Where was I all last week? I have no idea. I was tired — slightly foggy. I don’t think I got much of anything accomplished at all.
But it’s a brand new day . . .
So last week, several dump truck and backhoes descended upon the farm near where Jacob Wetterling disappeared. If you’re not from Minnesota, maybe you don’t remember his story, but I remember it like yesterday. St. Joseph, where Jacob was abducted, is about an hour from my hometown. My sister Cyberspace Sarah was the same age as Jacob. I was in college down in the southern part of the state. I was not that far removed from being a lonely country road bike rider myself.
I couldn’t believe that anything so awful could happen in a small town like that. I drove through St. Jo many, many times on my way to St Cloud which is the biggest place to go from here before you get to Minneapolis. I remember the press and the questions and the drawings and the pleas. I remember thinking maybe it would be better if Jacob were not still alive because maybe something truly bad was happening to him.
Now, of course, I am a mom of a boy the same age as Jacob was and my perspective has changed quite a bit. I met Jacob’s mother Patty several years ago. She was lovely and gracious and calm. I think I might have spent the past 20 years in tears. The most horrible part of the whole thing is not knowing. If he was dead, you could grieve. If he was alive, you could hope to find him — maybe alive and well and absent of the memory that he’d ever been anyone other than who he is now.
That’s the best case, I suppose.
Many good things happened as a result of the very, very bad thing that was Jacob’s disappearance. The Jacob Wetterling Foundation was formed. We could probably never know the lives that have been saved or changed by this group. I imagine Patty would just as soon have her boy back, though.
I pray that your sons and mine ride their bikes safely through town today. We have to let them go. We can’t live our lives afraid . . . but I certainly do hope they find something in all that dirt they hauled out of that farm last week because somebody knows where Jacob is and that person isn’t telling.