It’s been almost two months since I’ve taken time to post and I apologize for the delay. Where has the summer gone? A couple weeks July-August were spent visiting with family – a 50th wedding anniversary and a cousins’ reunion. I marvel at the solidarity and resilience of family members over generations. Hope bodes well for the future.
August is traditionally my most difficult month as it was Cara’s “missing” month. The last time I spoke with her was a Saturday afternoon. I had been trying to contact her, she finally called when I was busy with other activities and unable to meet, and we never did speak again. The picture is of her red dress in the field east of Edmonton where she was later found.
I continue to celebrate life events with Cara physically absent. My birthday – 71 this year, maybe not so many left, and our anniversary – #24, hoping to have a significant party next year. The Edmonton Fringe Festival is one of my favorite times, coming as it always does to overlap those events.
August 14 this year was the 2oth annual memorial service held by CEASE for those who have lost their lives as a result of sexual exploitation. Although our departed loved ones have returned to Creator, we still hear their voices: “We are no longer in the ditch or the alley or the field or the trunk of your car. We are not even on the street corner. We are now present in the sun that shines, the stars that twinkle in the sky, the wind that blows, and the rain and snow that fall upon the earth. We have been transformed. Let the memory of our short lives be used for good so others can enjoy the peace and freedom that we were denied.”
On August 28, the Edmonton Victims of Homicide Support Society dedicated a memorial sculpture created by local artist Paul Toal. The sculpture is adorned with butterflies and words of inclusion. It is situated in Borden Park accompanied by a bench in the center of a circle of trees. The Victims of Homicide was founded in 1995 to offer emotional support to those who have lost loved ones to violence.
The first week of September 1997 was one big blur from what I can remember. September 1st is the day Cara was found by a young farmer harvesting his crop. On Sept 2, missing day #31, her “skeletal remains” were identified from dental records. Sept 3 police were at my house most of the day; Sept 4 the house began to fill with flowers; Sept 5 were funeral arrangements – I declined a limo as that felt too incongruent after the callous disposal of my daughter’s body; Sept 6 was her service, the same day as Princess Diana’s. One of Cara’s friends mentioned, “we are not happy she is gone but we are glad she is no longer suffering.”
Sept 9, 2012, fifteen years later, seven years ago, I released her to a final resting place in Holy Cross Cemetery with a nice view of the fountain.
I tried to return to the MMIWG report a few times in August but the website was compromised, apparently due to some statistical adjustments that were in progress. More will follow later. The cause is still close to my heart although many other distractions are happening in September. The ongoing issue of homelessness also weighs heavily with frustration at seeming helplessness of society to serve the vulnerable.
September 8 was Grandparents Day. Weary at times, I forge ahead… hoping to leave a legacy for others to follow…