was gone, because Heather was gone. I had to hold on to hope for my sake and for Gracie’s sake, so I tried, not always succeeding. I had not given up completely though, I would not do that until I had definite answers, I had proof that my sister was either alive or a body to bury. I did not want to think about the later, but I knew if I wanted to be realistic about it I had to.
“Aunt Mini are you okay?” Gracie asked when she saw the worry etched on my face.
“Yeah honey I am fine, I just miss your Mommy really bad sometimes.”
“I wish I knew her.”
“I do too Gracie.”